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Gluten Intolerance and Miscarriage
9 replies to this topic
Posted 20 January 2011 - 05:54 AM
My miscarriage research has moved on to another suspect: gluten intolerance. My Mum suggested I look into this. I have had mild gastrointestinal symptoms (bloating, gas, sometimes upset stomach) since before we started TTC but I kind of stopped looking into it when I had my first m/c. Apparently there is a link. So I will be asking the FS to give me a referral for a BT.
Does anyone have experience with this or been tested?
Posted 20 January 2011 - 06:25 AM
I don't belong in this section but do have coeliac disease so I hope you don't mind me posting.
Firstly, I'm so sorry for your losses. I hope this info might be of some value to you in your TTC journey, and no matter what I hope you're blessed with a healthy baby soon.
Untreated coeliac disease (gluten allergy/intolerance for want of a better word) is associated with infertility and or recurrent miscarriages. You can find some info here at the coeliac society.
A blood test is usually the first screening test but there can be false positives and false negatives. I've also heard many stories of GPs failing to order the blood test correctly. When I had my test there were three measures I just can't think of there names at present. Will try to find put and get back to you.
The blood test is a screening test but not a diagnosis. To be diagnosed you will need to be referred to a gastroenterologist for a gastroscophy where they will take biopsies of your intestines. Given your symptoms I'd be asking your GP for a referral to a gastro regardless of the results if the blood test which can be wrong.
The gastroscophy is a day procedure done under sedation and there is no pain or anything on waking so don't stress about that.
Coeliac disease is treated by adopting a gluten free diet and eventually you'd body returns to normal, and so should your fertility. It is important to note you should continue eating gluten until the testing is complete as otherwise your body begins to heal and the results can be incorrect.
Hope this helps, happy to answer any questions. The coeliac society website is a good resource, as are the girls in the allergy section of eb.
Posted 20 January 2011 - 06:40 AM
I had trouble conceiving until my gluten intolerance was noticed & brought under control
Posted 20 January 2011 - 06:43 AM
My naturopath believes that there is a link between gluten and miscarriage even if you aren't specifically gluten intolerant/coeliac as it can exacerbate other autoimmune disorders which can in turn affect the baby/cause miscarriGe. I think I have a copy of the studies etc she showed me on this and will PM you the info.
As I have a history of low grade autoimmune disorders (and a MC at around the time that this kicks in) she put me on a GF diet this time round and so far everything is going well. Plus on top of that I have more energy,no boosting anymore etc,
I hope you find some answers soon
ETA I did get some blood tests done and as PP said there were a number of different ones. MY GP was a little reluctant to do it, but did acknowledge the link between gluten and other autoimmune issues so in the end she did order them. If your GP/FS won't order them for you a naturopath can but you wont be able to claim them on Medicare.
Edited by aphraell, 20 January 2011 - 06:45 AM.
Posted 20 January 2011 - 06:47 AM
You can be intolerant to gluten without having coeliacs. Unfortunately that can be hard to diagnose and the difficulty is that if you cut out gluten then you may test negative for coeliacs even if you are positive. If you rule out coeliacs first though it might be worth trying an elimination diet subsequently and see if you feel better.
Posted 20 January 2011 - 07:21 AM
Thanks guys. None of the Drs ever mentioned this possibility to me and I never thought to ask as my symptoms are intermittent and relatively mild. However, the first internal u/s I ever had was in late 2008 after I went to my GP complaining of bloating and discomfort. At that stage I had had the symptoms for 5 or 6 months. I then read an article (on EB, no less) about abdominal symptoms being an early sign of ovarian cancer, so the u/s was actually checking that
Posted 20 January 2011 - 08:56 AM
Info about diagnosis including blood tests here:
Also meant to say my only "symptom" was anemia (iron & B12) which didn't have an easily explained cause eg I wasnt vego, no heavy periods etc. Dont let your mild symptoms put you off. It's an easy thing to rule in or out by going through the process, and like nutsabouthazel said you may feel better GF even if not a coeliac.
Hope you get some answers soon.
Posted 20 January 2011 - 12:32 PM
Thank you ladies
I have been low in iron at times (and unfortunately can't take the pregnancy multivitamins as the iron makes my stomach more upset). I also tend to be low in Vitamin D, but not sure if that's related. I'm seeing the fertility specialist on Tuesday and will ask for a referral for the blood tests.
Posted 20 January 2011 - 12:56 PM
I don't belong in this section, but saw it in recent topics.
I am so sorry to hear about your losses.
As others have said, there can be a link.
I often wonder why a Coeliac screening blood test isn't done as a routine procedure - even when someone is first starting out on their TTC journey - it could perhaps prevent some of the heartache for some women.
It is vital that you remain on gluten, and have the tests to rule out Coeliac being an issue. The test won't work if gluten has been cut out of the diet.
Unfortunately there is still a long way to go with educating doctors - they often suggest cutting out gluten for a trial period, or they dismiss concerns because you may not have all the symptoms. There are some Coeliacs who don't have ANY symptoms!
About 1 in 100 people have Coeliac disease in Australia, and of these, 75% don't even know they have it!!!
My Dr didn't think my DD3 had Coeliac disease, but still ordered the tests and also ordered other tests. It came back positive, and she was also low in iron. A biopsy confirmed she had Coeliac disease.
When you get the blood test organised, also ask about the gene test. You need the gene to be at risk of getting Coeliac disease.
I suspect my DS has it as well - and it was a hassle getting another Dr to order the tests - when it was eventually done, only one antibody was tested for. He did order the gene test (DS is the only family member who has had that test done) and I haven't got around to finding out the results. I have kept my son low gluten and he isn't as sick as he had been. I am trying to fill him up on a lot more gluten so I can take him to my DD3's Dr, but he is refusing to eat those foods, instead he prefers to eat the gluten free food.
Good luck on your journey.
Edited by ZombieMum, 20 January 2011 - 12:57 PM.
Posted 21 January 2011 - 10:11 PM
My specialist did test for coeliac and Vit d levels in the blood tests we had done after 3 loss so no harm asking for the test when you see the specialist
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