After reading Gluten Freedom, I am SO aware that I owe so much of my health and healing to Dr. Alessio Fasano.
Dr. Alessio Fasano, Author of Gluten Freedom
If you don’t know of Dr. Fasano, he is a pediatric gastroenterologist. Dr. Fasano has been on the forefront of Celiac Disease for decades. He founded the Center for Celiac Research in Boston, MA. Originally from Italy, Dr Fasano came to the United States in the 1990’s. The knowledge of Celiac Disease is where it is today because of his research.
In 2014, Turner Publishing provided me a free advance copy reading of Dr. Alessio Fasano’s book “Gluten Freedom.” It was waiting for me when I returned from the Chicagoland Gluten & Allergen Free Expo. (Now called Nourished Festival.) I started reading it as soon as I was unpacked.
The History of Celiac Disease
Gluten Freedom opened my eyes about the history of Celiac Disease. The first recorded observations about Celiac Disease were known 2,000 years ago. However, Samuel Gee didn’t recognize it as malnutrition disease until the 1880’s.
Even more shocking is that doctors didn’t discover gluten as the trigger until the 1950’s. The treatment for Celiac Disease, a gluten free diet, has been around less than 100 years. It wasn’t even until the 1970’s that a “diagnostic tool” was created and doctors actually began to study it. We’ve come a LONG way!
My Personal Revelation
We know that it is a genetic disorder that we can pass it on to our children. My grandmother had Celiac Disease, and my dad has Celiac Disease. In all honesty, I felt upset for years that my dad didn’t think to have me tested. Didn’t he know that it was genetic, didn’t he know the damage could do to me?
Honestly, based on what I’ve read in this book, I would say no. So dad, please accept my apology. And even if he did know, there’s no guarantee that a doctor would take him seriously in a request to get me tested. When Dr. Fasano came here in the 1990’s, doctors in the US told him Celiac Disease didn’t exist here. Thank God that Dr. Fasano didn’t believe them.
1 in 133 Live with Celiac Disease
Know the study that people always cite, stating that Celiac Disease affects 1 in 133 people? Yeah, that is the result of Dr. Fasano being curious. After sampling blood from donations at the Red Cross, he published his research in 2003. That’s right, 17 YEARS AGO. So this disease has been around almost 2,000 years and doctors here in the U.S. started taking it seriously 17 YEARS AGO. Let that sink in.
So what does 1 in 133 look like in population numbers? 2.5 to 3 MILLION people have Celiac Disease, but at the time of his study in 2003, only 2 PERCENT were diagnosed. Dr. Fasano believes with those numbers, it makes Celiac Disease “humankind’s most prevalent genetically linked disease. It occurs much more frequently than type 1 Diabetes, Cystic Fibrosis, or Chron’s Disease.” (Page 19) Wow!
Other Information in Gluten Freedom
Not only does Dr Fasano discuss Celiac Disease in his book Gluten Freedom, he also elaborates about Non-Celiac Gluten Sensitivity. He actually goes as far to say, based on research, that NO ONE can fully process gluten. HOWEVER, and hear me on this, he does NOT feel that everyone has to stay away from gluten.
Other topics in this book include autoimmune disease, and methods for achieving a proper Celiac Disease diagnosis. Gluten Freedom also discusses what you can and can’t eat on a gluten free diet, including recipes by Jules Shepard. Also, he gives a breakdown on how Celiac Disease affects you in each stage of your life. He finishes the book with current research and the future of Celiac Disease.
Promoting Celiac Disease Awareness
There is so much here to read and digest and disseminate. I suggest getting a copy for yourself. (Your primary doctor too, if you think s/he will read it!) Even though E-books are popular, I suggest getting this book in hard copy. I have underlined so many parts of this book and written in the margins, it’s ridiculous.
This is so fitting to read now during Celiac Awareness month. While Dr. Fasano obviously did not work alone, imagine how much more can be done when we ALL work together. So this May, get this book, educate yourself and someone else. Do whatever you can to bring about Celiac Disease Awareness!
**While I was given this book for free, all thoughts and opinions are my own. Looking for other Celiac Disease related books to read? Check you these other four Celiac Disease books I highly recommend!**