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Celiac disease linked to fertility problems

Lana Bandoim's picture

A new study focuses on the connection between celiac disease and fertility problems in women. The disorder manifests itself through multiple symptoms, and researchers believe infertility may be one of the issues. Compared to the general population, women who suffer from celiac disease are at a higher risk of having fertility problems.


Researchers from India compared data from several studies to discover that women struggling with infertility had a 3.5 times higher chance of also having celiac disease. In addition, the results published in the Journal of Clinical Gastroenterology reveal that women struggling with unexplained infertility had a 6 times higher chance of also having celiac disease. Scientists point out that, compared to the general population, celiac disease appears to be more common in women who are having fertility problems.

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Researchers recommend that doctors pay attention to symptoms and test for celiac disease in women who are struggling to conceive. In some cases, these women have undiagnosed celiac disease and are not following a gluten-free diet. Other factors may also play a role, so it is important to seek answers. Scientists continue to explore what is causing infertility, and some believe malabsorption, a common issue for people with celiac disease, is part of the problem.

It is important to note that symptoms vary from person to person, so establishing clear guidelines is not easy. Dr. Ralph Warren points out that in some cases infertility is the only symptom for women who are suffering from celiac disease. Dr. Peter Green offers patients hope by mentioning that in some cases the fertility problems may be reversed through treatments for celiac disease. Elisabeth Hasselbeck has frequently talked about her own fertility struggles with celiac disease, and she credits changing her lifestyle by eliminating gluten for helping her achieve the dream of becoming a mother.

Read more about celiac disease:
Doctors ignore proper celiac disease diagnosis and care
Celiac disease tripled in children in last 20 years



The first step is to diagnose celiac disease. "Celiac disease is often not diagnosed, i.e. many people with small or not immediately apparent symptoms are not treated. Currently, approximately 10 % of the people affected are diagnosed and under medical supervision."