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      Frequently Asked Questions About Celiac Disease   09/30/2015

      This Celiac.com FAQ on celiac disease will guide you to all of the basic information you will need to know about the disease, its diagnosis, testing methods, a gluten-free diet, etc.   Subscribe to Celiac.com's FREE weekly eNewsletter   What are the major symptoms of celiac disease? Celiac Disease Symptoms What testing is available for celiac disease?  Celiac Disease Screening Interpretation of Celiac Disease Blood Test Results Can I be tested even though I am eating gluten free? How long must gluten be taken for the serological tests to be meaningful? The Gluten-Free Diet 101 - A Beginner's Guide to Going Gluten-Free Is celiac inherited? Should my children be tested? Ten Facts About Celiac Disease Genetic Testing Is there a link between celiac and other autoimmune diseases? Celiac Disease Research: Associated Diseases and Disorders Is there a list of gluten foods to avoid? Unsafe Gluten-Free Food List (Unsafe Ingredients) Is there a list of gluten free foods? Safe Gluten-Free Food List (Safe Ingredients) Gluten-Free Alcoholic Beverages Distilled Spirits (Grain Alcohols) and Vinegar: Are they Gluten-Free? Where does gluten hide? Additional Things to Beware of to Maintain a 100% Gluten-Free Diet What if my doctor won't listen to me? An Open Letter to Skeptical Health Care Practitioners Gluten-Free recipes: Gluten-Free Recipes
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Emma-Lee

Infertility?

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Hello. I was only diagnosed with Celiac 4 days ago. Since then I have done a lot of research to better educate myself on the symptoms and treatment. I was married in July 2010. My husband is very supportive.

However, as we have read many wonderful articles that have shed light on this, we are both most frightened by reading that Celiac disease can cause infertility? I just am curious is this is true and what I can do if anything to treat this part? My husband and I want children, and are now really nervous. I am trying to remain calm and tell myself that just because I was diagnosed, it doesn't mean I wil have every symptom.

I have read many posts in here about women who are pregnant and have Celiac disease. I feel a bit of relief, but would love some more information on this topic. thanks everyone!

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I had no problem getting pregnant with our 2 year old, but I have had secondary infertility including several miscarriages. I find it interesting however that I experienced the infertility after going gluten-free. My OB swears that it has nothing to do with my gluten-free status though.

I would say cross that bridge when you get to it :)

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Hello,

It had been 4 days for me also. I have no idea how long I might have had celiacs my symptoms are quite mild and I am interested to see how I feel in a few weeks of gluten-free.

I have 3 girls and they were conceived easily and quickly. I had boring pregnancies with all 3. But I did have 3 miscarriages between my second and third daughters very early on. Less than 6 weeks along. It was hard at the time trying to figure out what was wrong and they never found anything (or looked for celiacs)

From what I have read although celiacs can have trouble with miscarriage it doesn't seem to effect their overall fertility rate. I wouldn't panic I'm sure things will be fine. I'm not sure if your miscarriage rate goes down if you are gluten-free.

I will say this about pregnancy and miscarriage. I told people we were pregnant early on and when I miscarried I had support from my friends and I didn't have painful questions like "When are you going to have another baby?" The more I talked about it the more I noticed how many people I knew had miscarried. It helped me to realize that I wasn't alone.

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UNTREATED celiac disease is linked to fertility issues (particularly miscarriage, as the antibodies a celiac produces against her own intestines attacks the placenta as well). Once on a gluten free diet, with any nutrient deficiencies cleared up, and maintaining a healthy diet anyway, it's not thought to be an issue. (As in, the gluten free diet does not lead to infertility. Keep in mind that when you're reading "celiac disease is linked to a higher incidence of X", it usually means undiagnosed/untreated celiac disease.)

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UNTREATED celiac disease is linked to fertility issues (particularly miscarriage, as the antibodies a celiac produces against her own intestines attacks the placenta as well). Once on a gluten free diet, with any nutrient deficiencies cleared up, and maintaining a healthy diet anyway, it's not thought to be an issue. (As in, the gluten free diet does not lead to infertility. Keep in mind that when you're reading "celiac disease is linked to a higher incidence of X", it usually means undiagnosed/untreated celiac disease.)

Listen to the wise woman here!! :)

Do not worry in advance!!

You are being treated for celiac and you will be healthy and likely have no trouble conceiving!

Years ago, I had several unexplained miscarriages. Could not figure out why as I "seemed" healthy (except for the pesky "IBS" )and I could conceive with no trouble.

NOW, I think I know why they occurred...but again, at the time, I had no clue I was what I call "a simmering celiac..." If had only known then what I know now...

You have a HUGE advantage--you know what you need to do to stay healthy for the rest of your life!! :) This is a good thing!

