Celiac disease is a condition that affects one in 100 Americans.  It is gaining in attention and awareness.  However, although most literature refers to the disease as causing bloating, abdominal pain, bowel changes, and weight loss; there is a whole subset of symptoms and conditions that are lesser known.  Other symptoms include, but are not limited to:

–    Fertility problems
–    Headaches
–    Muscle pain
–    Joint pain
–    Skin rash
–    Iron deficiency anemia
–    Reduction in bone mass density
–    Liver function abnormalities
–    Hair loss
–    Headaches
–    Menstrual irregularities
–    Fatigue

These are significant, especially for women.  When evaluating infertility, Celiac disease is seldom considered.  But according to recent research, it should be.  Up to eight percent of women with Celiac disease have unexplained fertility, compared to one percent of the general population.  Therefore, it makes sense that all women experiencing unexplained infertility should be tested for the disease.  A blood test or an endoscopy can be done to determine if Celiac may be the cause of infertility or any of the above listed symptoms.
Unfortunately, the only “treatment” for Celiac at this time is maintaining a strict, life-long, gluten-free diet. This can be very hard to do because of hidden ingredients not labeled specifically as gluten.  A Biopharmaceutical company, BioLineRx, recognized the need to improve the quality of life for Celiac patients.  They are currently conducting pre-clinical trials on a drug which is an oral treatment that reduces the toxic effect of gluten in Celiac patients.  It does this by decreasing the body’s digestion of wheat gluten.  The significant thing about this drug is that it has shown to be very safe because it is not absorbed systemically.  This is an exciting potential treatment that those with Celiac disease can hopefully look forward to in the near future!  And as always, I will keep you abreast of the latest developments in my blog.

As a Gastroenterologist, I commonly look for non-traditional signs and symptoms of Celiac disease.  I would be interested in knowing if anyone has been diagnosed with Celiac disease, but were not experiencing the classical gastrointestinal symptoms.  Please write back and let me know.

Disclaimer: The information presented on this website is not intended to take the place of your personal physician’s advice and is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.  Discuss this information with your healthcare provider to determine what is right for you.  All information is intended for your general knowledge only and is not a substitute for medical advice or treatment for specific medical condition