Sometimes I’m an over-thinker. If my brain could print the daily manuscript of my thoughts, it would be miles long with lots of bunny trails and lots of crying out to God for answers. There are just so many things in this life that don’t make sense to me. And I want to know. I want to understand.
James 1:5 says “If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you.”
I have asked God for wisdom regarding my miscarriages. I don’t believe having repeated miscarriages is ‘normal’ as the medical profession has continually assured me it is. I just don’t buy it. God did not create our bodies to miscarry. He created us to be fruitful and multiply. I know we live in a fallen world with sickness and disease and toxins which add to the burden on our bodies, but I want to know why I have three babies in heaven and not in my arms.
Through my research and talking with several professionals, I have come to believe that there are three likely culprits and going gluten free is something that would be helpful in any of the three circumstances. Here are the three top reasons I think may be responsible for my recurrent miscarriages:
The Possible Culprits
1- MTHFR gene mutation
I believe the MTHFR gene mutation is a highly significant public health problem that is completely ignored. Yet, millions are suffering from pulmonary embolisms, addictions, fibromyalgia, miscarriages, schizophrenia, severe depression, cancer and autism to name a few.
What do these conditions have in common? They all may be linked to a MTHFR gene mutation in the individual expressing these symptoms and health conditions. (source)
I asked my OB about this gene mutation and she kind of blew me off, saying she would only think this would be a problem if I was losing my babies in the second or third trimester, not the first trimester. However, according to a lot of research I have read, this is not always the case. Read here for more information.
I have not been tested for this gene mutation yet. I have attempted to get tested, but I think it’s something I’m going to end up having to really advocate for. However, I think it’s highly likely that I could have it since 1 in 4 people are affected by this gene mutation today (source) and because I can see a trend of common symptoms in my family history. Until then, I am going to follow the suggested protocol for people with this gene mutation. These are all things I am already doing, except for the additional nutrients. I also need to see if I am getting any forms of synthetic folic acid (I’m thinking foods that are fortified) that I need to cut out of my diet.
Another thing I was told by someone I highly respect in the field of natural health is that gluten free is important if you have the MTHFR gene mutation because the fortification of folic acid (think fortified wheat flour, etc.) really depletes the cells methylation pathways which can turn on the genes for disease/miscarriage/infertility.
2 – Celiac
I have not been tested or diagnosed for celiac disease, but research shows that people with Celiac disease have a much higher risk of miscarriage. My midwife and my OB both asked me if I was Celiac which made me start to research the symptoms of Celiac disease. I was shocked to find out that often people with celiac present with no known obvious symptoms, yet the damage that eating wheat is doing to their body is very real. Most professionals agree that Celiac disease is incredibly undiagnosed and is a huge problem today.
“Women with undiagnosed celiac disease may be twice as likely as other women to suffer from repeated miscarriages, but once they’re diagnosed, treatment with the gluten-free diet appears to improve their chances of carrying their babies to term.” (source)
I don’t think there is anything inherently wrong with gluten, but I do know the wheat we eat today contains a lot more gluten than the wheat of the biblical days. I also know that we often do not eat gluten-containing grains in moderation – gluten at breakfast, lunch, and dinner with some gluten-filled snacks in between is wreaking havoc on our health.
3- Hormone Issues
The third possiblility that may explain my repeated miscarriages is hormones. I do have constant fatigue which could be thyroid/hormone related. It was suggested to me that I get tested for Free T3, Free T4, homocysteine levels, and Anti-thyroid antibodies. In the meantime, I am going to be supporting my hormones by eating nutrient-dense foods, getting plenty of sleep, eating hormone-supporting foods and herbs, and gently detoxing my body. Research also shows that gluten sensitivity can affect the thyroid and be responsible for creating a hormonal disbalance.
Plan of Action
After reading the research, discussing the issues with some professionals in my blogging community, and praying about it, I do think going gluten free is the right choice for me right now. I’m not wild about the idea because I do have a small love affair with my sourdough bread and quite frankly it’s more work for me and can sometimes be inconvenient for my family. I am just going to make the best of it, though. I am going to give it a couple of months and if I don’t notice improvement, then I will start to purse testing – first for the MTHFR gene mutation, then for thyroid and hormones, and lastly for gluten sensitivity/intolerance.
Are you gluten free? Have you noticed an increase in your fertility or a balancing of your hormones from eliminating gluten?
I would love to hear some encouraging words. I know to some it may seem like I’m grasping at straws. I think in a sense I am. That longing and desire in my heart for another baby is so overwhelming at times. I feel like I have to “do” something, although I know that ultimately the Lord is in control and I need to be OK with whatever the outcome is.