link between celiac disease and pcos

for women with pcos, we’re told to eat a low-carb diet. we have a higher chance of getting gestational diabetes. a higher chance of diabetes later in life. insulin resistance. we feel bloated all the time, tired all the time, gain weight easily, lose weight slowly (or sometimes not at all). then there’s the fact that we don’t ovulate and cannot get pregnant on our own.

for women with celiac disease, we cannot have gluten (found in many carbs). it is an autoimmune disorder. when we eat gluten (well, at least for me), we’re bloated, gassy, fatigued, and overall not well all the time. there’s a definite link to type 1 diabetes. there’s also a link to infertility.

now, i’m not a genius, but doesn’t there seem to be similarities here? i googled celiac and pcos together on a search, and it seems many women with pcos are also celiacs. the following link is one of many (and more recent) discussions i found of women writing about their pcos and celiac disease.

here’s a link to a study done in spain re: pcos and immunity.

and another link that suggests a link between the 2.

i don’t think it’s a coincidence that i have celiac disease, pcos, and meniere’s… i really think the 3 are connected. not everyone will have the same connections, but it seems that celiacs always have a 2nd, 3rd, or more of another autoimmune disease or other disorder/syndrome. who can we ask, encourage,  and/or pressure to have more studies done about celiac disease and these connections? if celiac is the underlying disease, then shouldn’t this become a part of everyone’s annual physical? if caught early, others may not have to struggle with the other diseases/disorders/syndromes/illness that seem to come with it.


7 thoughts on “link between celiac disease and pcos

  1. No Food Diet? says:

    I just put this together today. The linking between celiac and pcos. I think that pcos must be a reaction to celiac disease. Thus a chain reaction of everything else that goes wrong in your body thereafter. It’s why people like us have a high sensitivity to alcohol as just 4 alcoholic drinks in two weeks time landed me in a hospital in which the doctor diagnosed me with an inflammed pancreas. What?! I hardly touch alcohol. Am rarely a drinker even rarely a social drinker. 5 alcoholic drinks in a year and that’s it. Nonetheless, I think our body reacts crazy to this wheat stuff. Causing our us to have an autoimmune disorder. Causing my hair to fall out. Not fun at all. I can get skinny in my legs and even my arms, but my stomach is going no where. I’m already a vegetarian, lactose intolerant….so giving up wheat is hard for me. So is giving up some of the dairy products I love. Why must I be so sensitive to food when constantly eating nothing but whole foods will definitely send me flying to a bathroom without anything to bind it.

    What am I going to do for food?

  2. Ashley says:

    I have not been diagnosed with celiac, but I have many of the symptoms. In 2007, I had a lot of tests done because of pain that I got, specifically before a BM…I was told I had IBS. Then, it got to the point that I could barely stand to sit or stand for very long, because of pain that seemed to come from my tailbone…I had blood tests done, and tests on my stool. They found a lot of fecal fat and blood in the stool but nothing else. I, also had a colonoscopy, which revealed nothing. I am still suffering.

    Also, I have had cysts on my ovaries since I was 15 or younger, and just got diagnosed with PCOS last month, by blood testing. I just learned today about celiac, and feel that there could be some relation.

    I would love to see some research and studies on this!

  3. Keri says:

    I was diagnosed with gluten-intolerace (celiacs) in October 2007. I was proudly gluten free for over a year. In December 2008 due to not having money and only having food served from the school I go to, I decided to start eating gluten again. I was so frustrated with just eating lettuce because all they served had wheat it in!

    I got married in November 2008 and we started trying to get pregnant in March 2009. I noticed I was gaining weight but for some reason my body wasn’t reacting to gluten the way it used to (pain, pain, pain). So I continued eating it. About a month and a half ago, my periods stopped (not pregnant though) and my weight gain was going up fast and I’m getting more acne and my facial hair growth is insane.

    I decided yesterday that it was time to cut out gluten again. This time for good. I already feel less bloated and I’m hoping that all the other symptoms reside. I’ve alreayd lost 4 lbs and I’m hoping that once my period returns that I’ll be able to get pregnant!

