Celiac Disease and Reproductive Health
By: Alice Bast, Tom O’Bryan, Elizabeth Bast
Despite re-classification of celiac disease as a rare disease of childhood to a common disease affecting men, women and children at any age, most of the three million estimated sufferers remain undiagnosed. Proper education concerning the various symptoms and manifestations of the disease is necessary to increase prompt and accurate diagnosis. Celiac disease’s potentially negative effect on reproductive health is among the most pressing matters associated with advancing awareness. Men and women with unexplained infertility, women with recurrent abortions, intrauterine growth retardation, low birth weight babies and menstrual disorders are rarely screened for celiac disease despite scientific studies that indicate a correlation. In the following article, we will examine the evidence for these occurrences in a literature review, examine potential theories about their cause, and discuss the need for additional research and the addition of a celiac testing to the differential diagnosis in women with reproductive health problems.