If you’ve been struggling to have a baby, celiac disease may be the roadblock standing in your way.
It may be hard to believe, but celiac disease, which causes an allergy to gluten, can actually lead to fertility problems in both men and women.
The exact reasons why this is so aren’t totally clear, but scientists do have some ideas about why fertility and celiac are related.
One of the most obvious problems is that celiac disease leads to malnutrition. Celiac disease prevents your small intestine from absorbing the nutrients you consume.
And if your body isn’t getting the nutrition it needs to function properly, it can affect your hormone levels and your ability to produce and carry a child. This is true for both men and women because it can interfere with either system.
Often, women who have celiac disease have problems with their menstrual cycles: their periods may be absent for long periods of time or you may have problems with frequent bleeding.
These types of problems indicate that you might not be ovulating regularly, which will interfere with your ability to conceive. If you're not ovulating, there's no chance of becoming pregnant.
In addition, women with celiac disease have a higher risk of complications during pregnancy. Those complications include threatened miscarriage (bleeding during pregnancy), actual miscarriage, and high blood pressure.
Pregnant women suffering from celiac may also have problems with anemia. These conditions can make it difficult to carry a pregnancy to term and can cause problems during labor and delivery that threaten both mother and child.
If you have celiac disease, it's important to let your healthcare provider know when you're trying to conceive. The good news is that by following a gluten-free diet you can actually reverse the inflammation caused by gluten and you can get your body in a healthy state.
You'll have the best chances of having successful conception and a healthy pregnancy when you begin with a healthy body. That means that it’s best to have your celiac disease under control before attempting to get pregnant.
The best way to control celiac is through diet. You'll need to eliminate gluten from the foods you eat. This can be difficult initially, but the improvement in your health condition is worth the effort.
It's always best to work with your healthcare provider to make sure you receive the proper medical treatment along with your diet. In severe cases of celiac, medical intervention is required. Celiac disease and fertility problems can go hand-in-hand, but you can work to improve your chances of pregnancy.
Known for her successful approach towards chronic wellness issues, Jennifer Baer, Nurse Practitioner and her team at Horizons of Health combine an integrative, functional medicine approach.
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