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
Amanda Rittenhouse, Staff Writer
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.