Published by Time Home Entertainment Inc: 2014
Nearly ten years into this journey and I’m still learning!
This offering from Dr. Joseph Murray of the Mayo Clinic is a true one stop shop for the facts, especially if you’re new to celiac disease or gluten issues in general. He starts at the very beginning, explaining what gluten is, why it’s a problem and why we’re hearing so much about it lately. He explains celiac disease, dispels a number of myths and gives good advice to help you decide if you may be a risk and what you should talk to your doctor about.
What I really love is that Dr. Murray has been in this from very early on, from before gluten was a household and much misunderstood word. He studied at the National University of Ireland in Galway, a town in the west of Ireland, and the university eventually became a center for celiac disease research. In those days, celiac disease was quite common in Ireland, but far less so in North America. In fact, when Dr. Murray decided to emigrate to follow his interest in gastrointestinal disease, he expected he would see much less celiac disease. This seemed to be true for a while until he started to see this familiar ailment show itself in unfamiliar and unexpected ways. He soon made his way to the Mayo Clinic and helped to establish what is today one of the leading programs in celiac disease research and treatment.
Do you ever find yourself searching the web, or asking questions on the various forums and being frustrated and confused by the conflicting information and in some cases out-right misinformation? I think that’s very common. Although there is great value in sharing and learning about the experiences of others, sometimes you just want facts you can trust. In Going Gluten Free, Dr. Murray is very clear and very up front about what is known, and what is still unknown in the world of celiac disease and gluten intolerance. He also explains, unambiguously, the spectrum of gluten and wheat related conditions, the differences between them and how they may present in terms of symptoms. But what most important, you can trust this information. The Mayo Clinic is after all a world renowned centre for celiac disease.
Another common area of frustration for people with celiac disease is what may seem like less than perfect results after going gluten free. He talks about what might be causing this and even get’s into some not so well know related issues. For example, the problem that first sent me to my doctor and resulted in an eventual celiac diagnosis was that I was having trouble swallowing my food. During almost every meal, I would have to eat slowly and sip water throughout or I would experience spasms in my esophagus, just behind my breast bone and the food would simply not go down. I would end up running to the bathroom to cough up the log jam of my dinner before I could continue. Even after years on a gluten free diet, I still experience this fairly regularly. In Going Gluten Free, I learned for the first time about eosinophilic esophagitis which gave me confidence to go back to my doctor yet again to try to figure this out.
Once all the medial stuff is out of the way, Dr. Murray goes on to provide a plethora of very practical lifestyle advice complete with testimonials from people who are living with celiac disease and how they are navigating.
In conclusion, I would say that this may be the most compact, comprehensive, and practically helpful resource on gluten disorders that I’ve read to date. I highly recommend it to anyone who has just been diagnosed, who is thinking they may have a gluten problem or who has a friend or family member with a gluten problem. And even if you’re years into it like me, I guarantee it will be time well spent!
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