Thread: PCOS Linked to Gluten Allergy
07-16-2009, 06:53 PM #1
PCOS Linked to Gluten Allergy
Hello everyone. I am writing this in hopes it helps some of you. 8 years ago I started gaining weight for no reason, I was a serious exerciser and ate healthy. I also started getting migraines and brain fog and I was tired all the time. My periods were very sporadic and sometimes I didn't menstruate for moths. Month after month and year after year I tried to find the answers in the medical community. Doctor and doctor treated the symptoms separately, or with doubt. They prescribed medication and health plans, nothing worked. Finally after 6 years I was diagnosed with PCOS, at this point I had gained 100 pounds and felt very sick and in pain from my migraines.
I tried every diet and medication the doctors told me to do to loose the weight, barely any came off. I exercised until I was blue int he face, nothing worked. I became hopeless.
I then found out the link between insulin resistance and PCOS. I tried an insulin resistant diet, which cut all rice, potatoes and wheat products from my diet. I started to loose some weight and feel a little better. One day, after loosing about 20 pounds, I decided to try making the low glycemic index bran muffins. Within an hour after eating one I had a terrible migraine. I tried days later and the same thing happened.
This led me to my big discovery. I have a problem eating gluten, which is in wheat. The PCOS developed because the gluten made my body attack itself. The PCOS, the migraines, the fog and the fatigue were all symptoms of the root cause...gluten. I am not a celiac but am gluten intolerant. Please please please I urge you, whether you have my same symptoms or not, to try a gluten free diet for 2 weeks or even better a month. See if things start improving for you to.
I wish you all luck in your journey. My ovaries are now not polycistic, they have returned to normal. I have lost 70 pounds. I no longer have migraines or brain fog and the fatigue is gone. I feel like myself again and I am gradually feeling better everyday as my body repairs itself.
Some great resources, I can't post URL's since I have not made my 15 posts requirement so google the below:
Health Now and their book The Gluten Effect
07-16-2009, 06:55 PM #2
Hidden Gluten Sensitivity a Leading Cause of Infertility
That bagel you had for breakfast just might be one of the reasons you havenít been able to get pregnant. A hidden sensitivity to a protein in grain can cause infertility, depression, diarrhea, constipation, anemia and fatigue. This protein, called gluten, is present in wheat, rye, oats, triticale, spelt, kamut, and other grains. Gluten sensitivity is related to celiac disease, but it is much more common.
While celiac disease affects approximately 1 in 133 people, hidden gluten sensitivity may affect as many as 1 person out of every 2. Celiac disease has dramatic symptoms including rapid weight loss and severe anemia. Hidden celiac disease or gluten sensitivity can remain hidden precisely because the symptoms are not apparent. Gluten sensitivity can be determined with a blood test, but if it is still in the early stages it may not show on a blood test.
Melissa Diane Smith is a nutritionist and health educator. She is also the author of Going Against the Grain, an explanation of how a sensitivty to gluten can ruin your health and what you can do about it. Smith spoke at the After the Diet PCOS conference in April 2006 where she talked about the infertility and gluten sensitivity. She stated that gluten sensitivity is a leading cause of recurrent miscarriage.
Symptoms of gluten sensitivity can include anemia, abdominal pain, bloating and gas, depression, fatigue, diahrrea and constipation. Gluten sensitivity is associated with a variety of other disease including infertility, autism, autoimmune diseases, frequent headaches, psoriasis and skin conditions as well as other problems. Women with celiac disease who do not follow a gluten-free diet have been found to enter menopause 4-5 years earlier than other women.
In addition, up to 39% of women with celiac disease have been shown to have periods of amenorhea (no periods). Clearly, if you are sensitive to gluten it can negatively impact your reproduction. Men with celiac disease have also been shown to have reduced fertility. While gluten sensitivity is not different than celiac disease, it only makes sense to investigate gluten sensitivity while battling unexplained infertility.
Smith said that 85% of her PCOS clients test positive for a sensitivity to gluten. When these women remove gluten from their diets they often see a marked improvement in their PCOS symptoms. She has also seen dramatic improvement in cholesterol levels, thyroid function and weight loss in women who have changed their diets to avoid gluten.
