Early pregnancy diarrhea (celiac) - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 5 Old 05-11-2011, 08:13 AM - Thread Starter
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I was diagnosed with Celiac in Dec.  I was gluten free for several months before that, and then did a gluten challenge to get the official dx.  Anyways, since then it has been a slow recovery.  Kind of two steps forward, one step back.  My major issues were with diarrhea, and that is an ongoing problem.  I kind of have a good week, and then get hit with a couple bad days.  However, my energy levels are way improved and my iron has recovered (ferritin 4 in Dec, 20 in Mar).


Anyways, I am happily 4 weeks pregnant!  And today has been a disaster!  Yesterday too.  I've been running to the bathroom 4 times with D.  Not good.  Otherwise, I'm feeling great.  Good energy.


I try to eat all whole foods.  Meat, eggs, veg, fruit, nuts.  Occasional grains (experimented a bit with grain-free, but I like bits here and there).  Lots of raw fruit and veg though, as I like easy snacks (I have a 2 year old).  I am obviously gluten free, but also dairy-free and soy-free.


I am taking a prenatal vitamin, fish oil capsules, vitamin D.


Should I be concerned?  From a celiac standpoint?  Or could this regression be a pregnancy thing?  Anything else I can take to help?  Or eat to help?  I was wondering about a probiotic or a digestive enzyme?  Anyone experienced anything similar?



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#2 of 5 Old 05-11-2011, 10:53 AM
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Congratulations on your pregnancy! 


Just so I understand... you did a gluten challenge to confirm your celiac diagnosis. Does this mean that you ate gluten so that your GI doc could perform an endoscopy and get accurate results? That is very important. 


I ask because my family journey with celiac disease, was one that began with dx, and then cutting gluten out of our diet. After that, there was so much additional refining that had to be done to be certain that we still weren't getting gluten from other sources. Much of that confirmation comes from blood work. For example, your tummy may not hurt after cutting out gluten, but your blood work may show that you still have antibodies that tell that there is hidden gluten in your diet that still needs to go. For example, we had to get rid of all our cutting boards, stoneware, cast iron, wooden spoons, toaster oven, etc - anything porous that gluten may permanently get into. Also, our GI doc made it clear that many celiacs have additional food sensitivities that we may have to work through to manage our health - most frequently dairy and soy. I see that you don't eat those things, so that already may be a step in the right direction if those are triggers for you. Many other foods can cause irritation, too. It often varies from person to person. Also, our GI said that oftentimes, once the celiac is under control, some of the other foods that we were sensitive to can be reintroduced slowly once the gut is healed. The reasoning behind this is that some of the foods may not be actual allergy triggers for us, but that they were irritating to an unhealed, gluten-damaged gut.


Pregnancy can exacerbate your symptoms, especially if you are still getting gluten in your diet - perhaps unknowingly. If you haven't already, I'd suggest you work closely with your gastroenterologist (and midwives) to get your disease back under control. An unfortunate side affect of uncontrolled celiac disease is malabsorption and anemia. You are going to need to be able to make full use out of all those healthy foods that you have been eating. Pairing that with the slowing down of your digestive system due to pregnancy hormones, which can easily cause constipation, could make for a grumpy and uncooperative gi tract. 


Happily, right now baby's dietary needs are very small, and so it's the best time to get your celiac under control. 


Again, congratulations on the new baby!



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#3 of 5 Old 05-11-2011, 03:18 PM
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i don't have any advice on the celiac, but i know that when i am pregnant, especially in the first few months, i tend to have quite a bit of diarrhea (which always struck me as weird since you mostly hear of pregnant women being constipated.) 

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#4 of 5 Old 05-12-2011, 03:19 PM
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Congrats on your pregnancy. 


I am celiac and have been gluten free for a year before getting pregnant.  I was feeling awesome before I got pregnant and then I started feeling really icky at about 4-6 weeks.  I have been having tummy troubles pretty much the whole time.  I really think it's just a pregnancy thing. 


Some things that have helped me are a good probiotic (I take PB8), digestive enzymes (I use Source Naturals Essential Enzymes), and an allergen-free prenatal (I take 2 capsules instead of 4 - Rainbow Light Organic Prenatal). 


I had a miscarriage last year and now I'm pregnant again (14 weeks!) and both times I've felt like I've been "glutened" constantly and have felt as crappy as before I went gluten free.  Now I know I'm not being glutened, I'm just having awesome pregnancy symptoms. 


Hope you feel better in the coming weeks.

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#5 of 5 Old 05-13-2011, 05:38 AM - Thread Starter
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Thanks for the replies.  It helps put my mind at ease that this could be "normal" for pregnancy, celiac or not.  Things are definitely worse than they had been, so there's a decent chance it is pregnancy putting things out.  I'll try to go easy on my stomach and do easy to digest stuff for a while, see if it helps.

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