Top positive review
141 people found this helpful
Everyone should read this book!
on November 30, 2005
I found this book in a roundabout way: My mother was diagnosed with severe celiac disease 40 years ago. She nearly died because the villi in her intestines were virtually gone and she was no longer absorbing nutrients. She weighed 80 lbs. at the time she was finally diagnosed, and unbelievably sick. Her major symptoms kicked in as an adult, and for 8 years doctors told her all her symptoms were "self-induced, in her head." Thankfully she met a single doctor who was familiar with the effects of celiac disease. She went on a gluten free diet and felt better within 2 weeks. Within 3 months she was back to her normal weight of 120.
Fast forward to me very recently: I thought my whole life that I did not inherit celiac from my mom as I was never underweight, and at a later point I put on an extra 20 lbs. that nothing would take off. I had continual digestive problems. Migraines. High blood pressure which did not respond to medication, high cholesterolol, asthmatic type symptoms even though two separate bouts of intensive asthma testing said I did not have asthma. Lots of bronchial things going on, chronic cough. The list goes on....nothing hugely debilitating, but the quality of my life was definitely affected and I went through periods of time thinking there was NOTHING I could eat that wouldn't upset me. All this time I was eating rather a lot of grain products....and I was a carb addict who loved donuts, cake, cookies etc. I got plenty of grain every single day. Dairy products also seemed to bother me. After really binging on a lot of wheat based things over two days, I had a very frightening allergic reaction one evening, so I was forced to examine this possibility and I began to research. My searching led to this book, as well as another very good one called "Dangerous Grains." This book (and the other one) really turned on the light for me. So I tested the idea by cutting out gluten products entirely. Within a day I felt better. Within 3 days I felt like a different person and nothing was upsetting me. My asthma symptoms vanished and the chronic cough disappeared. I actually had some sort of withdrawal headaches for several days, but those are now gone. After a longer period of time, I'll get things tested to see if there is improvement in those areas as well (cholesterol, etc.). But in terms of digestion, I certainly have my answer: Life is better, I feel GREAT without gluten in my diet. I don't understand the several vehemently negative reviews....all I can say is that those reviewers obviously haven't had the problems to deal with and unfortunately, a lot of people are incredibly resistant to the idea of eliminating grains from their diet.
The historical overview of grain consumption in human history, and the various studies which support the bad effects it obviously has on humans when they incorporate it into their diets are all pretty compelling. It's unfortunate that grain is so prevalent in so many of our favorite foods--it can make it a difficult thing to avoid, unfortunately. But the information in this book is well worth knowing because for some asymptomatic people, the first clue to the fact that they suffer from this gluten sensitivity is when they are diagnosed with some sort of cancer (especially intestinal type cancers, but others as well)--as both books pointed out, the cancer rate in celiacs is astronomical compared with the general population. In addition, a lot of the obesity in this country might well be related to gluten consumption. After just one day on a gluten free diet I went down 1.5 lbs from reduced bloating, and for the last 5 or 6 months I've been unable to lose anything at all despite careful, limited eating and heavy exercise. I'm hoping this trend continues until my excess 20 lbs. is finally gone. I really do think this is the key to many people's inability to lose weight. The addictive nature of gluten/grains leads to such overeating of these things that it's easy to see why so many people are overweight now. This information needs to be taken seriously.