Gluten issues, celiac disease or even gluten intolerance can cause “female issues”.
In my life, I was a ‘late bloomer’ and later on, experienced several miscarriages. At the time, I did not know what was happening to me, but now I know that gluten ‘poisoning’ probably had lots to do with it!
According to Jane Anderson of About.com: Celiac Disease and Gluten Intolerance:
… girls with undiagnosed celiac disease seem to get a late start, at least in some research reports. For example, in one study, girls who were later diagnosed with celiac disease started their periods at a significantly older age than their non-celiac peers — 13.6 years, compared to 12.7 years for a control group. Another study found an even later average age of menarche for celiac girls: 16.16 years.
Some researchers blame malnutrition from untreated celiac disease or malabsorption of important nutrients for delayed menarche, while others say that gluten itself could be having some undiscovered effect on girls’ reproductive systems.
I remember very well, when I started my first period. I was 14 and in high school. I think I was the last girl in my class to reach that point in my development. To further add to my discomfort, I did not start ‘developing’ until just a few months before that time. Being the smallest girl in my class, at least until I started jr. high (7th grade), made me even more subconscious!
Obviously, I made it through those years and developed fine from that point on.
It wasn’t until my child bearing years, that more ‘female issues’ began to surface. I had three miscarriages. All, I was told, were unrelated! The doctors really had no explanation for the causes any of them. First time, I miscarried for unknown reasons; Second time, the cord tore or detached from the baby; Third time, I was using a IUD, but conceived and miscarried before I even knew I was pregnant.
Once I was diagnosed with gluten sensitivity and did some research, I realized that the gluten issues may have been problems.
Jane Anderson further reports on this issue:
In a large study looking at the reproductive life cycle of Italian celiac women, the researchers found nearly twice as many miscarriages in women with celiac disease as they did in women without the condition. Other studies have conformed that finding, with one team of medical researchers reporting the rate of “spontaneous abortion” (i.e., miscarriage) among untreated celiac women is nearly nine times higher.
Now, I don’t have full blown Celiac disease, but it appears that the gluten ‘poisoning’ may have caused or at least added to my miscarriage problems.
NOTE: I had four healthy pregnancies, and four children, so the gluten problem did not affect all my pregnancies!
How about you? Did you experience any unusual ‘female problems’ that may have been caused by unknown gluten issues?