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mamaathome

Gluten In Breastmilk?

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I have recieved conflicting information on whether or not gluten is passed through breastmilk. Our dd has celiac and we just had another baby in January. Our pedi gi says keep gluten in the diet for the 1st year and then we can test to see if our son has celiac. I'm not comfortable with this, as I WILL not put him through everything his big sister has gone through. Anyway, I am breastfeeding and thus far have not cut gluten from my diet, but if gluten is passed through breastmilk I don't want to damage his small intestine in any way, just in case he has celiac. My pedi gi says it is not passed, what do all of your drs say?

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Gluten is definitely passed through breastmilk. There have been other threads on this and it is pretty unanamous. If you want to test, you need to wait awhile, and therefore, should keep gluten in your baby's diet--through breastmilk. If you have no intention of testing, you should start the gluten-free diet, because it IS passed through breastmilk.

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I have to disagree. Our dr said the same as yours. That it's not passed through. You can do a google search and find info supporting both. I would contact LLL or a pediatric gi who specializes in celiac to be sure. Good luck!

I am always amazed at the differing opinions in medicine. My daughter has Down syndrome as well as celiac disease and I am floored at the ignorance about it w/in the medical community at large even though it's the most common chromosomal disorder.

Please post if you find out more. Nicole

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I agree with celiac3270 100%....it definately is passed through breastmilk. Whatever the mom has in her system will be passed to the baby. Why do you think they tell pregnant women to avoid certain things such as alcohol and MSG while pregnant....because they don't want to put the baby at risk. If the baby is a celiac(or in question celiac) then the gluten you are eating would be affecting the baby. I have read from various things that it can be passed through breastmilk and I strongly believe that too.

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Here are a couple of links:

https://www.celiac.com/st_prod.html?p_prodi...-29105333101.2a

and a bunch of articles from LLL:

http://www.lalecheleague.org/cgi-bin/aglim...=celiac+disease

While I have not seen a study breaking down the bmilk to look for gluten, and it is true that some food allergens can pass through the milk.....if you really research this you will see that moms who intake gluten and are nursing babies who have celiac disease have kids who don't have onset of symptoms until after they are weaned. I guess that is what I would be focusing on.

But in reality I guess it is something you should be aware of and watching for just in case your baby is an exception. I have nursed 4 babies long term totalling almost 6 years so far. Still nursing one. It took my 2nd daughter 14 weeks to learn to nurse but I pumped and she never got formula. So you could say I am a huge proponent of nursing! :) I won't hide that. So I may be skewed in my opinion, but I would definitely go gluten-free myself if I thought I needed to. As a family all of our meals are gluten-free because I won't cook twice. But my girls who don't have celiac disease get gluten snacks in between meals as do I. : :D Anyhow Tarenne was diagnosed at 3, and nursed until into her 2nd year...and was asymptomatic. I'm definitely not an expert, just giving my humble but heartfelt opinion.

Nicole

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I have checked at the LaLeche site and could not find enough information, to answer the gluten in breastmilk question.

What I believe without a doubt, if the mother has antibodies to gluten in her system, that would be in the breastmilk.

Laura

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Laura, that is the reason from my understanding that the baby would be protected. Is that what you understand the research to say too? But if the mom does not have celiac disease (and thus no antibodies) I do not think there is enough info to say whether her intake of gluten affects the baby at all. Just lots of research studying the effects of breastfeeding in general on babies who are diagnosed w/celiac disease later or at birth who do not show symptoms until they are weaned. (and I'm assuming that these mothers are not changing their diets since that is not mentioned).

I think if presented w/the dilemma (especially if the baby does not have a definite diagnosis) I would opt to nurse, remain with the same diet on my part (perhaps limiting obvious gluten intake), and watch for effects on the baby. But we all know a totally gluten-free diet is not easy. :)

I love breastfeeding information and hope they will do further studies now that celiac disease is being diagnosed more frequently.

Nicole

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All4gals, the celiac.com article you cited, did say that the gliadin levels in the breastmilk will increase if gluten is ingested--so it's indisputably IN the breastmilk. I guess the real question is whether it hurts the baby or gets to the baby's intestines.

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Here is how I'm reading it: All input respected and appreciated so please help!

"In case of celiac disease, it means that if the mother has circulating antibodies to gliadin, these antibodies appear in the milk."

This would mean the mom herself has celiac disease....thus producing antibodies right?

"If the breast fed baby ingests gliadin (or the mother ingests accidentally and traces of gliadin appear in the milk) the antibodies in the milk blocks the gliadin and it will not able to cross the intestinal wall and meet with the baby's immunosystem."

And this means in this scenario the baby is protected even IF the baby has celiac disease and ingests gliadin him/herself?

