After reading this book, I am SO aware that I owe so much of my health and healing to Dr. Alessio Fasano.
So from the bottom of my heart, THANK YOU Dr. Alessio Fasano. Because of you, my life has been changed dramatically. And not just me, THOUSANDS of people, now and into the future, will be impacted by your dedication. Seriously, thank you.
If you don't know of Dr. Fasano, he is a pediatric gastroenterologist who has been on the forefront of Celiac Disease for decades. He is the founder of the Center for Celiac Research in Boston, MA. He is originally from Italy, and came to the United States in the 1990's, searching for a cure for childhood diarrhea. The knowledge of Celiac Disease is honestly where it is today because of the research he has done.
Okay, now that the most important stuff is out of the way, on to his book.
I was given a free advance copy reading of Dr. Alessio Fasano's book "Gluten Freedom." It was waiting for me when I returned from the Chicago Gluten & Allergen Free Expo, and I started reading it as soon as I was unpacked and the clothes were in the washer.
My eyes were truly opened by what I read in this book about the history of Celiac Disease. Even though the first recorded observations about Celiac Disease were known 2,000 years ago, and Samuel Gee recognized it as malnutrition disease in the 1880's, the discovery of gluten being the trigger of the disease didn't happen until the 1950. That's right- the gluten free diet has really only been in existence for 64 years. That is mind blowing to me. It wasn't even until the 1970's that a "diagnostic tool" was created and doctors actually began to study it.
Not only is it mind blowing, it's humbling. In all honesty, we know so much about Celiac Disease now. We know that it is a genetic disorder that can lead to serious complications and that we can pass it on to our children. My grandmother had Celiac Disease, and my dad has Celiac Disease. In all honesty, I was upset for a while 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.
So when Dr. Fasano came here from Italy in the 1990's, he had doctors in the U.S.A. telling him that Celiac Disease didn't exist in this country.
Thank God that Dr. Fasano didn't believe them.
So you know the studies that are always cited that gives us the figure that Celiac Disease affects 1 in 133? Yeah, that is the result of Dr. Fasano being curious and determined to get to the truth of the matter. After sampling blood from donations at the Red Cross, their findings were published in 2003. That's right, 11 years ago. 11 YEARS AGO. So this disease has been around almost 2,000 years and doctors here in the U.S. started taking it seriously 11 YEARS AGO. Amazing.
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. He says that with those numbers, it is 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!
And all of this is just in the first 20 pages of his book.
Not only does he talk about Celiac Disease, but also about Non-Celiac Gluten Sensitivity, other diseases helped by the gluten free diet (including Autism). He explains the issue of leaky gut and the role of Zonulin, which is the basis of these gastro diseases. He actually goes as far to say, based on research, that NO ONE can fully process gluten. BUT, and here me on this, he does NOT feel that everyone has to stay away from gluten.
Other topics in this book include autoimmune disease, proper diagnosis and methods of diagnosis, what you can and can't eat on a gluten free diet, recipes by himself and by Jules Shepard. Also, he gives a breakdown on how Celiac Disease affects you in every stage of your life. He finishes the book with current research and the future of Celiac Disease.
There is so much here to read and digest and disseminate. But honestly, I suggest getting a copy for yourself. You can order his book on Amazon. Just click here to go directly there. And in all honesty, in the age of E-books, I still suggest getting this book in hard copy. I have underlined so many parts of this book and written in the margins, it's ridiculous.
Another reason to buy the book- Dr. Fasano is donating 100% of his proceeds to the Center for Celiac Research. That's right ONE HUNDRED PERCENT. Absolutely amazing.
This is so fitting to read now, in the month of May, during Celiac Awareness month. While Dr. Fasano obviously did not do all of his work alone, imagine how much more can be done when we ALL come together to get the word out. So this May, get this book, educate yourself, educate someone else, and do whatever you can to bring about Celiac Awareness!
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