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John Libonati

News Story about Recognizing Celiac Disease Book

January 16th, 2008 by John Libonati


The news story below just came out today. See what Dr. Stefano Guandalini from the Celiac Disease Center at the University of Chicago, Alice Bast from the National Foundation for Celiac Awareness and Jacqueline Gomes, the corporate dietitian at Pathmark Supermarkets had to say about "Recognizing Celiac Disease."

This book was written for people with celiac disease and their healthcare providers. It will definitely help you understand your ongoing symptoms and what you need to do to achieve wellness...  ---------------------------------------------------Fort Washington Woman Writes Importent Medical Book Ambler Gazette Amanda Rittenhouse, Staff Writer 01/16/2008

Fort Washington author Cleo Libonati wrote "Recognizing Celiac Disease" after she was diagnosed with the disease at age 55 when she requested her gastroenterologist to test her. Libonati said she hopes the book will serve as a guide to those who remain undiagnosed.

According to the National Institute of Health celiac disease affects up to 3 million people in the United States. "I wrote this so that patient can go to doctor and read book and say I have these symptoms. Being able to find out what mineral, vitamin or nutrient are they not absorbing and what is causing all of their symptoms is the real strength of this book," Libonati said.

Libonati has worked as a nurse in intensive care, recovery rooms, in medical and surgical nursing, taught maternity nursing, conducted staff in-service on medical techniques and is a paralegal in medical research.

Libonati described celiac disease as an inherited immune disorder affected by glutens found in the grains of wheat, barley, rye and oats. When individuals eat food including gluten proteins their digestive systems fail to break down the glutens, she said. Symptoms of celiac disease vary depending on the individual but complications can emerge in the nervous, gastrointestinal, skeletal and reproductive systems. Some experience no symptoms at all.

To treat the disease people should avoid foods like breads, regular pasta, pizza, bagels, danishes, muffins, cookies, pies, and cereals, she said. Libonati said the only treatment for celiac disease is a gluten free diet.

Pediatric gastroenterologist and celiac disease specialist at University of Chicago Celiac Disease Center Dr. Stefano Guandalini said the book is a good patient resource. Guandalini recommends the book to anyone diagnosed with the disease and said the book is well written, accessible and includes a very comprehensive list of symptoms.

"I think its useful for a prospective patient to find out whether their complaints are consistent with celiac disease," he said. "I also think junior physicians who are not familiar with celiac disease should have this on their shelves. It is a useful source of information."

Libonati's 302-page guide serves as a guide to patients and doctors and covers the symptoms and foods that patients can and cannot eat to stay healthy. Libonati wrote the book in a three-year period by accessing medical libraries and analyzing studies on how the disease responds to a gluten-free diet.

"The book is an in depth medical reference that integrates world wide research on celiac disease into one useful resource," Libonati said.

National Foundation for Celiac Awareness executive director Alice Bast said the average person with celiac disease suffers between nine to 11 years undiagnosed. Bast said Libonati's book provides readers with an understanding of nutritional deficiencies and said it helps readers understand how a change in diet can improve the health of a person with the disease.

"I think this book is wonderful. The book guides you towards what you can do to improve your overall health and immune system and is really for somebody who wants to take health into their own hands. I recommend it to the medical community and to patients who want to be informed on how to stay healthy and to improve their health," Bast said.

Libonati said the book includes extensive lists of foods that a diagnosed celiac may or may not have and instructions on how to build a gluten-free diet.

"One of the major issues facing celiacs is not knowing what a food is made of," Libonati said.

Registered dietitian for Pathmark Stores Inc. Jacqueline Gomes guides customers towards finding gluten-free foods. Overall Gomes said the book has provided her with comprehensive information about the condition and what types of deficiencies a person may or may not have.

"I like it because it gives information what you can have and how you can enjoy it rather than just saying what you can't have", Gomes said.

Gomes calls the book user friendly and said it is appropriate for both health professionals and general readers that are able to understand some medical terminology.

"For me it's a quick and valid source of information that I can use to talk to any of my consumers about the best choices they have for their condition at the supermarket level. This is a very comprehensive source ," Gomes said.

©Montgomery Newspapers 2008

Find out more about Recognizing Celiac Disease here.


John Libonati

Book Review by Gastroenterology Nursing!

December 21st, 2007 by John Libonati

Recognizing Celiac Disease: Signs, Symptoms, Associated Disorders & Complications by C.J. Libonati (2007).

