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Accessible Science - Every Celiac Should Have This Book
on February 17, 2006
This book is a very worthwhile addition to a person with celiac disease's library. Rather than another "do's and don'ts" book, it's focus is on the physiology and pathology of celiac disease. But let not your heart be troubled (or your brain twisted) by medicalese -- it is written very clearly and in layman's terms. It starts with an overview of the "normal" digestive tract and the immune system. Then it explains what celiac disease is and what goes wrong. There are chapters on how to diagnose celiac disease and differentiate it from other conditions, as well as discussions on alternative approaches to testing for celiac disease including fecal, breath, and saliva testing and the blood dot test. Dr. Green discusses laboratory differences and false negatives and false positives. The chapter concludes with a discussion on the future of testing.
The next parts of the book are devoted to related conditions and complications with chapters on neurological manifestations like peripheral neuropathy, ataxia, migraines, and epilepsy, malignancy, osteoporosis, depression, DH, diabetes, infertility, and other related autoimmune conditions like Sjogren's Syndrome, thyroid disease, fibromyalgia, Addison's Disease etc. and discussions of the medical management of celiac disease.
The gluten free diet (the only treatment for celiac disease) is covered in some detail, covering topics such as how much gluten is too much, grain science, cross-contamination, and basic rules for avoiding cross contamination. There are chapters on the new labelling and testing of gluten free products, a short chapter on cooking without gluten (this is not a cookbook), eating in the "real world", dealing with family occasions, the medicine cabinet and cosmetics and "eating naked".
The last part of the book has chapters on dealing with children and young adults who have celiac disease, including the impact of parental attitudes, how adults cope with the changes celiac disease and the gluten free diet bring to their lifestyles and then chapters on research and myths and unexplored areas.
I would say that at least two thirds of the book deals with the medical and scientific issues surrounding celiac disease. The last third of the book deals with lifestyle change and gluten-free diet issues. I was glad that there weren't really any specific products mentioned in the book, so we don't have to worry about whether or not a product really is "still" gluten free or not because we saw it in this book.
All in all, I certainly think that this book is an excellent reference for every celiac to have, and a very important contribution to the celiac community.