Celiac and Missed Periods

Are some of these symptoms familiar?

One of my most worrying symptoms which eventually led to my celiac diagnosis was a lack of period. I suffered from a whole bunch of different horrible symptoms leading up to my final diagnosis but this was the thing which concerned me the most and prompted me to find out what was wrong as soon as possible. I didn’t have my period for a whole year and I was not pregnant. It was a scary time because I knew that something was very wrong! Clearly this isn’t normal for a 26 year old woman.

At the time I had some people tell me that they wished that this would happen to them. Ridiculous! One doctor I spoke with about my lack of a period even told me that it was probably just because I ran a lot or because of stress and that I should get out and enjoy my life and stop worrying. I could hardly believe that this was the medical advice I was getting. No tests, just stop worrying about it because it’s probably nothing. Completely ridiculous! Not having your period for months at a time is serious and a sign that something is probably not right. I’m so glad that I didn’t give up and that I met with a number of better doctors until I finally found out why this was happening, or not happening, to me.

Amenorrhea is the medical term for if you have skipped three or more periods in a row and you’re not pregnant and it can be a symptom of undiagnosed celiac disease. Since my diagnosis I’ve done a lot of reading on this and it appears that many women suffer from this symptom when they have undiagnosed celiac disease.

Was amenorrhea one of the symptoms which led you to be diagnosed as celiac? Were your doctors more understanding than mine? Perhaps you are currently in a situation where you haven’t had your period in months and you’re trying to figure out what’s wrong. I’d love to hear your experiences on this subject..

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  • Hi there! I actually am having the reverse problem right now. I have been having underlying medical problems for a while (acne, tooth problems, constant throat infections, digestive issues, mood swings, etc…) I started eating really healthy, but I noticed that whenever I ate wheat (or rye)I didn’t feel right, started getting dizzy (weird off balance feeling), or broke out really bad on my face or back. After my last tonsil infection I said enough is enough, I had already cut out cow dairy because I have had signs of lactose intolerance for a while, but I try to still keep some goat dairy in my diet because I don’t want to unknowingly cut out too many nutrients- and in August I officially cut out gluten. The change was amazing- that whole month was very stressful outside of changing my diet (tonsil infection, treated with antibiotics, car broke down, had to get tooth removed and 3 teeth filled, had to clean out entire apartment because complex was spraying insecticide) but I started waking up earlier, having more energy, normal bowel movements and my skin COMPLETELY CLEARED. I have one troubling symptom however- my period – I haven’t had it in over two months. I went to the doctor they gave me an exam (everything fine), and blood tests (all normal) so the doctor thinks it was my diet change. I guess my question is- do you think my hormones are adjusting because I had a gluten intolerance (or celiac) and how long did it take your period to come back after going gluten free? Unfortunately, I have accidently ingested gluten twice since two months ago when I went gluten free (once it was breadcrumbs that a restaurant put on my goat cheese, second time was at a chinese restaurant where I’m pretty sure the sauce contained wheat). I just really don’t know what to do and am starting to get really concerned. My gyn said that she will do an ultrasound if it does not come by the end of this month, ahhh! I really don’t want it to get to that. My gp gave me the celiac panel to go get done if I decide to go back on to gluten but I really don’t want to because I feel so much better! I know I should’ve tested before I went on the gluten free diet but my doctor insisted that the only way I could get the blood test done was if I kept a strict two week food journal- and during that time I was just going to do a ten day trial without gluten to see how I felt but I ended up staying off of it. I am only 24 and feel like I should not be going through all of these problems!!! Previous to this I not once ever missed a period, although I had been late several times. I got my first one when I was almost 15 and have had one since.
    I just don’t know what happenned to my hormones, they went all wonky!! Could it be from the gluten??

  • I have never heard about this before but it is so interesting! I too lost my period for about a year and my doctor said it was because I was too thin from being a runner. I just accepted that as fact, but looking back now, maybe it was a symptom of a gluten intolorance that I wasn’t even aware of. After that visit to the doctor I went to Europe for 3 months where I ate LOTS of bread and ended up getting deathly sick and had to come home to the states where it’s been a very slow healing process of 6 years because no one could figure out what was wrong with me. SO thankful that information like this blog and others are out there now so that we can take charge of our own health to heal ourselves.

  • Ally, what you are explaining could certainly be gluten related! I was put on the pill as a result of not having my period for so long which brought my period back. I stopped taking it a couple of years back and now my period is perfectly normal and regular. For me this is a big deal as they never were like this prior to going gluten-free. I had an ultrasound as part of figuring out why I wasn’t having periods. It was really cool actually – I got to see all my organs on the wee screen! 🙂 The results were totally normal though – it was all down to my undiagnosed celiac.

  • Hello I have s similar problem I haven’t had my period for almost two years and desperately want it back. Two years ago I was on a strict diet and that’s when I lost it because I was a lower weight and barely eating any fat but I was not under weight and now I eat everything and not strict and I still haven’t gotten my period. Do you think I have celiac disease? Will going on a gluten free diet help? I haven’t gone on the pill because I’m scared :\

  • evdoxia

    Jan 20th, 2013

    hi girls ! i have similar problem with you ! i have no period for almost 4 months and i feel so terrible about my body ! i went to the doctor and he told me that the only treatment is contraceptives . i couldn’t put them in my body, so i found an alternative way. i went to an alternative therapist and she told me than my problem caused by a very stressful situation and related with my liver . her tips were not to eat gluten whaet (simple) if it contains gluten , fresh dairy products, white sugαr and general sweets that contains white sugar and whitefly . maybe it sounds impracticability but it isn’t ! you have so many choises. also she told me the proper combinations in food ( no meat with potatoes or rice for example ) . i have started this nutriton since 12 dec 2012 and i feel much better . unfortunately, i have no period yet but i’ll have a meeting with my therapist in 10 days. i’m looking forward to hearing her new tips.

  • Hello, I went gluten free 2 months ago on my own after being ill and drained of energy for yrs. It had gotten so bad and I had tried everything else…gluten free was my last hope! Well, I have felt a lot better but have accidentally ingested gluten (that’s why I ended up here today!) anyways, I haven’t had a period since I’ve been gluten free…2 months now…and I’ve had this rash on my left arm since I’m gluten free too! It’s one spot on my arm that just won’t go away for about 2 mos now…never had rashes before and I always had my period…although its been irregular for yrs I’ve never missed 2 mos. Ive lost faith in doctors so haven’t even thought about going to one, I really think it’s due to the gluten diet but just not sure why?

  • Hi,yes my periods have been messed up for almost a year now I’ve been getting them every 3 months but when I started my gluten free diet a month ago I got my period and now I have had them for a month non stop now and yesterday I thought I’d have some gluten and see if it makes my period stop and what do you know they have stopped for a day,not sure if I’ll get them tomorrow tho.so it’s looking like I really do have coeliac as my period stopped after having gluten (undiagnosed coeliacs have infertility and missed periods) and I have felt a little bit nauseous and fatigued after having gluten yesterday.So I am pretty sure I’m a coeliac.

  • I went gluten free a year ago. Within three months my period stopped and I went to my gyn. I have a cyst, but that wasn’t the issue. I had wheat a few times and my period came back so heavy I had to have a d&c. Now I haven’t had it since the d&c (6 months ago), but when I eat gluten I get a wicked three day migraine and a little bit of my period. My dr to says its too early for menopause. I wish I knew what was going on?