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PCOS and Gluten

Posted by on May. 26, 2010 at 11:27 AM
  • 4 Replies

After talking to a personal trainer friend of mine, who is very much into clean, healthy eating and natural medicine, she mentioned that gluten might have something to do with my infertility.  This is something I had never heard of or thought to look into, so I found this online.  Just thought I would share, since I have been diagnosed with PCOS, AF is pretty much MIA at all times unless I take Provera and I have been TTC for 2 years with no success, not even on Chlomid, my next step would be shots, but I have been putting that off, not really as far as I wanted to go.  But I'm going to go Gluten free and see what happens : )

g Infertility Site
Editor Wanted
BellaOnline's Infertility Editor

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Hidden Gluten Sensitivity a Leading Cause of Infertility
Guest Author - Julie Renee Holland

Hidden Gluten Sensitivity a Leading Cause of Infertility

That bagel you had for breakfast just might be one of the reasons you haven’t been able to get pregnant. A hidden sensitivity to a protein in grain can cause infertility, depression, diarrhea, constipation, anemia and fatigue. This protein, called gluten, is present in wheat, rye, oats, triticale, spelt, kamut, and other grains. Gluten sensitivity is related to celiac disease, but it is much more common.

While celiac disease affects approximately 1 in 133 people, hidden gluten sensitivity may affect as many as 1 person out of every 2. Celiac disease has dramatic symptoms including rapid weight loss and severe anemia. Hidden celiac disease or gluten sensitivity can remain hidden precisely because the symptoms are not apparent. Gluten sensitivity can be determined with a blood test, but if it is still in the early stages it may not show on a blood test.

Melissa Diane Smith is a nutritionist and health educator. She is also the author of Going Against the Grain, an explanation of how a sensitivty to gluten can ruin your health and what you can do about it. Smith spoke at the After the Diet PCOS conference in April 2006 where she talked about the infertility and gluten sensitivity. She stated that gluten sensitivity is a leading cause of recurrent miscarriage.

Symptoms of gluten sensitivity can include anemia, abdominal pain, bloating and gas, depression, fatigue, diahrrea and constipation. Gluten sensitivity is associated with a variety of other disease including infertility, autism, autoimmune diseases, frequent headaches, psoriasis and skin conditions as well as other problems. Women with celiac disease who do not follow a gluten-free diet have been found to enter menopause 4-5 years earlier than other women.

In addition, up to 39% of women with celiac disease have been shown to have periods of amenorhea (no periods). Clearly, if you are sensitive to gluten it can negatively impact your reproduction. Men with celiac disease have also been shown to have reduced fertility. While gluten sensitivity is not different than celiac disease, it only makes sense to investigate gluten sensitivity while battling unexplained infertility.

Smith said that 85% of her PCOS clients test positive for a sensitivity to gluten. When these women remove gluten from their diets they often see a marked improvement in their PCOS symptoms. She has also seen dramatic improvement in cholesterol levels, thyroid function and weight loss in women who have changed their diets to avoid gluten.

Smith recommends that women who suffer from gluten sensitivity avoid gluten containing foods including hidden gluten such foods as soy sauce, teas and foods containging barley malt, vegetable protein made from wheat gluten, and beer. Don't just replace the high glutne grains with more starchy or sugary foods though or you run the risk of developing insulin resistance. Instead, focus on fresh vegetables.

For more information about gluten sensitivity read Going Against the Grain: How Reducing and Avoiding Grains Can Revitalize Your Health. You can find gluten-free living information at .

Daisypath - (JeWT)

by on May. 26, 2010 at 11:27 AM
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Replies (1-4):
chelleybeans
by on May. 26, 2010 at 11:29 AM

 I know  "symptom" of Celiac's is infertility. I dunno if that causes it for me though. I have never had any digestive issues whatsoever in my life. I have PCOS too.

Tangie1118
by on May. 26, 2010 at 12:01 PM


Quoting chelleybeans:

 I know  "symptom" of Celiac's is infertility. I dunno if that causes it for me though. I have never had any digestive issues whatsoever in my life. I have PCOS too.

See, I do have IBS, and its alwasy worse when I eat pasta and things, so I think I might have a gluten intolerance, but not an actual allergy. 

Daisypath - (JeWT)

runmamarun123
by on May. 26, 2010 at 10:55 PM

If you're going to get tested for Celiacs (which I would suggest so you know ), you have to be eating gluten when they perform the test.  Uncontrolled Celiacs disease can be a major cause of infertility and frequent miscarriages.  If you actually have the disease, you have to go further than just not eating pasta, which is why I would get an official test...it's a big life change to go 100% Gluten Free.  Intolerance won't show up on a test for Celiac's disease and generally you do not need to be as strict with the diet. 

I am a Celiac and was on a strict GF diet for 2 years before trying to conceive our first baby, which only took 2 months.

 

Feel free to contact me if you have any questions!

jenniferw10
by on May. 26, 2010 at 11:12 PM

I am a Celiac as well. I have been on a strict GF and Dairy Free diet since December of 2008 when I was finally diagnosed. We have been trying to conceive since May 2009. I am hoping that I don't have infertility issues due to the celiac prior to being diagnosed.

Good Luck. There are a lot of ways to be GF and many more options now than ever before.

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