Is it possible that microcephaly is linked to celiac disease (CD) and gluten? Most definitely! Perhaps many of the cases of microcephaly being linked to the Zika virus are really linked to gluten! Microcephaly may be caused by malnutrition among other reasons such as drug use, toxic chemicals, untreated PKU, and viruses.1
Celiac disease is a malabsorption disorder created by the destruction of the intestinal villi in response to an immune reaction to gluten. Healthy villi absorb vitamins and minerals that keep the body functioning optimally. When celiac robs the body of nutrients it can affect any part of the body, especially the fetus if the mother has undetected and untreated celiac disease.
“Microcephaly is relatively rare, affecting about 25,000 children in the U.S. a year.”2 This number seems astronomical for such a serious condition much of which might be prevented by the detection and treatment of celiac.
A quote from Toxic Staple points to the seriousness of celiac disease and how important it is to have a healthy pregnancy by detecting celiac disease and addressing a gluten-free lifestyle:
“Thyroid hormones also play a role during pregnancy. In fact, these hormones ‘have been shown to be absolutely necessary for early brain development.’ ” Pregnant women with thyroid disease [often associated with celiac disease] who do not receive hormone therapy can expect a troublesome outcome.3
“Folic acid, iron, and vitamin K are other nutrients crucial to the development of the fetus, and CD may lead to their deficiency. Some researchers surmise that ‘endocrine imbalances and immune disturbances’ play a part as well.4 Babies born to women with CD had ‘a three-fold higher risk of intrauterine growth retardation…’ if the mother’s CD was recognized after the birth. The bottom line is that ‘treatment of celiac women is important in the prevention of fetal growth retardation.’ ”5
In one study “a 15-month-old girl with celiac disease presented with microcephaly and developmental delay.” A gluten-free diet allowed for head growth, but when gluten was reintroduced there was no head growth, and antibodies for celiac disease increased.6
In a perfect world where there was no malnutrition due to celiac disease or a very poor diet many of these cases of microcephaly and many other fetal maladies would not exist. When the body cannot absorb vitamins and minerals necessary for normal development huge deficits in mental and physical health and development may occur.
Read this most interesting slant on the Zika virus by Jon Rappoport:
- Ashwal S1, Michelson D, Plawner L, Dobyns WB, Practice parameter: Evaluation of the child with microcephaly (an evidence-based review), Neurology. 2009 Sep 15;73(11):887-97. doi: 10.1212/WNL.0b013e3181b783f7.
- Radetti, G., A. Zavallone, L. Gentili, P. Beck-Peccoz, and G. Bona. “Foetal and Neonatal Thyroid Disorders.” Minerva Pediatrica 54, no. 5 (2002): 383–400.
- Stazi, A. V., and A. Mantovani. [Celiac Disease. Risk Factors for Women in Reproductive Age.] Minerva Ginecologica 52, no. 5 (2000): 189–96.
- Nørgård, B., K. Fonager, H. T. Sørensen, and J. Olsen. Birth outcomes of women with celiac disease: a nationwide historical cohort study. Am J Gastroenterol. 1999 Sep;94(9):2435-40.