Associated Conditions, Symptoms

Gluten and Infertility

0 Comments 21 April 2009

Gluten and Infertility

A study of women with celiac disease demonstrated that those on gluten-containing diets had shorter fertile periods, greater spontaneous abortions and greater overall infertility compared to those on gluten-free diets. [Scandinavian Journal of Gastroenterology – “Coeliac Disease, Fertility and Pregnancy”]

What is the mechanism behind this?

Those women with gluten sensitivity and celiac disease suffer from malabsorption.  There is so much inflammation in their intestines that certain key nutrients are not properly absorbed.  Folic acid deficiency is considered to be a key nutrient associated with spontaneous abortions and a birth defect called spina bifida.  While folic acid malabsorption may be a component to this picture, it is far from the only culprit.

Due to malabsorption, blood sugar is unstable.  A woman eats but all the good nutrition from her meal is not adequately delivered to her cells.  Her blood fuel level gets erratic.  She may crave sweets or salt or simple carbohydrates or even caffeine as a “solution” to this drop in blood sugar.

But on a deeper level her adrenal glands are stressed.  These very busy glands, also known as our stress glands, are responsible for keeping blood sugar levels stable. When they aren’t the adrenal glands launch into a stress response known as catabolism (think cannibalism).  What are the adrenal glands cannibalizing? Your organ systems.  Yes, they are eating you from within when they’re stressed.  Sound odd?  Of course!  But have you ever been very tired and suddenly gotten a “second wind” without eating?  Have you every been ready to fall asleep in a meeting and then “come out of it” only to be alert again?

How does that happen?  Where does that “second wind” come from?  It comes from your adrenal glands.  They are responsible for keeping you going despite what the environment is throwing at you.

On one hand it’s a great ability.  It’s nice to be able to get a second wind.  But what if you’re asking your body to do this daily?  What if it’s happening several times a day?  The result is tired adrenal glands, cannibalism and hormonal imbalance.

You see, the adrenal glands make many hormones.  The make adrenaline to give you energy and they make the precursors to all the sex hormones.  When they’re tired and they can’t do everything, which do you think they’ll do – make adrenaline to get you through your day or make sex hormones?  You guessed it, they make adrenaline.

The result?  Inefficient hormonal production resulting in infertility, miscarriages, premature menopause. The very hormone needed to keep a fetus in the womb for the first trimester is the hormone that is “stolen” to make more adrenaline in a fatigued adrenal gland state.

The exciting thing is that something can be done about it. You don’t have to continue to suffer with weak adrenal glands.  Actually they’re not that hard to fix and the program to normalize their function is a natural one, meaning no drugs or surgery.

So, look at the list below and if you have some of the symptoms listed, consider having your adrenal function evaluated.  Be sure that you find a clinician that’s familiar with treating adrenal malfunction because we’re not talking about adrenal gland disease.  That’s a very serious matter and fortunately quite rare.  Adrenal malfunction is very common but you do need to work with someone who treats it regularly and successfully.

Symptoms of Adrenal Gland Malfunction

If you have 3 or more of these symptoms, have your adrenal glands evaluated.

  • Fatigue
  • Interruption in sleep
  • Difficulty waking in morning
  • Joint and muscle aches
  • Weight gain that is resistant to diet or exercise
  • Frequent infections
  • Fertility problems
  • PMS
  • Poor concentration/memory
  • Migraines
  • Depression/mood swings
  • Low blood sugar
  • Allergies
  • Light headedness/ fainting
  • Asthma
  • Skin conditions
  • Thyroid imbalances

Please feel free to contact me at HealthNow Medical Center if you have any questions.

- who has written 7 posts on Gluten Free Fox.

Dr. Petersen, a Chiropractor and Certified Clinical Nutritionist, is Clinic Director for HealthNOW Medical Center located in Sunnyvale, CA. Dr. Petersen has been in private practice for over 20 years. HealthNOW consists of a team of doctors specializing in internal medicine, clinical nutrition, chiropractic and physical therapy. HealthNOW designs treatment programs tailored to the individual with the goal of achieving optimal health by identifying the root cause of a patient’s health condition. Dr Petersen is co-author of the book: The Gluten Effect – How “Innocent” Wheat is Ruining Your Health. As a national lecturer, Dr. Petersen appears regularly as a speaker in Silicon Valley and is also a national, as well as international, radio personality. To learn more visit or

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