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Gluten: Could This Everyday Food Be Causing Your Infertility?
a blog by marie lee, March 2, 2010
Cereal in the morning? Bread? Pasta? Love those bagels? Believe it or not, what was once considered healthy may be lethal to your fertility.
I used to love Sunday bagels, but then I felt terrible for the rest of the day. Bagels are made with HIGH gluten flour and gluten can cause problems for people who lack the genetic ability to break it down into smaller amino acids that can be absorbed. Because it doesn't get broken down, the immune system recognizes it as a "foreign protein," and attacks it. Gluten can act as an intestinal abrasive.
Gluten can also aggravate a thyroid condition which is also tied to your fertility. Apparently, people who have celiac disease, a disorder in which your body makes antibodies to gluten (and is also linked with infertility), often have anti-thyroid antibodies, and vice versa. Elisabeth Hasselbeck from The View had trouble conceiving until she was diagnosed with celiac disease and now she has *three* kids. A study from Harvard's Brigham and Women's hospital showed that people with anti-thyroid antibodies (also known as Hashimoto's thyroiditis) often can reduce the inflammation by following a gluten-free diet.
Given how important the thyroid is for regulating hormones (including fertility hormones), it seems like going gluten-free (not just wheat-free, gluten is the protein in wheat that is also found in oats, rye, spelt and is often ADDED to products labeled "wheat free") can't hurt and might help.
Sure, I miss pizza but I feel tons better, and, interestingly, my husband (who is super healthy and has no issues at all) actually said he felt better, too. He wasn't sure if it was his imagination, but after a couple of times traveling where he fell off the wagon, he realized gluten made him feel tired. Our son is autistic and many people remove gluten from the diet for this reason, so our whole family is wheat and gluten free.
It's not just ordinary folks who are going ths route. Many athletes looking to maximize their performance are also choosing to go wheat and gluten free because these ingredients are hard to digest and hard on the immune system.
Again, talk about the pros and cons with your doctor/nutritionist. Maybe talk to your doctor about getting tested for celiac. You can read about what Dr. Mercola thinks about gluten and fertility here.