Alessio Fasano, MD has written a fantastic book for the celiac and gluten-free community. The book, Gluten Freedom, is an overview of what celiac disease is, including some super interesting historical facts, the prevalence of non-celiac gluten sensitivity, and a guide to living a healthy, gluten-free lifestyle.
Dr. Alessio Fasono is the Founder and Director of the Center for Celiac Research at Massachusetts General Hospital. I had the opportunity to meet him in person when I attended the International Celiac Disease Symposium in September 2013. I hit the jackpot and had a short conversation with Dr. Fassano during one of the breaks at the conference. When I heard that he was writing Gluten Freedom, I was very excited because I knew that it would be a great resource for gluten-free newbies, veterans, and all those in-between.
Gluten Freedom by Dr. Alessio Fasano
I received an advanced reading copy of Gluten Freedom and enjoyed every last second of reading it. It was great to learn some of the facts about celiac disease that I wasn’t aware of, as well as learn more about non-celiac gluten sensitivity. I myself am not a diagnosed celiac, but my mother is, so learning about family clusters with both celiac and non-celiac gluten sensitivity is very interesting to me.
Below I have summed up some of the subjects that Dr. Fassano covers in Gluten Freedom that I found most interesting/helpful to those with gluten-related disorders:
- The spectrum of gluten-related disorders – celiac disease, gluten sensitivity, and wheat allergy
- Key questions that are being addressed by researchers to better understand what gluten sensitivity is
- How biomarkers are used during diagnostic treatment
- The time intervals between gluten exposure based on the form of gluten-related disorder
- The genetic predisposition markers that are used in diagnosing people with celiac disease, HLA-DQ2 or -DQ8
- The rate of people who remain undiagnosed with celiac disease – in developed countries, for each diagnosed case an average of five to ten cases remains undiagnosed
- How gluten can affect your brain, with some of the symptoms being headaches, migraines, anxiety, depression, tingling of the fingertips, foggy mind, and even gluten ataxia (loss of coordination)
- The different forms that gluten can take in various food items
- A list of questionable foods when on the gluten-free diet
- Gluten’s role in processed food
- Where oats fit in for those with celiac disease – a majority of people with celiac (95%) can tolerate oats that haven’t been cross-contaminated through exposure to gluten
- Gluten-free oats must be grown in a field that has been free of wheat, barley or rye for five years
- The importance of making sure you are fully tested for celiac disease before starting a gluten-free diet – once you stop eating gluten, your body no longer produces the antibodies in your blood that are the diagnostic markers for celiac disease
Gluten Freedom also has tons of helpful information for those living a gluten-free lifestyle. The book has everything from new recipes to try, to tips for those traveling gluten free. Some of my favorite folks make guest appearances, including Jules Shepard of GF Jules and Bob from Bob and Ruth’s Gluten-Free Dining & Travel Club.
I wish that I had Gluten Freedom to refer to when I first went gluten free, but even though I like to consider myself a veteran now, the book has still given me information and ideas that I didn’t know before. It is truly a resource that can help the entire celiac and gluten-free community.
To get your own copy of this great book for those living the gluten-free lifestyle, check it out on Amazon. I am confident that Gluten Freedom will help you to better understand the spectrum of gluten-related disorders, as well as how you can lead the most healthy and productive gluten-free life.