If you're a woman (as are nearly two-thirds of people with celiac disease and a majority of those with gluten sensitivity), you're probably familiar with some of the effects gluten can have on your menstrual cycle.
Simply put, gluten can make your period absolutely miserable.
Imagine menstrual cramps so horrible you feel nauseated, headaches that confine you to bed, very heavy bleeding ... except many of us don't have to imagine. We've experienced it.
It came as a surprise to me -- and probably to many of you, too -- how much these symptoms improved once I went gluten-free. It's amazing the effect that gluten can have on your entire body, and how much better you feel once you're following the gluten-free diet.
At least one major study has found a direct link between celiac disease, pelvic pain and endometriosis ... in fact, in many cases menstrual problems were the women's first sign that something was amiss. Learn more: Celiac Disease and Endometriosis.
That same study found that about half of women with celiac disease reported severe menstrual cramps (unfortunately, there's been no comparable research on women with gluten sensitivity). Learn more: Can celiac disease cause severe menstrual cramps?
Finally, lots of readers have weighed in on gluten-related menstrual problems -- read their stories here (and potentially add your own): Did you have pelvic pain or endometriosis before your diagnosis?
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