Just stay gluten free and exercise and enjoy your new married life... and NO WORRYING! :)

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i would also add- (including dont worry-you're gonna be fine)-> to get a thorough and routing thyroid panels... it CAN be common in those with Gluten intolerance- and CAN affect fertility as well... so good to stay on top of that too.

i would presume that as long as you're gluten free and healthy- you should be just as fertile as the next woman..

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i would also add- (including dont worry-you're gonna be fine)-> to get a thorough and routing thyroid panels... it CAN be common in those with Gluten intolerance- and CAN affect fertility as well... so good to stay on top of that too.

i would presume that as long as you're gluten free and healthy- you should be just as fertile as the next woman..

Yeah...what SHE said!! :D Thyroid panel is a good idea!! and then, relax!!

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You're in a great position right now. You know you have Celiac Disease & you probably haven't really started to actively try to have children yet. I didn't know I had a problem really until we started trying for our second & then didn't find out what the problem was until November. It took us 2 1/2yrs to get pregnant with our first child. We did everything the natural way & we just assumed it was because I had been on birth control about 6 or 7 years that it was taking so long. I was scared to actually go to the doctor because I was afraid to find out if maybe I couldn't have kids. Well when my son turned 1yr old we decided to start trying for our 2nd using ovulation kit. I suddenly was very late two cycles in a row but not pregnant. I worked with my OB & in November started fertility treatment, the same time I went gluten free. I am very happy to report that I got pregnant on our 3rd cycle of treatment & am now 6 wks. I have my first ultrasound Friday morning & as long as everything looks good so far we're telling everyone. It's already been hell keeping it a secret this last week haha.

My point is that even IF you had problems, that doesn't mean that you can't have children. You just might have to go through a lot more to get those children. There are a lot of women on here though that said they tried, no luck, did fertility treatments, no luck. They had given up but found out they had Celiac somewhere in the process & went gluten free. Suddenly sometime after they'd given up, they ended up pregnant. So whether gluten free is the key or not, you shouldn't really worry about it. Chances are you'll have no problems getting pregnant when you're ready.

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I'm having the same concerns. I am not confirmed celiac but have a history of autoimmune disease. I hear stress on the body can trigger autoimmune diseases. I always assumed it would be the same disease for me (that my graves would come back). I have not had kids yet and know that those with celiac can have kids (elisabeth hasselbeck being the most famous)but I am concerned: wil having kids trigger yet ANOTHER autoimmune disease? Have there been any studies on this?

It's almost making me think that if they are able to diagnos it officially: is it better - given my history - for me not to have kids? I sincerely hope not

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I should mentioned I am in the process of being diagnosed with Celiacs...

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I had 7 miscarriages in 5 years and had 1 child that was born 2 months premature and I was hospitallised during that preganancy sick as a dog.

I would wait until all of your panels come back normal. Your vitamins and mineral panels ok to.

Good luck.

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Hello. I was only diagnosed with Celiac 4 days ago. Since then I have done a lot of research to better educate myself on the symptoms and treatment. I was married in July 2010. My husband is very supportive.

However, as we have read many wonderful articles that have shed light on this, we are both most frightened by reading that Celiac disease can cause infertility? I just am curious is this is true and what I can do if anything to treat this part? My husband and I want children, and are now really nervous. I am trying to remain calm and tell myself that just because I was diagnosed, it doesn't mean I wil have every symptom.

I have read many posts in here about women who are pregnant and have Celiac disease. I feel a bit of relief, but would love some more information on this topic. thanks everyone!

HI Emma-Lee!

Everyone is absolutely right and there is no need to worry. You are actually going to be healthier than you were before and you'll be able to give your baby the proper nutrients it will need to grow. :) I've had unexplained infertility for the last 16 years, but I was just diagnosed with celiac about a year and a half ago. My doctors recommended for me to wait at least year for my intestines to heal before I started to try to conceive again. Now I feel healthy and we are trying again. We are are so excited about, but it's kind of hard to get our hopes up when we had so much trouble trying to get pregnant in the past. Hopefully I'll have a some good news to share with everyone soon! :)

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I too have been trying for 3yrs now to get pregnant. Realized I had Celiac disease in Sept. Now i'm just waiting for my body to heal and get pregnant. Its very frustrating. I never had miscarriages. Just never got pregnant. Thank you everyone for the advice! B)

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I've been battling secondary infertility for over two years now. I've only know that I have celiac disease for about a year. I have taken fertility treatments and had a miscarriage. My 4.5 year old daughter's placenta stopped working at the end of my pregnancy with her. I was induced for not having any amniotic fluid (didn't leak, just stopped making it). I blame celiac disease on both that and my miscarriage. It is actually a little bit empowering to have an explanation, whereas before, everything was "unexplained."

