Home of Gluten-Free Society Forums All Gluten Free All The Time Cesarean Section Linked to Increased Risk of Celiac Disease

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  • #7816
    Kate Osborne
    Peter Osborne
    Keymaster

    A recent study found an increased risk of celiac disease for babies born by cesaren section vs. babies born by natural vaginal delivery.  The authors conclude that they are not sure why this association exists…

    Source:

    Pediatrics, online May 17, 2010

    Gluten Free Society’s Stance:

    This study brings to light a major problem…

    Humans are symbiotic (meaning that we rely on a mutual relationship with normal bacteria in our gut to survive).  Babies receive their first exposure to large quantities of bacteria while passing through the vaginal canal at birth.  Bypassing this natural phenomena leads to the baby’s first exposure coming from hospital air.  Unfortunately, hospital air contains large amounts of pathogenic (infectious) bacteria.

    Why is this important?

    The bacterial flora is one of four immune barriers that protect humans from infection.  The normal flora produces essential nutrients like vitamin K and biotin.  The normal flora aids in the process of digestion and normal bowel motility.  We also know that the bacteria play a role in the development of autoimmune diseases (celiac is an autoimmune disease).

    Recent studies have shown that gluten intolerance is on the rise.  Could C-section overkill be one of the reasons why?

    If the baby’s flora is initially established by the wrong types of bacteria, the stage is set for increased risk for several problems.  Research has linked cesarean births to increased allergies, asthma, atopic dermatitis, eczema, obesity, diabetes, and more.

    Should we be asking the question – Why so many C-sections?

    The answer is obviously yes.  Let’s look at history for a moment.  It is not uncommon for doctors to over prescribe medications and surgical procedures.  Some good examples include – antibiotics, cholesterol medications as well as tonsilectomy (tonsil removal), and cholecystectomy (gall bladder removal) procedures.  Another classic historical blunder is telling new moms to formula feed over breast feeding.

    It is possible that OB/Gyn doctors are over prescribing cesarean too?  Food for thought…

    If you have had experience on this topic, please leave a comment below.

    #8655
    Lori Quandt
    dlquandt
    Member

    I’m wondering if the mothers have undiagnosed gluten sensitivity causing a C-section and also genetically passing down the celiac??? I had 3 C sections and would have lost all 4 (twins) of my children had it not been for the C section. (or possibly my own life to due to toxic shock syndrome.)  I just found out I have the celiac gene a few months ago and my children are all grown up now…..hmmm food for thought

    #8658
    Jacqueline Scarbrough
    Jackie Scarbrough
    Participant

    I was thinking the exact same thing about the mother’s that require C-sections may be more likely untreated gluten intolerants, then they pass that on to their children.  It seems logical to me.  Obviously not all untreated gluten intolerants require C-sections (I had four normal vaginal deliveries), but it does stand to reason this could be a contributor in the rise of C-sections today.  I honestly would hate to think doctor’s are prescribing unnecessary C-sections.

     

    #8661
    Lori Quandt
    dlquandt
    Member

    dlquandt said:

    I’m wondering if the mothers have undiagnosed gluten sensitivity causing a C-section and also genetically passing down the celiac??? I had 3 C sections and would have lost all 4 (twins) of my children had it not been for the C section. (or possibly my own life to due to toxic shock syndrome.)  I just found out I have the celiac gene a few months ago and my children are all grown up now…..hmmm food for thought


     

    Correction – I said toxic shock syndrom and I meant toxemia (oops old age setting in..LOL)

    #8664
    Kate Osborne
    Peter Osborne
    Keymaster

     

    I wonder if gluten intolerance in the mother is somehow connected to a longer gestation period for babies, causing the baby to go past the due date (which from what I’ve read is too early to begin with given the actual average length of pregnancies, especially first time babies) and then when the baby goes past its due date, it is more likely that labor will be induced, and if that fails because the body is not ready, then a c-section is more likely to follow?

    And then because of the genetics, the babies are more likely to have celiac disease because of their mothers’ gluten intolerance–so possibly not a causal relationship between c-sections and baby’s celiac but between mother’s gluten intolerance and length of pregnancy or another factor causing more c-sections?

    I ask because I’m gluten intolerant and have had two c-section after I went past my due dates (first after failed induction just past due date, second planned after I didn’t go into labor by due date) My mother and grandmother had late babies, and were from what I understand now almost certainly were gluten intolerant. But in the past doctors were not so likely to induce or do c-sections unless there was an emergency reason, so the babies were all just very late. No one in my family to my knowledge actually has had celiac disease, but both my mother and grandmother died from other autoimmune diseases/related complications.

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