Infertility: Could Gluten Play A Part?

By: Alisa Vitti

Gluten, gluten, gluten! It seems like gluten has been a big topic of conversation lately. Grocery store shelves are lined with gluten-free products, restaurants are catering to gluten intolerance, and celiac disease is becoming a familiar term. But something that may seem like just another fad is actually a much more serious health concern, especially for those of us who already have underlying hormonal sensitivities.

Over the past decade, we at Laughing Sage Wellness have seen the connection between gluten sensitivity and hormonal balance and have helped thousands of women use food as medicine to heal their reproductive health. We're so excited that science is finally catching up! Recent research has determined that gluten intolerance, or celiac disease, may also be a cause of infertility.

Here are some facts you should know:

  • 1 in 133 people have celiac disease, but rates of undiagnosed or hidden celiac disease people bring that number up to 1 in 2
  • Infertile women are 10 times more likely to have celiac disease than fertile women.
  • 39% of women with celiac disease suffer from ammenorhea (absent menstrual cycles)

You may be wondering why that is. In people with gluten allergies or sensitivities, when gluten is consumed, the immune system responds by destroying the villi (small, finger-like projections) on the small intestine. This causes malabsorption of nutrients and a slower transit time of food passing through the intestines. Slower transit time means that excess estrogen and other hormones and toxins are not eliminated from the body properly, contributing to a hormonal balance that can interfere with ovulation.

Our partnering fertility center, The Sher Institue for Reproductive Medicine, recognizes the correlation between their patients fertility and diet, which is why we at Laughing Sage have become their number one referral partner for women looking to preserve their fertility and conceive a child.

Some symptoms that indicate you may be at risk of infertility and/or a gluten allergy:

  • Bloating, gas or abdominal pain
  • Diarrhea or constipation
  • Chronic fatigue and weakness
  • Indigestion
  • Absent or irregular menstrual cycles
  • Prolonged use of hormonal contraceptives
  • Skin issues
  • Fatigue and/or weakness
  • Irritability or behavior change

If you're having menstrual irregularities, digestive distress, and/or trouble conceiving that seems undiagnosable to doctors, talk to us. There's a good chance your diet is not supporting your hormonal balance, and our protocol was designed specifically to address this issue.

LSW is committed to helping you understand the amazing natural healing options that are available to you, so that you can make knowledgeable, powerful choices about how to care for your body and your menstrual and sexual health.Our programs and workshops are designed to help you find the right medicinal foods for healing your condition as we support you to understand, accept, and enjoy your woman's body.