My advice to you is to stay gluten-free and to chart your cycles. If your cycles are normal, there is no need to worry. If they are off, you aren't ovulating, they are too long, etc., you will have the information handy to show your doctor. Also, charting can help you get pregnant faster, since you can pinpoint ovulation.

Good luck!

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Gluten effects me neurologically mostly. I'm 42 and I believe I've been celiac since college because the first time I had bad tingling in my arms happened then. (My boss left town and left a TON of computer work for us to do. Out of 5 women, I was the only one to have problems.) I also started to have slight hypoglycemia then, and it went away gluten-free. So I can't know 100% it started then, but I'm pretty certain it did.

Anyway, we had no trouble conceiving our 4 kids. In fact, the last two were on the first try (despite my being 37 with the last - fertility is supposed to go down after 35). And I've had no miscarriages.

The interesting thing is I had serious infections with 3 of them, even though I normally rarely got sick. I had pneumonia that sent me into the hospital with preterm labor with my first (stopped in time, thank goodness!). And I had a uterine infection after the birth of my second and fourth. First time landed me in the hospital with unbearable pain and a raging fever. Second time was caught early on. Oh, and my second child was in the NICU right after birth due to pneumonia. I had the BAD uterine infection a few days after his birth, but the bacteria that attacked me was different than the one attacking him.

I always thought having all those infections was weird. It didn't occur to me until I typed it out that it may have had something to do with celiac. Something to think about

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My advice to you is to stay gluten-free and to chart your cycles. If your cycles are normal, there is no need to worry. If they are off, you aren't ovulating, they are too long, etc., you will have the information handy to show your doctor. Also, charting can help you get pregnant faster, since you can pinpoint ovulation.

Good luck!

I forgot to mention this as well. I used the Billings Method to conceive and avoid pregnancy depending on timeframe. Using it, I discovered that my period was coming too close to ovulation, so I may not have had enough stuff (technical term) lining my uterine wall to support pregnancy. (I was still nursing my second child, which caused my periods to not be as regular.) But I learned that after I was pregnant with my third. A doctor's appointment showed that my progesterone levels were low, so I used supplements temporarily. Had I not been charting, the doctor would never had known to check my level.

Taking Charge of Your Fertility is a good reference book.

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Here's what I find so frustrating - I cannot get a doctor to acknowledge any kind of link between gluten and fertility.

We've been trying to get pregnant for 3 years. I have not been diagnosed with celiac or gluten intolerance. But after recently getting lab tests that showed extremely high thyroid antibody levels, I started reading about the connection of high thyroid antibodies (which is an autoimmune disease) with gluten consumption. On my own, just to see if it would make a difference with those levels and in how I feel, I decided to start taking gluten out of my diet. I do feel better, though it's only been about 8 weeks.

I've told my endocrinologist about what I've read regarding gluten and fertility and told him I've started avoiding gluten, and he dismissed it. The fertility doctor doesn't seem to think it's legit, either. Yet SO much of what I read seems to indicate that there's a definite link! It's hard to start going gluten free without having any guidance, so the internet has helped with that. But why don't doctors acknowledge the connection?

I have found out SO many things about fertility from doing my own research - and feel frustrated that I didn't know any of this before.

I think someone else stated above - and I would agree - get a thyroid work up. Not just the "TSH" (which is what most doctors consider to be the only test needed to diagnose any thyroid dysfunction) but also thyroid antibodies! Your TSH can be in the 'normal' range but if your antibody levels are high, your thyroid is being attacked and it is an autoimmune disorder and it does impact fertility.

Glad to know that others experienced good results in getting pregnant by going off of gluten. I am praying this will be my experience too.

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Here's what I find so frustrating - I cannot get a doctor to acknowledge any kind of link between gluten and fertility.

I'm not sure anyone has proved a gluten connection but there is a celiac and/or gluten-intolerant connection: It took me all of FIVE minutes to find the following peer-reviewed research papers, which should be official enough to show your doc.(Docs tend to dismiss anything that is not peer-reviewed.)

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1383343/

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15548153

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20537625

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21682114?dopt=Abstract

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18368491

Going off gluten is a good step, even if one isn't diagnosed. A gluten-free diet can be as nutrient-dense and healthy as a gluten-containing diet (in other words, eating gluten-free isn't a deficient diet in and of itself.)

From my experience, I had celiac symptoms since I was 16 or 17 and had two totally healthy babies and no miscarriages even while on gluten. My point is not to freak out if you are newly gluten-free...give it time.

If your periods are irregular or if you've had miscarriages or inability to get pregnant, go strictly gluten-free and try not to stress - though I agree it is stressful. Good luck to everyone!

P.S. Make sure to read the last link above.

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