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Gluten Sensitivity and Reproductive Problems

By Elaine Moore on 3/20/2012

Celiac disease has long been associated with reproductive problems. In a recent study, researchers discovered that even latent disease or gluten sensitivity (confirmed with antibody tests) can cause reproductive problems, including unexplained infertility, recurrent abortions (miscarriages), stillbirths or intrauterine growth retardation.

Researchers in New Delhi tested 893 women including women with reproductive problems and also women with normal obstetric histories who served as controls.

Compared to the control subjects, the women with gluten sensitiviey were 5.43 times more likely to have miscarriages; 4.61 times more likely to have stillbirths; 4.51 times more likely to have unexplained infertility; and 7.75 times more likely to have intrauterine growth restriction. Rates of preterm births, low birthweight infants and caesarean births were also higher in the women with gluten sensitivity.

The researchers recommend that women with reproductive problems be tested for tissue transglutaminase and gliadin antibodies as risks may be reduced when the disease is recognized and treated with a gluten-free diet.

Source: David Douglas, "Latent Celiac Disease Tied to Reproductive Performance," Reuthers Health Information, Nov 24, 2010.

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