Think celiac disease isn't an important issue in women's health? Read these testimonials from those on the ground and in the field of celiac research and awareness.
Alice Bast, Founder & President of NFCA:
"There is little to compare to the heartache, family tragedy and medical problems associated with infertility and reproductive health struggles. After founding the NFCA, I knew that it would be important to incorporate women's health providers into the education and awareness of celiac disease. Our task is to put in place the tools that will allow both affected patients and their doctors to awaken the 'silent culprit' that prevents them from reaching their dream: a healthy and happy family."
Daniel Leffler, MD, MS, Director of Clinical Research, The Celiac Center at
BIDMC, Division of Gastroenterology, Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center:
"Celiac disease is a common disorder that predominantly affects women and can have a major impact on fertility and overall health. For these reasons it is critical that all women's health practitioners be familiar with celiac disease manifestations and diagnosis."
Sheila E. Crowe, MD, FRCPC, FACP, FACG, AGAF, Professor of Medicine,
Division of Gastroenterology & Hepatology, Digestive Health Center of
Excellence, University of Virginia School of Medicine:
"It is very timely that the NFCA offers an educational program regarding women's health and celiac disease given the known associations of untreated celiac disease and adverse outcomes in terms of fertility and also poorer outcomes of pregnancy. It is my experience that many patients and most healthcare providers are not very familiar with these associations. I believe that there are potential benefits of looking for celiac disease in women with difficulties getting pregnant and also those with unexplained poor outcomes of pregnancy."
Peter McGovern, MD, Professor of Obstetrics and Gynecology UMDNJ-New
Jersey Medical School, Medical Director at University Reproductive Associates
in Hasbrouck Heights, NJ:
"It is pretty clear that for most of their lives the average woman frequently uses her OB/GYN as her primary care provider. OB/GYNs need to think of many different preventive measures such as diet, exercise and vitamin/mineral supplementation. In addition, this community needs to be aware of different health concerns such as diabetes, hypertension, osteoporosis, fertility and contraception, to name a few. And on that list is the patient who experiences chronic digestive problems and simply lives with such symptoms, often being misdiagnosed with IBS when in fact the patient truly has celiac disease. Other symptoms of celiac disease are near and dear to the field of obstetrics and gynecology such as infertility, miscarriages and bone loss. I think the field of women's health would benefit greatly if we can generate increased awareness and testing for celiac disease. Compared to the treatments we might be considering for some of these health conditions such as medications, surgery and IVF, simple dietary treatment is much more cost effective and manageable. I can tell you from experience that it is very rewarding as a physician to see your patient conceive successfully after nothing more than implementing a gluten-free diet."
Carrie Jones, ND - ND Medical Director at Sherwood Family Medicine, Professor of Gynecology at the National College of Natural Medicine, School of Naturopathic Medicine Portland, Oregon
"The number of women misdiagnosed with other health conditions pertaining to their gastrointestinal tract, hormones, skin, mood and fertility that is really a result of celiac disease astounds me. I feel it is so important every healthcare provider from internists to ob-gyns to specialists need to understand the vast array of symptoms celiac can cause. Education is so crucial for proper work-up and testing to occur and for patients to understand a gluten-free diet. Thankfully, NFCA can help provide that education."