    When I decided to start eating gluten again, I had no idea that it would affect my ability to get pregnant. It’s interesting to think that the last time my periods stopped like this was when I was a few months before I got diagnosed.

    I really hope that my PCOS is related to the gluten because if I stay strong and not eat any, then things will finally be normal.

    Best of luck to you all!

  4. mamachun says:

    i agree with all of you. the food we eat really affects how we feel and how we live. it’s amazing to see the difference between pre-celiac dx and post. please see my new post “link between celiac disease and pcos II” and good luck to you ladies.

  5. Vanessa says:

    My husband and I have been trying to conceive for almost three years not. I have been on the gluten free diet for about 4.5 years now, but due to gluten being in everything (I just recently found out it is in MSG,), even though I thought I was being good, I was still putting it in my body. Anyways my husband and I have been through three IVFs and just recently on a second opinion I was diagnosed with PCOS. The new doctor’s plan is hopeful but the desperation and sadness at not being able to conceive naturally so far is heartbreaking. It is interesting the link between celiac and PCOS and I, as most of you I’m sure, feel betrayed by my body.

  6. Heidi says:

    Crikey, I am so frustrated over my health which I am very in tune with & extremely healthy and fit to the point of frustation considering I don’t look the picture of health. My figure is fine through much struggling considering I have PCOS, imbalanced hormones, cancer removed from cervix and Hashimo’s disease. Hashimo’s is the most recent developement which is under active thyroid [runs strongly in family] but hard 2 find as minor now but upon insisting on a autoimmune test which detect Hashimo’s the doctor would simply ignore me. Hashimo’s so other’s know is basically your immune system killling or attacking your thyroid gland as it sees it as a foreign object resulting in it slowly over years becoming inactive entirely. In my case it’s early days but from reading everyone’s post seems very likely to be related to celiac disease – especially for those having difficult loosing weight- look up thyroid conditions they are very similar to cealic disease – additionaly to cealic disease you could have cold hands [bad circulation], thinning hair – some get like a kind of dryness at the back of throat – like me & my Mum discribe it as a kind of need to swallow something small but it won’t go down fully. Being an autoimmune disease rather than simple underactive thyroid it can go up and down resulting in both sympthoms. I could NEVER ever drink beer and I always wondered why – with a fairly normal tolerance to alcohol I figured out in my younger years when I drank beer that I literally lost control – like got seriously drousy from as little as 2 pints – I could not handle it at all where as give me Cider or Vodka and I’d easily drink 6-10 not a problem. I never figured it was related till now and it makes so much sense. I too am trying to conceive so thought by sharing all the information it might help people as having an under active thyroid can also hinder the fertility process.

  7. Cara says:

    I just found your blog today and started crying! I’ve felt so alone in all of my health issues. I was diagnosed with PCOS in May 2007 and began having vertigo in November 2007. I did the whole physiotherapy thing (which helped a little) and continued to experience occasional hearing impairment, dizziness, vertigo, and nausea off and on. I was officially diagnosed with Meniere’s Disease in November 2009. It’s been a painful, scary, angry road. Although I KNEW there was a connection, I didn’t know what it was. I knew that my tinnitus and dizziness/vertigo were most intense right before my period. Most doctors were of no assistance. Even specialists told me that they weren’t “aware” of any research connecting the two conditions. I’ve looked at some of the research and there really isn’t much (most of it was conducted in the 1980’s)–what’s out there is obviously not being further investigated or even talked about much in med school). However, I’ve begun to hear so many anecdotal stories since talking about my own health, that there are clearly connections.

    About 2 weeks ago, I decided to go Gluten Free. I’m still trying to figure out what I can and cannot eat and have surely eating some hidden gluten. I’m hoping it will help! One of my GF friends directed me to a great website of recipes: I’m also going to try to understand more about how insulin and blood sugar impact my conditions, since that seems to be another factor in both PCOS and Meniere’s, however I need a few weeks to adjust to the whole GF situation first. I’m hopeful that eventually there will be some sort of unifying medical condition with more effective treatments. For now, I’m just going to experiment on my own health, since I cannot wait for medical science any longer.

    Thank you for sharing your journey. It helps not to feel so alone and to gain some inspiration through your own discoveries, health advocacy, and healing.

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