Book Review: The Gluten Effect: How "Innocent" Wheat Is Ruining Your Health
There are a lot of books on the market that are dedicated to gluten free living, wheat allergies or intolerances and how to potentially live a healthier life by removing grains from the diet. The problem comes from trying to decide which books to buy and whether they will answer the questions that you have.
HealthNOW sent us a copy for review of The Gluten Effect: How "Innocent" Wheat Is Ruining Your Health by Drs. Vikki & Richard Petersen DC, CCN and Founders of the HealthNOW Method .
The book is broken up into five sections:
Section One: Why all the sudden interest in gluten? This section includes an intro to gluten sensitivity and how your immune system works and why it reacts to gluten.
Section Two: Is gluten the hidden culprit behind your symptoms? Including digestive problems and their relationship to gluten, it's effects on your brain and nervous system and autoimmune diseases.
Section Three: The mainstream gluten disorders Including celiac disease, autism, ADD, ADHD, IBS, thyroid disorders and osteoporosis.
Section Four: Other gluten-related disorders including depression, weight gain, fibromyalgia and memory loss Looking at the various disorders that may be related to gluten.
Section Five: Finding and eliminating the cause
Getting diagnosed and being gluten free.
The book is written for the layperson e.g. you and me, the people who don't have medical knowledge but do have gluten issues that they want explained clearly and concisely. It also includes a useful glossary at the back for some of the more tricky definitions.
One of the biggest problems with text books is that they are usually a sea of black ink on paper with little white space to break up the monotony of words. The Gluten Effect appears to have thought that through and information is broken up into bite sized chunks each with a clear heading, this makes dipping back into the book much easier for specific items you might want to check out again.
Case studies are interspersed throughout the book, and some people may find themselves identifying with those individuals. It may be like turning on the light, all of a sudden other people also have those crazy sounding symptoms, you're not going nuts after all.
So what did we think about the book overall? Well at wheat-free.org we have absolutely no medical qualifications or background, but we have read a lot about wheat allergies and gluten problems over the last 13 years.
We found the book interesting and there were things that we learnt from it that we didn't previously know, so that was another bonus. A criticism would be the title: The Gluten Effect: How "Innocent" Wheat Is Ruining Your Health. Gluten is more than just wheat derived, there's also barley and rye, the jury is still seesawing on oats. The title appears to over-sensationalise the wheat aspect, as does the content, which may mislead people slightly, especially those with celiac disease.
As with all books about medical issues care needs to be taken with self-diagnosis. Read this book and learn about the issues affecting people with gluten/wheat sensitivity, and if you think that it might just be what's affecting you then don't hesitate to go to your physician armed with this information.
Overall we liked the book so it's worth a read if you are suffering strange, unexplained symptoms that your doctor simply brushes aside. Read this book and you will learn some interesting facts that may have a beneficial impact on improving your life if wheat/gluten is at the root of your problems. If you have a better understanding of gluten sensitivity then you can make yourself heard more clearly when you see your doctor.