Fort Washington, PA: Gluten Free Works Publishing.  www.recognizingceliacdisease.com

This book is a first for author Cleo J. Libonati. A registered nurse with first-hand knowledge of celiac disease, Libonati takes the reader on a journey that educates and enlightens. This self-published book has a wealth of information useful for those afflicted with celiac disease as well as the healthcare professionals caring for them.

The topic of the book is important to all because of the prevalence of celiac disease in the United States. Prevalence studies conducted in the United States demonstrate that 1 in 133 Americans have celiac disease, amounting to a staggering 3 million Americans afflicted with the disorder, yet few are diagnosed. Complicating this picture is the lack of education and general knowledge of the disease among the public, health agencies, and healthcare professionals. In the introduction, Libonati notes that only 48 of the 6,276 papers published on celiac disease in the last 30 years were published in the United States.

The book reviews the pathophysiology, symptoms, manifestations, complications, associated disorders, diagnosis, and treatment of the disease. Written in clear concise language that both the layperson and health professional can understand, the book successfully integrates the research data on celiac disease into a useful resource. The print, format, tables, illustrations, and careful citation of research data along with the inclusion of the final statement from the June 2004 National Institutes of Health Consensus Development Conference on Celiac Disease make this text an easy to read resource for those wishing to further their education on celiac disease.

The message of the book is especially important for all health professionals specializing in gastroenterology. Although signs, symptoms, and presentation of celiac disease can be different in each individual afflicted, the common denominator is damage to the small bowel. This book provides a useful resource for every health professional associated with a gastroenterology practice and would be a valuable addition to office resources on celiac disease.

Recognizing Celiac Disease is very well organized and contains two sections. The first section of the book includes three chapters. Beginning with a discussion of gluten as the environmental trigger for celiac disease, the book takes the reader on a step-by-step journey into understanding the origin, pathophysiology, and symptoms of celiac disease. From definition of the disease to signs, symptoms, diagnostic criteria, and treatment of celiac disease, each chapter gives in-depth, up-to-date information on all aspects of each topic. Of particular interest to gastroenterology health professionals is an overview of the workings of the gastrointestinal tract along with the pathophysiology celiac disease inflicts on the gastrointestinal system. This section is written in a manner that will assist any reader in understanding the multiple presentations and physical manifestations of the disease. Also included in this section are three appendices; “Unsafe Foods and Ingredients,” “Gluten-Free Diet Self-Management Three Step Process,” and “Sample Foods Commonly Allowed and Not Allowed on a GF Diet.” Each appendix is easy to read and understand. Although in-depth resources in themselves, the chapters and appendices include citations of research, articles, and resources utilized in creating each section of the book, providing the reader tools to further his or her knowledge if they so desire. This section also contains a glossary to assist readers unfamiliar with the terminology used in discussions of disease processes and their epidemiology.

The second section of the book is unique in that it contains two tables outlining an extensive literature review done by the author. An easy to read explanation on how to use this section of the book assists the reader to fully utilize the extensive amount of information presented in the tables. The first table lists nutritional deficiencies of celiac disease and the second table lists the signs, symptoms, associated disorders, and complications of celiac disease. Both tables are extremely helpful, providing extensive information on the typical and atypical signs and symptoms of the disease. Included in each table is information identifying associated disorders, complications, and whether these improve or do not improve on the gluten-free diet. The tables are a rich resource to understanding the nuances of celiac disease. Although the tables themselves provide a tremendous amount of information, the citations provided in the tables lead the reader to an even larger data base of information regarding all aspects of celiac disease.

Finally, the book contains an extensive reference list and index. The reference list is organized by the section of the book in which the sources are cited, and the index is well organized and easily assists readers in finding their desired topic.

Recognizing Celiac Disease: Signs, Symptoms, Associated Disorders & Complications certainly lives up to the title. Libonati clearly outlines the extent of the disease and the need for recognizing, diagnosing, and treating celiac disease in the United States. Her book educates the reader not only about the disease process, but addresses treating and recognizing nutritional deficiencies, associated disorders, and the many complications of the disease. Recognizing Celiac Disease should be on the shelf of every family affected by celiac disease as well as the health professionals caring for them. -----------------------------------------------

© The Society of Gastroenterology Nurses & Associates 2007. All Rights Reserved. Volume 30(5), September/October 2007, p 387–388 Recognizing Celiac Disease: Signs, Symptoms, Associated Disorders & Complications by C.J. Libonati (2007). Fort Washington, PA: Gluten Free Works Publishing.

[Department: Book Review] Gainer, Cheryl L. MSN, CNM, RN

Cheryl L. Gainer, MSN, CNM, RN, is Clinical Instructor, The University of Texas at Arlington, School ofNursing,Arlington, Texas.