“Gluten Freedom” by Dr. Alessio Fasano and Susie Flaherty Review

Turner Publication was kind enough to send me an advanced copy of Gluten Freedom: The Nation’s Leading Expert Offers the Essential Guide to a Healthy, Gluten-Free Lifestyle by Alessio Fasano, M.D., G.E. (gastroenterologist) and Susie Flaherty.

Gluten Freedom by Dr. Alessio Fasano

Below you learn more about the authors and find my review of and quotes from this soon to be released book. Its release could not be more timely with the popularity of the gluten-free diet and the increasing number of gluten-related disorders and diseases being diagnosed today.

Stay tuned in for a book giveaway that will run from April 21 – May 31 in honor of Celiac Disease Awareness Month.

About Dr. Alessio Fasano

Dr. Fasano is the founder and director of the Center for Celiac Disease located at Massachusetts General Hospital for children. His center specializes in research and treatment of children with celiac disease, gluten sensitivity and wheat allergy. He is an authoritative figure on celiac disease and gluten sensitivity.

He arrived in the United States in 1993 as a gastroenterologist and research scientist, on a quest to find a cure for childhood diarrhea. When I read about this, it reminded me of one of the original scientists who researched this very subject with the very same goals and stumbled across celiac disease – a true pioneer.

Renowned in the media, Dr. Fasano has been appeared in The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, CNN, USA Today, Los Angeles Times, Huffington Post, and Good Morning America, to name a few.


About Susie Flaherty

Ms. Flaherty was former senior editor at the University of Maryland and is currently communications director of the Center for Celiac Research. She is a member of the National Association of Science Writers. 


My Review of Gluten Freedom

I do not have celiac disease, but this book is so more much more than just about celiac disease. It enables us all to take an in-depth look at gluten and how it affects our bodies. After working on this book, Dr. Alessio Fasano chose the most opportune time for its publication. Our society is craving knowledge, especially about gluten right now, and this book fulfills those needs in every way.

From the moment I picked up the book it kept my interest. The preface alone opened my heart up to Dr. Fasano. He is an interesting and warmhearted man. I look forward to reading more from Dr. Fasano and Susie Flaherty.

What the Book Covers

The book covers the history of gluten and how it relates to gluten-related disorders. Whether you have celiac disease, gluten sensitivity or intolerance, autism and schizophrenia, or would like to know if you or someone close to you has a problem with gluten, this is the book to read.

From page 24:

“Typically the diagnosis [of gluten sensitivity] is made by exclusion. An elimination diet and “open challenge,” the monitored reintroduction of gluten-containing foods, are most often used to evaluate whether health improves with the elimination or reduction of gluten from the diet.”

Celiac Disease Diagnosis

In Chapter five, he goes over how to get the right diagnosis and explains the Fasano diet which simply explains how to avoid gluten in your diet. He didn’t miss a thing as he also covers Silent, Non-Responsive, and Rafactory Celiac Disease. What surprised me most about this chapter is the section on “When Celiac Disease Is Overdiagnosed”. I had never heard of an incorrect diagnosis of celiac disease, but it exists and he explains how this occurs below.

From Page 73:

“Although both the number and the accuracy of diagnostic tests have increased since 1996, celiac disease overdiagnosis can also be a problem. A mistaken positive diagnosis often occurs through confusion about the definition of celiac disease, since health care professionals sometimes interpret a positive AGA as a clear and sufficient sign of the disease…”

To be diagnosed with celiac disease, it often involves an intestinal biopsy. Having this procedure performed on a child can be very invasive. With Dr. Alessio Fasano’s method of diagnosing celiac disease, biopsy can be avoided. The diagnosis method he lays out has been adopted by the European Society for Pediatric Gastroenterology, Hepatology and Nutrition.

The Gluten-Free Diet and Life-Style

He goes over all of the details you could possibly wish to know about the gluten-free diet and life-style. I loved his easy to understand explanation about how much flour actually equals 20 parts per million gluten (ppm). It has nothing to do with the amount of gluten in one item, but the amount celiacs can safely consume in one day that makes up this 20 ppm.


Throughout various chapters in Gluten Freedom, you will even find about 18 gluten-free recipes. Some are donated by others, but there is a small section devoted to “Dinner with Dr. Fasano”. The recipes in this chapter are Southern Italian (think the boot of Italy like Sicily) and all sound delicious. He takes you from antipasto (Italian for appetizers) to dessert. He rates them on how difficult they are with forks: one fork = easy and three forks = difficult. The contributed recipes are equally delicious sounding.

Other chapters are devoted to pregnancy, childhood, family life, college, and even the golden years, to name a few.

Towards the end of the book, in Part IV, he goes into the latest research and hope for the future. He starts the book with explaining the three top wishes of celiac patients; and has already made one of these wishes come true. He provides us with hope that it is possible for the next generation to prevent celiac disease and gluten sensitivity. This book is truly encouraging and enlightening. Everyone who has celiac disease, gluten intolerance/sensitivity or suspects they may have a problem with gluten should read it.

I also wanted to let you know that Dr. Fasano will be donating 100% of his proceeds from Gluten Freedom to the Center for Celiac Research.

The book releases April 29, 2014 and may be purchased on Amazon in hardcover or a Kindle version. You do not need to own a Kindle to download the Kindle reader. You can download a free copy of the Kindle reader for almost any device here. This book is also available at Barnes & Noble and Indie Bound.

© Above image and quotes from Gluten Freedom: The Nation’s Leading Expert Offers the Essential Guide to a Healthy, Gluten-Free Lifestyle – Copyrighted 2014 Alessio Fasano and Susie Flaherty. All rights reserved. All other content – Copyrighted 2014 Carla Spacher – Carla’s Gluten Free Recipe Box 2014. All rights reserved.

Disclaimer: I was supplied with a free advanced reading copy of Gluten Freedom, but it no way influenced my review. Turner Publishing will provide the winner of the giveaway a free copy, which also did not influence this review.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.