I Was Supposed to Have a Hysterectomy Today.

Celiac Disease and Reproductive Health

I was supposed to have a hysterectomy today, but I didn’t. I’m assuming you gathered that from the “supposed to” part of the title. Through a series of Lemony Snicket-style events, it’s been rescheduled for a few weeks from now, so I have that to look forward to.

I normally don’t share news like this with anyone who isn’t on my need-to-know list, but it seems that so many of you are feeling alone, like your skin disease/irregular periods/infertility/depression/cramping/fatigue/(fill in your symptoms here) might be all in your head, so I figured if you chose to read this, you needed to know. In all actuality, I needed to know –here’s why:

I’m so used to abdominal pain, cramps, discomfort and the like that I assumed for months that the issues I was having were G.I.-related. I was experiencing irregular periods too, but I was attributing that to some other factors – including the fact that birth control pills (or any pills, for that matter) can have a problem being absorbed when you are experiencing G.I. distress. So I trudged along with increasing fatigue, bloating, and weight gain (Oh, and irritability. You got a problem with that?) Finally, my OB-GYN insisted we do an ultrasound, and found a large ovarian cyst, endometriosis, and fibroids. I don’t recommend Googling any of those issues if you have a weak stomach, but here’s an article about the reproductive effects of Celiac Disease in case you’re wondering. I had surgery last summer to address those issues, and it wasn’t sufficient. So here we are.

There are a number of studies that address the effects of Celiac Disease on reproductive health or infertility, and some of them found no significant link for those that have been diagnosed, treated and are now living Gluten-Free, but many sight the “disruption of normal immune system functioning” caused by active Celiac Disease or G.I. disruption from non-Celiac gluten intolerance as a contributing factor in reproductive problems. So, it sounds like a chicken or the egg question for some of us: how much damage was done before diagnosis? Personally, I’m not sure that matters, I just need to move through these next steps so I can continue to regain my health.

I’ve begun working via Skype with a Naturopathic Doctor (Dr. Samantha Brody, she’s amazing) as well, using supplements and diet adjustments to increase my overall wellness, strength and energy leading up to the surgery and through recovery. Then I’ll add increased exercise and some testing into the mix.

It’s only a matter of time before I’ll be back on the patio having vino with the girls again.

I hope y’all are well, and if you need this information, it finds you and serves as a tool in healing. All the love – KC

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