The Impact of Undiagnosed Celiac Disease in Women

Celiac disease occurs in about one percent of the world’s general population. Approximately eighty percent of people with celiac disease are undiagnosed. Celiac Disease may cause symptoms to some and none to others. Celiac disease may also come to you later in life.

It has been discovered that this disease can become active in women after pregnancy or childbirth. Many women have healthy pregnancies and later deal with multiple miscarriages and pregnancy complications.

Undiagnosed celiac disease in women can lead to symptoms that can cause damage to women physically and emotionally.

Symptoms Prior to Diagnosis of Celiac Disease

  • Pregnancy complications
  • Preterm delivery
  • Stillbirth
  • Miscarriage
  • Low birth weight of baby
  • Has to do caesarean delivery
  • Unexplained infertility
  • Reduced duration of breastfeeding
  • Postpartum hemorrhage
  • Iron deficiency anemia
  • Intrauterine growth restriction
  • Menstrual irregularities
  • Early menopause
  • endometriosis
  • osteoporosis
  • spontaneous abortions

There is evidence of reproductive-related consequences linked to CD. Pregnancy complications in undiagnosed celiac disease have been linked to studies that show vitamin and mineral deficiencies that occur when the absorbing lining, called the villi, in the small intestine is damaged through exposure to gluten.

Read this story about a woman who had no idea she had celiac disease then suffered multiple miscarriages and finally had a baby with a low birth weight.

“Of all the consequences of undiagnosed celiac disease, the stillbirth of a child or a miscarriage is particularly devastating. Sadly, I know from personal experience. That’s why getting out the word about a study like this, especially to young women and their doctors is so important. I didn’t want anyone to have to suffer what I suffered,” said Bast, founder and CEO of Beyond Celiac.

Women’s Health and Celiac Disease

Women with infertility had 3.5 times higher odds of having celiac disease. If a woman is having reproductive problems or pregnancy complications it is important for the doctor to consider testing for celiac disease.

Although undiagnosed celiac disease can cause symptoms like early menopause and stillbirths, managing a gluten free diet will take away all possible symptoms.

A gluten free diet has no more risk of reproductive problems than women in general.

If you are interested in more information on this topic, see articles from Beyond Celiac or Gastroenterology Nursing.

You may have recently found out you have celiac disease or a gluten intolerance. You are starting to realize the fact you now have to follow a strict diet that contains no gluten. If it comes down to having reproductive problems and managing a gluten diet the right choice is obvious.

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