Wherever there is wheat, there is susceptibility to celiac disease and non-celiac gluten sensitivity. Gluten is a growing global problem, exacerbated by the popularity of the western diet around the world. This issue has personal, social and political implications as it places a significant economic burden on individuals, communities, and even entire nations.

 The Gluten Free RN brings us a ‘big picture’ perspective of the celiac and gluten sensitive population around the world, as we learn about how other countries support these individuals. She also covers the industries that have begun to recognize the power of the gluten free population as a consumer group.

 Nadine will be doing some globe-trotting herself come September for the International Celiac Disease Symposium in New Delhi, and she is currently soliciting advice regarding where and how to eat safely during her travels in India and Thailand. Feel free to message her with recommendations!  

What’s Discussed: 

When and where wheat originated

  • Fertile Crescent (Northern Africa and the Middle East)
  • 10,000 years ago
  • High prevalence of celiac disease in these regions now

 The International Celiac Disease Symposium

  • September 2017 in New Delhi
  • Held every two years
  • Scientists, medical professionals and other interested parties
  • Share latest research

 Where celiac disease is common

  • Anywhere people are eating grains
  • More widespread as other regions adopt a western diet
  • Increased risk in Punjab population of India

 The basics of celiac disease and non-celiac gluten sensitivity

  • Can present in many ways (300+ signs and symptoms)
  • #1 autoimmune disease in the world
  • More likely to recover the sooner identified
  • 30-50% of the population carry the genes (HLA-DQ2 and HLA-DQ8) that indicate predisposition
  • Body doesn’t have enzymes to break down gluten proteins
  • Gluten damages intestines
  • Nadine recommends adopting a Paleo diet in order to heal

 The World Health Organization’s “burden of disease”

  • Measures the impact of celiac disease
  • Based on financial cost, mortality, morbidity, etc.

 How Italy supports celiac patients

  • Provide extra days off work for doctor’s appointments, shopping
  • Ship gluten free food

 Potential symptoms of celiac disease affecting every ethnicity

  • Odd gait (gluten ataxia)
  • Skin rash (dermatitis herpetiformis)

 The power of celiac and gluten-sensitive patients as a group

  • Largest untapped market in the world
  • Some industries taking notice (pharmaceutical, food)
  • Use influence to heal selves and educate others

 Why some people are so resistant to eliminating grains

  • Sometimes crave what is bad for you
  • Nutritional deficiencies may cause addiction

 Resources Mentioned:

 Guns, Germs, and Steel: The Fates of Human Societies –  by Jared M. Diamond

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Books by Nadine:

Dough Nation: A Nurse’s Memoir of Celiac Disease from Missed Diagnosis to Food and Health Activism

Posted by Nadine Grzeskowiak, RN

Nadine is a 'food is medicine’ activist and is very proud of her work to educate all people about the power of food in health and wellness. Nadine is an expert consultant, professional speaker with over 1500 lectures to date, author of DOUGH NATION: A Nurse's Memoir of Celiac Disease From Missed Diagnosis to Food and Health Activism, podcaster, mom and former emergency/trauma/critical care nurse. Nadine is co-authoring her next book on the science of celiac disease.

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