When Dr. Fasano’s publisher offered me an advanced copy of his new book, Gluten Freedom, I couldn’t wait to get my hands on it. (Read about how Dr. Fasano treated me here.) He is the founder and director of the Center for Celiac Research at Massachusetts General Hospital and his knowledge of Celiac disease will blow your mind!
While Gluten Freedom is the most comprehensive book I’ve read about Celiac (and I’ve ready many), his personal touches and the patient vignettes, allowed me to fly right through it. The pages were packed with new information about gluten sensitivity and Celiac disease.
Gluten Freedom is broken into five parts. The beginning of the book provides an expansive overview of the history of Celiac and explains how the Center for Celiac Research discovered that 1 in 133 people have Celiac. Section one also explains the different types of gluten disorders, including wheat allergies and gluten sensitivity, and explores the connection between gluten and the autism spectrum and schizophrenia.
Section two is light-hearted and provides many great tips for living without gluten. My favorite part was Dinner with Dr. Fasano; a chapter with some of his own Southern Italian recipes that are naturally gluten free.
You’ll read about navigating a gluten free life from conception to retirement in part three. Several of Dr. Fasano’s patients tell their stories and explain how they manage their gluten free diets. While I’ve read a lot of personal stories online, I found these examples particularly helpful. If you have a child with Celiac do not miss this section as it has loads of helpful information about dietary accommodations at school.
The final two sections of Gluten Freedom dive deep into the prevention of gluten disorders and potential treatments for Celiac disease. While I don’t think I’ll ever be able to enjoy a wheat baguette without problems in my lifetime, Dr. Fasano covers some promising treatments that may make cross contamination less of a concern.
Overall, Gluten Freedom is a comprehensive resource guide that’s appropriate for people new to a gluten free lifestyle and old pros like me. I highly recommend getting a copy when it comes out later this month (April 2014).