If you’ve been diagnosed with celiac disease, I’m going to take a wild guess at what your gastroenterologist told you right after he or she delivered the good news:
- He/she recommended that you should see a dietitian/nutritionist to help you learn the gluten free diet.
- He/she recommended you buy some Lactaid (for good measure) to better help you digest milk while your villi heal.
- See ya in 6 months.
Am I close? If not, congratulations on having a physician who has stayed up-to-date on all the latest celiac research! If it does sound familiar, know that you are not alone. That was the exact scenario that happened to me back in 2005…only the dietitian that my GI recommended never returned my phone calls and the dietitian I eventually found on my own admitted that she was not knowledgeable of the gluten free diet.
And then she handed me the bill.
While great strides have been made in celiac disease and non-celiac gluten sensitivity awareness over the past 6 years, the disturbing fact remains…the majority of physicians in the United States believe and are still practicing the antiquated beliefs about celiac disease that they were taught in medical school decades earlier.
And non-celiac gluten sensitivity? Consider yourself “lucky” if you’re not escorted out of the doctors office in a straight jacket for even mentioning it! (No, you are not crazy. Gluten can damage any organ in your body…and it does not have to be in conjunction with the intestinal damage found in those of us with celiac disease).
And because of that, it is up to the patient to teach themselves not only about the gluten free diet (often learning things the hard way), but also what to expect as you go through the healing process. More often than not, the gluten free diet alone is NOT ENOUGH to restore a person to good health after suffering from the ill effects of consuming poison for decades.
Many folks do in fact experience an immediate “gluten-free euphoria” when they first remove glutonium from their diet…but many people also feel worse because they are going through gluten withdrawal (but they don’t realize what they’re experiencing is withdrawal and that the symptoms should subside within a few weeks or so). Even the people who experience that initial euphoria, often find that their feelings of good health backslide over time.
Then there are those wild and crazy celiac people like me, who don’t feel any different on a gluten-free diet than they did while still eating a gluten-full diet (and this is where the dangerous temptation to cheat can grab hold – trust me, I know).
I found that for me, the best “medicine” was education (after removing glutonium from my diet of course). I’m the type of person who needs to know and understand the hows and whys of something in order for me to make lasting change. Take sugar for example, I used to have a horrible sweet tooth (over a pound of gummy bears a day!). Of course I “knew” that sugar could make my teeth fall out and add a few unwanted pounds around my mid section but I could live with that. Then I watched Sugar: The Bitter Truth and realized that no, I really couldn’t live with it (or shall I say, I wouldn’t live very long with it).
Same thing with gluten. Because I do not feel any noticeable symptoms when I get exposed to the crap, it was vitally important for me to understand what gluten was doing to the inside my body (it’s not like I have a zipper and can just take a peak inside whenever I want!).
So, as I shared in my post on my favorite cookbooks, I will link to the following books on Amazon (if available). Yes, the links are affiliate links (you can read my disclosure policy to learn more), but no pressure to buy from me, if you can find a better deal elsewhere, by all means, go for it! You should also check out your local library to see if they have a copy you can borrow.
The following books are my absolute favorites, not just for learning about celiac disease and gluten sensitivity, but there are also a few books about how many of us probably ended up in this place to begin with (well, at least what I believe to be largely true).
Celiac Disease, Non-Celiac Gluten Sensitivity and Intestinal Health Books
Celiac Disease (Revised and Updated Edition): A Hidden Epidemic by Peter H.R. Green, M.D. and Rory Jones
Whether you have celiac disease or non-celiac gluten sensitivity, this should be one of the first books you read. Dr. Green does an excellent job of teaching those who do not have a medical background about the human digestive system and how it works, as well as the multitude of disease processes that can occur when the gut is in a state of disrepair.
While the book does focus heavily on celiac disease, Dr. Green also explains in great detail much of the terminology that one will come across when reading other books and medical research on the topic of celiac disease and gluten sensitivity.
Dangerous Grains: Why Gluten Cereal Grains May Be Hazardous To Your Health by James Braly, M.D. and Ron Hoggan, Ed. D.
The Iron Edge by Ron Hoggan, Ed. D.
Cereal Killers: Celiac Disease and Gluten-Free A to Z by Ron Hoggan, Ed.D and Scott Adams, founder of celiac.com
The Gluten Effect by Drs. Vikki and Richard Petersen
Gluten Toxicity: The Mysterious Symptoms of Celiac Disease, Dermatitis Herpetiformis, And Non-Celiac Gluten Intolerance by Shelly L. Stuart, R.N., B.Sc.N. of Celiac Nurse
Breaking the Vicious Cycle: Intestinal Health Through Diet by Elaine Gottschall, B.A., M.Sc.
More great books that have been instrumental in my crusade to heal my family
The Unhealthy Truth: One Mother’s Shocking Investigation into the Dangers of America’s Food Supply– and What Every Family Can Do to Protect Itself by Robyn O’Brien of Allergy Kids Foundation and Robynobrien.com
Note from Heidi: Moms, Dads, Grandparents, Teachers, etc., etc. READ THIS BOOK!!!
Excitotoxins: The Taste That Kills by Russell L. Blaylock, M.D.
Healing the New Childhood Epidemics: Autism, ADHD, Asthma, and Allergies: The Groundbreaking Program for the 4-A Disorders by Kenneth Bock, M.D. and Cameron Stauth
Hidden Food Allergies: The Essential Guide to Uncovering Hidden Food Allergies–And Achieving Permanent Relief by James Braly, M.D. and Patrick Holford
Do you know of a great book that you don’t see listed here?
If so, please share your recommendation(s) in a comment!
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