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Celiac disease is an immune reaction to eating gluten. The damage and problems caused by this attack can go beyond the digestive system. It has been associated with infertility in both men and women. If you are diagnosed with celiac disease, visit a fertility doctor for further tests and early guidance to ensure your fertility.
Infertility has many definitions. Some doctors have defined it as the inability to conceive and get pregnant after a whole year of unprotected sex. For women, infertility is mainly caused by ovulation problems.
In men, infertility can occur when a man produces abnormal sperm or when he does not produce enough sperm. Scientists have yet to determine a clear reason for why many people with untreated or undiagnosed celiac disease have infertility.
Celiac Disease and Women’s Infertility
According to recent medical studies, about 4% of women who are already experiencing unexplained infertility have celiac disease.
Fewer studies have been conducted on male reproductive issues associated with celiac disease. However, Italian researchers have noted that male patients have a greater risk of infertility. Male celiac patients also have a greater androgen (male hormone) deficiency, which can impact fertility.
Women with this often experience very difficult periods, which can signify possible reasons for infertility. Pregnancy complications such as severe anemia, intrauterine growth restriction, pregnancy-related hypertension, and threatened miscarriage occur more often in women with celiac disease.
Celiac Disease Treatment
Eating a gluten-free diet is the only sure treatment for celiac disease. Once you eliminate gluten, you will reduce the inflammation produced by your immune system. Gluten elimination also reduces the potential for further small intestines damage, which causes nutrient malabsorption.
Adopting a gluten-free diet can boost fertility once you are diagnosed with this disease. This will be part of a treatment strategy recommended by fertility doctors to reduce miscarriage and treat infertility.
Several issues can cause infertility. You may continue to face challenges with conceiving or carrying your pregnancy to term even after diagnosis if you have other underlying issues like:
- Thyroid disease
- Primary ovarian insufficiency
- Polycystic ovary syndrome
- Advanced paternal or maternal age
Celiac Disease Symptoms
Here are a few common symptoms of Celiac Disease that may help you identify it early.
It causes inflammation in the digestive tract resulting in bloating and digestive complications. Other causes of bloating are bowel obstruction, constipation, digestive disorders, and chronic gas.
Many people experience loose and watery stool before being diagnosed with celiac disease. Around 43% of people with this disease have diarrhea. Adhering to a gluten-free diet will help you resolve most disease symptoms, including diarrhea. It is good to note that there are other causes of diarrhea like food intolerances, stomach infections, or other intestinal issues.
Fatigue and decreased energy levels are common symptoms in patients. In one extensive study, people diagnosed with high fatigue levels due to celiac disease improved significantly after going on a gluten-free diet.
A significant weight drop and difficulty maintaining weight are usually early symptoms. Once your body’s ability to take up nutrients is impaired, malnutrition and weight loss become a huge risk.
Iron-deficiency anemia is a condition in which your blood does not have enough healthy red blood cells. Symptoms include weakness, fatigue, dizziness, headaches, and chest pain. Celiac disease makes it difficult for nutrients to get properly absorbed. This can then cause iron-deficiency anemia and a whole host of uncomfortable and painful symptoms.
People with celiac disorder usually also have iron-deficiency anemia. Poor diets, frequently using pain killers, and heavy blood loss through peptic ulcers or menstrual bleeding can also cause iron-deficiency anemia.
What Can a Fertility Doctor Do to Help with Infertility Due to Celiac Disease?
People with celiac disease may struggle with infertility if they don’t treat the disease early. A fertility doctor can help those with it conceive a child through different treatment options.
A gluten-free diet is the first step in treating infertility due to celiac disease. With the help of a dietician, a fertility doctor will create a diet plan to help you avoid all foods that contain wheat, rye, or barley and any products made from these grains, such as breads and pastas.
Next is to take vitamin and mineral supplements such as folic acid supplements or vitamin B12 injections. They are known for improving nutritional deficiency in people with it.
The fertility doctor may encourage practices like meditation and yoga to help reduce stress through relaxation. These have improved conception rates among those with infertility due to this disease.
If the patient has damaged small intestines due to inflammation, the doctor will likely recommend steroids to help control the inflammation. There is also follow-up care at regular intervals to check if the patient has responded positively to the treatment.
Visit a Fertility Doctor Today if You Have Celiac Disease
Your struggles with celiac do not need to dictate your ability to get pregnant! Find a fertility doctor that makes you feel comfortable, hopeful, and safe, and that will provide you with reliable guidance to get you the results you need.