Celiac disease and pregnancy

September 8, 2011 2:55:27 PM PDT
An illness that's becoming better understood is celiac disease, and one effect is infertility.

Celiac disease is a digestive illness where people cannot tolerate foods having wheat, rye and barley.

The government says celiac disease can be found in one out of every 133 people.

Celiac disease is diagnosed through a blood test and confirmed with an endoscopic biopsy. It is considered an auto immune disorder because cells attack the body.

It's a genetic disease but every person experiences it differently - sometimes with no symptoms; sometimes with extreme symptoms. For some women, a symptom can be not being able to get pregnant.

A new but small study found a change in diet can sometimes be effective. In the study, published in the Journal of Reproductive Medicine, four women found to have celiac disease achieved a pregnancy within a year of diagnosis by changing their diet.

Not all fertility doctors accept the celiac connection.

For more on celiac disease, visit http://digestive.niddk.nih.gov/ddiseases/pubs/celiac/