Smith recommends that women who suffer from gluten sensitivity avoid gluten containing foods including hidden gluten such foods as soy sauce, teas and foods containging barley malt, vegetable protein made from wheat gluten, and beer. Don't just replace the high glutne grains with more starchy or sugary foods though or you run the risk of developing insulin resistance. Instead, focus on fresh vegetables.
For more information about gluten sensitivity read Going Against the Grain. You can find gluten-free living information at .
07-16-2009, 06:57 PM #3
Hormons and Highchairs blog entry by mamachun
i previously wrote about a possible link between celiac disease and pcos, and for me, that possibility is stronger than ever. my menstrual cycles were about 65 to 90 days apart, pre-celiac disease dagnosis. i always thought it was pcos that caused me to have the extra weight, the constant bloating, and the hormonal outbursts. esp this past year, aside from the illnesses, i didnít have periods that were less than 3 months apart. dx and gluten free diet began mid march. my first ďrealĒ period on may 10 (see previous blog). and i was waiting to see if i had to wait 3 months or if i could possibly become regular again.
drum roll pleaseÖ 5 weeksÖ thatís only 35 daysÖ i have another period. can you believe it? and i have a feeling i ovulated too. i woke up a couple of weeks ago with extreme pain in my right lower abdomen. i thought my appendix had burst, and i couldnít move, almost woke up the hubbie to take me to ER. i forced myself to lay on my right side, which made it worse. then i moved onto my left, and the pain slowly subsided. a couple of days ago, i happened to come across another womanís comment, on a site that i donít remember the name of, who said after going gluten free for some time (also has pcos), she had sudden pain and thought her appendix had burst. she went to the ER, and it wasnít her appendix. one of the cysts in her ovary burst, and she had ovulated. lightbulb!!
for those of you who have pcos AND celiac disease of gluten intolerance, we have hope. eating gluten free is extremely important. itís difficult and frustrating, but when i think of how good i feel, how i donít have emotional outbursts anymore, i have zero bloating and am losing weight steadily, and no more physical pain, i donít want to eat foods with gluten. there have definitely been days when i gave in, and i knowingly and willingly had a gluten meal. since dx, i think i had 3 such meals. there were also times when i unknowingly had gluten. but these little bumps are ok, and we need to get back on track afterwards. please share your stories. i really enjoy reading about how lives are being changed for the better once we get the Ďevilí gluten out of our bodies.
for those of you who have pcos but do not know if you have celiac disease or not, please find out. and even if you donít have it, try cutting out wheat and other gluten foods. eat lots of fruits, veggies, and protein (w/o gluten sauces).
good luck out there! i will try to post more often, but with 2 little ones, the days just fly by. i do a lot of research online about celiac disease and pcos, but donít always get to put my thoughts together to write them down. if you ever need more info or have questions, please let me know. it will definitely help me to write more.
07-17-2009, 05:30 AM #4
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"My ovaries are now not polycistic, they have returned to normal."
Wow, this is great news!!
Within the last month, I have switched to a high-raw vegan diet, cut out all rice, pasta, bread and starches from my diet. I have been feeling 300% better. I'm losing weight - people are noticing - and my moods are just overall elevated.
I have been eating some seitan (gluten product), though, but after reading your story, I feel like I should stop.
It's really motivating to hear that you were actually able to reverse your symptoms. Thank you for sharing!Annalei (35) & Kainoa (38)
Cycle 3: Clomid 100mg + Guaifenesin BFP on CD11!!!!
Currently pregnant with Twin di/di Boys!
07-17-2009, 07:53 AM #5
Hi kapuakea. Yes I had an ultrasound almost every years since I was diagnosed 4-5 years ago and the past one came out with normal looking ovaries, no more honeycombs in there (that's the way they always looked to me ;-). I started out on the insulin resistant diet and once I added wheat back into my diet in the form of bran the migraines would return suddenly, so they were a big red flag, others have more silent and subtle symptoms.
I'm glad to hear you are feeling better too ;-)
07-17-2009, 12:09 PM #6
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Wow...this is an eye opener for me! I had no idea the two could be related. My niece has celiac disease so I know a lot from her regimen and I'm going try this for a month starting right NOW!
