A New York Times reader of the paper’s Consults blog asks Dr. Sheila Crowe, a professor in the division of gastroenterology and hepatology in the department of medicine at the University of Virginia, whether foods can cause infertility.
Specifically, she wanted to know whether there is a link between eating bread and other foods containing wheat and an inability to get and stay pregnant.
Dr. Crowe’s answer, in short, is yes. For some people.
She explains that female sufferers of celiac disease, which millions of people suffer from and most without even knowing it, frequently have menstrual disorders, causing an interruption in ovulation and thereby cutting down on the opportunities to conceive.
Women with male partners who suffer from celiac disease also frequently have trouble getting pregnant, as males sufferers report a higher than average incidence of lowers sperm count and misshapen or poor functioning sperm.
Pregnant women with active celiac disease also report higher than average miscarriage or smaller babies at birth.
Dr. Crowe recommends women who have repeated miscarriages with no explanation to consider undergoing celiac screening. She said treating the disease betters the odds of conception and a healthy birth.
And the good news is that with proper treatment with a gluten-free diet and correction of nutritional deficiencies, the prognosis for future pregnancies is much improved.
Do you have celiac disease? Did you experience miscarriage? What made you finally decide to get screened? As a bread-o-holic, I’m fascinated with this condition.
Photo: NY Times.com