"To answer the question: the antibodies in breast milk are protective and do not "trigger" celiac disease in genetically predisposed babies. There are several data showing that breast-feeding has a protective effect in case of celiac disease. Furthermore, it is well documented that breast-feeding in the first year of life decreases the risk of allergies by 50% in babies whose parents have allergies."

I am assuming these studies (this is not the only one I've read with similar findings) are being done because of the incidence of celiac disease being hereditary. And there is yet to be done a good study on non celiac disease mothers nursing a baby who has celiac disease...because it's harder to find that scenario. So I would liken that situation to the studies being done on babies who have food allergies like dairy...which is more commonly talked about...the mom passing on the dairy protein through her milk, and then the baby having a reaction.

I guess I would just hate to see someone not nurse because they are fearful and don't want to take on a gluten-free diet. You know what I mean?

Gotta run, the girls are all waking. Nicole

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Breastfeeding is a good thing and is a good way to prevent celiac disease BUT allergens can be passed through breastmilk and can cause harm if a child can't tolerate those allergens.

"Food that the mother eats can be passed along in the breast milk. So the babies aren't allergic to breastmilk, they are allergic to the food the mother is eating."

-This is what a doctor said on a website I just looked at. Although Celiac is not an allergy the point is still there....if you are nursing a celiac(or thought to be celiac) then wheat can get into his/her system this cause problems because celiacs can't tolerate wheat(as well as rye,barley, and oats).

Breastmilk can pass on certain allergens (such as wheat) to infants.

-This is from another site I read from just a few minutes ago.

This is just my opinion

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My experience....

I was never diagnosed with celiac disease (still not officially diagnosed). I was ingesting gluten and breastfeeding. (Yep, I was sick as a dog.) My daughter was gaining weight, but having gas, and her bowel movements were not what I expected. They had a green tinge, smelled worse than a breastfed baby's b.m. should, and I was giving her gas drops daily. (LaLeche said those were classic symptoms of over producing breastmilk.) When she was put on solid food, that's when all the classic Celiac symptoms started. She was diagnosed Celiac through genetic testing. The 2 main genes associated with Celiac.

My untrained medical opinion, she was better off being breastfed. All atempts of formula were projectile vomited within minutes. Formula did not seem to be an option. (Even the most expensive hypo allergenic everything formula was not an option.) The breastmilk was doing something to her system. Was it my antibodies? Was it gluten being passed through the breastmilk? I still haven't found conclusive proof of either. I will never consume gluten again and I think a mother in this situation should consider a gluten free diet just for the safe side.

Laura

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I didn't have any concerns about passing food problems through my breastmilk with my kids - however, caffee goes through--I was told alchol does too. My oldest had problems if I ate anything with cinnamin or processed meats, he would get horribly sick. He is now 14 and still cannot eat those foods.

I would assume it goes through...Kate

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I don't have all the info on gluten in bmilk, but I know with absolute certainty that dairy issues pass through. I had to be totally dairy free with my second and third children because of all the problems my first had...and no one even thought to advise me not to eat cheese and drink milk then breastfeed. They made sure that any supplementary formulas a sitter gave him were dairy free but I was making sure my milk had all the good calcium I could give it much to my poor son's gastric distress.

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Wow! Thank you ALL for all of your advice and opinions. It was so interesting to read your personal experiences and then think about mine, first with our celiac disease daughter, and now with our bf-ing son. I nursed our celiac disease daughter until she was 1 year old. She was never a good nurser (later found out she had silent reflux), but did not start having trouble with weight gain until after 6 months (solids introduced). At that time we just thought it all related to the reflux. She never wanted to eat anything, breastmilk, or solids. At 9 months she was put on Zantac and began to nurse VERY well, but would still not eat solids. She weaned herself at a year and we then switched to whole milk. Things seemed okay (except she was still really small), until she was 21 months old and began to vomit every two weeks. Peds still thought it was reflux related and it wasn't until DH and I pushed for answers and got referred to pedi gi that she was diagnosed with celiac. He took one look at her bloated tummy and said he suspected celiac. So...my point is, that in our case it is hard to tell whether the reflux or celiac caused different symptoms, however, things DID get much worse after 6 months! BTW her numbers were all over 500. She is now down to 238, 71, and 38. Better, but a long way to go.

So with this new little one: I will breastfeed a year, or longer, if he allows me to. I think after reading all of your replies, taking into account what our dr. says, and thinking about everything, I will continue to consume some gluten. I know we will want to test him whether or not he displays symptoms. Our doc says not until a year (thinking 6 mos after solids are introduced). I hate to do ANY damage to his system, but do think the diagnosis is important, so I guess I will just expose him to small amounts at 6 months. I have already cut dairy and limit chocolate (caffiene) from my diet, as I am certain he reacts to these.

Thanks again for all of your advise. It was so helpful and interesting.

Misty

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