Infertility is an emotional journey, especially when the reason for your infertility is unexplained. After going through all the tests and still not getting any closer to an answer, you’re mentally, emotionally, and physically exhausted! Up to 25% of couples trying to conceive are given the diagnosis of unexplained infertility. However, approximately four to eight percent of these cases are found to have a hereditary disorder known as celiac disease. This underlying cause of infertility is typically found in people who have an unfavorable reaction to gluten, which damages the lining of the small intestine and prevents it from absorbing parts of food that are important for maintaining good health.
The disease may not be diagnosed initially because people with celiac disease often have no symptoms of the body’s adverse reaction to gluten. However, others experience bloating, diarrhea, abdominal upset or pain, foul-smelling or grayish stools, as well as weight loss, making diagnoses easier. Celiac disease may also present itself in less obvious ways, such as:
- Irritability or depression
- Joint pain
- Muscle cramps
- Skin rash
- Mouth sores
- Dental and bone disorders (such as osteoporosis)
- Tingling in the legs and feet (neuropathy)
When tested, antibodies and genes associated with celiac disease are present. People with celiac disease have higher than normal levels of some autoantibodies, which react against the body’s own cells or tissues. Eventually, because celiac disease decreases the body’s ability to absorb nutrients, vitamin deficiencies can prevent vital nourishment to an individual’s brain, peripheral nervous system, bones, liver, and other organs.
The Mayo Clinic reports that while celiac disease can affect anyone, it’s most commonly found in those individuals who have:
- Type 1 diabetes
- Autoimmune thyroid disease
- Down syndrome
- Microscopic colitis
Gluten is found in items like bread, pasta, cookies, pizza crust, etc. and is the combination of the gliadin and glutenin proteins. The disease causes the body’s immune system to overreact in response to the gluten in food. Some of the more well-known food items to avoid are:
- Graham flour
- Spelt (a form of wheat)
After removing gluten from your diet, the inflammation of your small intestine begins to subside within several weeks. However, you may begin to feel better in just a few days. Complete healing may take anywhere from several months to as long as three years. In addition, by modifying your diet to completely eliminate gluten, normal reproductive functions often occur.
To help you with your understanding of and planning for a gluten-free diet, ask your practitioner at ilumina Healing Sanctuary.
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