Celiac disease is a disease that causes problems with digestion due to the the small intestine’s sensitivity to gluten. It can have a number of side effects, such as bloating, cramping, diarrhea and stomach pain. Celiac disease can lead to infertility by causing the malabsorption of nutrients and changing hormone levels. In fact it has been shown that people who are gluten-sensitive, decreases their absorption of Vitamin B12 and zinc, both which are necessary for healthy egg and sperm production.
Unfortunately, many people who suffer from celiac disease are undiagnosed. Since the symptoms often resemble those of other digestive issues, such as irritable bowel syndrome, it is not uncommon for individuals to remain untested for the disease. For those who struggle with fertility issues, getting checked for celiac disease could reveal if their sensitivity to their diet is causing infertility. The BEST test is the HLA genetic test for gluten.
Lack of Nutrients
As mentioned above, Celiac disease can make it difficult for the intestine to properly absorb nutrients from food. This could lead to a lack of the essential nutrients needed for both men and women’s reproductive health. In woman, this could cause hormonal imbalance, while men can experience a reduction in sperm and lower sperm quality.
Increased Prolactin Levels
Many individuals with celiac disease experience an increase in prolactin levels that can negatively affect their fertility. In women, this increase in the hormone can cause an imbalance in other hormone levels, disrupting ovulation and causing irregular menstrual cycles. In men, the increased prolactin levels can lower sperm count
Low Sperm Count
In some men, celiac disease causes a decrease in hormone levels. This decrease, along with other changes caused by celiac disease, can lead to low sperm count and even infertility. Fortunately, men who commit to a gluten free diet are often capable of increasing their low testosterone levels and bringing their sperm count back up.
A gluten free diet is one that eliminates all gluten containing foods, such as wheat, rye, oats and barley. This type of diet has shown to have a number of health benefits, and for those suffering from celiac disease, could reverse the symptoms causing their infertility. A great diet plan to follow if going gluten-free is the Paleo diet.
Source: Healthy Fertility and Baby