New research out today looks at the possibility that the way a child is delivered — either vaginally or by c-section– may have an impact on whether they get celiac disease.

Researchers in Germany looked at children who are currently seeing gastroenterologists for gastrointestinal issues like celiac disease, Crohn’s disease, ulcerative colitis and more. The research, published in the journal Pediatrics, and reported by HealthDay found:

“Compared to children born vaginally, children delivered by C-section were 80 percent more likely to develop celiac disease.  ‘We did not find any association with the inflammatory bowel diseases, Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis,’ said lead study author Dr. Mathias Hornef of Hannover Medical School in Germany. ‘We did see a moderate but significant association with celiac disease.'”

So your child may be more at risk for getting celiac disease if they are delivered by c-section.  Hmmm.

Researchers don’t know why this is happening.  But one possibility is that passing through the vaginal canal gives the newborns “good microbes…that aid in digestion and [fend] off pathogens”, said Dr. Hornef.

If you’re pregnant and have celiac in your family does this mean doctors are saying “No C-Sections”??  No.  They say it is too early to offer anything as concrete and drastic as that.  However, Dr. Peter Green, Director of the Celiac Disease Center at Columbia University told HealthDay,

“…the message to patients would be that the C-section, if it cannot be avoided, should make them more aware that there is an increased risk for celiac disease in the C-section-delivered children and it should make them more alert to look for signs and test earlier (and maybe more frequently).” — Dr. Peter Green

Researchers say more research needs to be done in this area.

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