07-17-2009, 04:04 PM #7
You may find you feel better. Gluten free isn't a magic pill but when you look at the science of it and the testimonials it really does seem to be the culprit behind many women's PCOS and infertility. A malnourished body can't function properly and essentially that is celiac and other gluten intolerance do. Best of luck! ;-) Keep me posted
07-17-2009, 07:09 PM #8
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This is very interesting!
A couple of months ago I overhauled my diet and decided on a "primal / paleo" type approach. I rapidly lost half a stone, put it back on when forced to eat "normally" away from home, and am back on the right track recently.
This diet is of course gluten free, as all grains are cut out...
Seems like a few approaches are converging on the same few basic principles
And some good results occuring!
07-18-2009, 10:12 AM #9
Its funny how that happens. Wheat has only been in the human diet for a relatively short time considering the amount of time we've walked earth. And in its highly processed form even shorter. It doesn't seem like the best addition, a lot more people than the medical community believe actually have reactions to it.
I'm glad to hear your new diet is helping you feel better, it was a blessing for me to finally feel human again.
07-18-2009, 03:07 PM #10
I'm quite a proponent of gluten free. I have quite a few food allergies and I am also gluten intolerant. Frankly I don't want to find out if I am Celiac, although my allergist is pretty sure of it and so am I since I have had the problems associated with it since I was a child.
Being off of gluten and my other allergens have made a huge difference in how I feel but it still took portion control and exercise for me to have lost 184 pounds. Losing weight helps with controlling the symptoms of PCOS but is definitely not a cure. Being gluten free has helped my body function better but my PCOS has not gone away. I am considered to be a thin cyster now but still have issues to deal with like endometrial hyperplasia because of excess estrogen in my body.
I don't want to be a naysayer but rather just say to continue to monitor your body through blood work and checkups to make sure that your PCOS stays undercontrol.
It never hurts to have a healthy body from a nutritional standpoint but this shouldn't be touted as a cureall in my humble opnion and experience.
07-20-2009, 09:00 AM #11
I have tried cutting out all gluten products before, and ended up having severe cravings, to the point where I would go and binge eat. Is there any way to prevent this from happening?
07-20-2009, 11:43 AM #12
Hi Dragonbabyx3. A lot of people with gluten issues have serious food cravings because their body is malnourished, the main cause of all the other health problems from gluten issues. Your cravings start to get better once your body is better nourished. When going gluten free you have to remember to add good foods like vegetables, fruits and meat to your diet and maybe some supplements to start your body back on the right track. A good article on this is http://www.celiac.com/articles/1034/...EdD/Page1.html
08-05-2009, 04:46 PM #13
I am so happy I found this thread! I was diagnosed with PCOS after the birth of my first DS. I kept telling the doctors my hormones weren't right after having him. After infertility issues I was diagnosed with PCOS. I've suffered a miscarriage since then and was able to deliver another DS who just turned one. A couple of months ago I was diagnosed with a gluten allergy. I have been trying to follow a gluten-free diet and have felt much better. I still find it hard to stay away 100%, but I need to be better at it. I feel better, more energy, headaches are better, and I've also felt the ovary pain that might be me ovulating again! I'm wondering how long it takes for the body to heal itself. Is it a slow process? I started out thin and have gained a good 60+ pounds. Will that get better too? I definitely think there is a correlation between my PCOS and my gluten allergy!Hidden Content
Oldest DS born 02/20/2004!
Middle DS born on 07/29/08!
Youngest DS born on 11/11/10!
08-06-2009, 09:42 AM #14
It can take 6 months to a year or more, it all depends on how well you stick to the diet, what nutrients you have to replace since you haven't been adsorbing a lot of vitamins and minerals properly, and if you are exercising and living and eating a healthy diet, a gluten free diet filled with carbs mainly instead of fruits, vegetables and proteins in a balanced diet will take longer to heal. I suggest buying some books, having a gluten issue is serious and cheating is not an option if you are going to heal, it isn't like a weight loss diet. You need to avoid wheat 100%, of course accidents at restaurants and processed foods can happen and we've all eaten things with hidden wheat ingriedients but you become a better label checker and consumer as you learn more about the condition.
08-10-2009, 11:10 PM #15
I think I also have a gluten allergy. Thank you for posting this.