Recognizing Celiac Disease: New Book Dispels Confusion Surrounding Hidden Epidemic

July 11, 2007 (PRLEAP.COM) Health News
Celiac Disease is the most common chronic intestinal disorder in the world, now known to occur in epidemic proportions. Even so, it is poorly diagnosed. The National Institutes of Health estimates up to 3 million people in the United States have celiac disease, yet less than 3% of these people even know it. Due to its incredibly diverse symptoms, healthcare providers have difficulty recognizing celiac disease, leading to an average time between first presentation of symptoms and proper diagnosis of more than 10 years. Recognizing Celiac Disease, the authoritative new manual by Cleo Libonati, RN, BSN, is helping health professionals and patients in the United States and other countries quickly recognize, properly diagnose and optimally manage this perplexing disorder.

Celiac Disease is caused by the ingestion of gluten, a protein found in wheat, barley, rye and oats, or any ingredient made from these grains. When people with celiac disease eat these foods, their immune system attacks, resulting in damage to the lining of their small intestine. This eventually leads to loss of intestinal integrity, nutritional deficiencies and a multitude of health problems affecting any part of the body. A short list includes abdominal pain, bloating, osteoporosis, irritable bowel syndrome, acid reflux, behavioral disorders, weight gain or loss, depression, anxiety, fatigue, miscarriage and various cancers.

Damage from celiac disease and the likelihood of developing life-threatening health complications increase the longer gluten is consumed. Fortunately, treating celiac disease simply requires removing foods containing gluten from the diet and often results in complete recovery. Unfortunately, celiac disease is the most commonly misdiagnosed or “missed diagnosed” disease in medicine, mainly due to lack of understanding among healthcare providers and the public as to the true scope of the disorder.

Recognizing Celiac Disease consolidates documented medical research around the world into one easy-to-use resource, bringing to light over 300 signs, symptoms, associated disorders and complications. The book also includes helpful charts of nutrient deficiencies and categorizes lists of foods as safe or unsafe for the gluten-free diet to help patients self-manage.

Recognizing Celiac Disease is being used by healthcare providers and patients in 11 countries and has been endorsed by top medical professionals and professors at Harvard, Columbia, Jefferson and Temple Medical Schools as well as the National Foundation for Celiac Awareness and the Celiac Sprue Association – USA.

Afaf I. Meleis, PhD, DrPS (hon), FAAN, Dean of the school of nursing at the University of Pennsylvania expressed praise for the book. “Recognizing Celiac Disease is a monumental work. Assembling this knowledge about celiac disease will help those who suffer from it and those who care for individuals who have suffered from it to understand the signs, the symptoms, and the triggers that cause it. This is must reading for any health professional who deals with this disease, and for individuals who suffer from it. The book will aid in both diagnosing and managing celiac disease.”

Cleo Libonati is a University of Pennsylvania graduate with nursing and paralegal experience spanning thirty years. Her personal experience in discovering celiac disease to be the underlying cause of health problems dating back to childhood, and her resulting recovery,
motivated her to create Recognizing Celiac Disease to help others.

Recognizing Celiac Disease is available through the publisher, GFW Publishing (PO Box 186,
Ft. Washington, Pa 19034-0186, tel: 215.591.4565, email:, web: or or can be found at local and online book retailers.