Reviews: Allergy, Gluten-Free Resource Books

in Resources, Reviews
Published: December 4, 2013

New: Food Allergies: A Complete Guide for Eating When Your Life Depends on It
By Scott H. Sicherer, MD
Johns Hopkins Press, $22.95

Whether your family is new to the world of food allergies or you have lingering questions following a visit to your allergist’s office, Dr. Scott Sicherer’s newly revised book is a gold mine of information. In this ultimate guide to food allergies, he tackles 1,000 questions in an engaging, easy-to-follow format.

The allergy expert explores the latest theories on risk factors for developing food allergies, describes odd emerging allergies to pectin and citrus seeds, explains when airborne allergy is a risk, and has advice on handling food allergy bullying. He also offers thorough information on avoiding cross-contact. You’ll return to this invaluable resource again and again. – Mariam Matti

See Also: Dr. Sicherer Tackles Crucial Food Allergy Questions


Food Allergies and College: Your Complete Planning Guide
By Jan Hanson
East Coast Printing, $15.95

When it comes to college and food allergies, Jan Hanson is here to show parents and students the secrets of mastering this daunting process. Starting from the ins and outs of housing and residence life, dining, health and disability services, Hanson demystifies the college planning process and offers helpful checklists, real-world insights and examples.

Speaking from experience as a former college administrator, Hanson writes of how to find the right school, research services and manage on-campus visits. candid tips for parties, dating and alcohol drive home the looming social challenges, while offering realistic suggestions.

Rounding out this pragmatic guide are food allergy basics and information on laws that protect students with food allergies. Hanson’s book acts as a handy guide for food allergy parents who are preparing for their child’s big college adventure and want to keep those gray hairs at bay. – Caroline Moassessi


MAYO CLINIC Going Gluten Free - JacketMayo Clinic Going Gluten Free
By Joseph A. Murray, MD
Time Home Entertainment, Inc., $25.95

You’ve just been diagnosed with celiac disease and are flummoxed by all the conflicting information about the gluten-free diet. Heavily promoted books scream that gluten, the protein in wheat, rye and barley, is bad, bad, bad for everybody! Meantime, headlines cast doubt on the very existence of gluten disorders.
But don’t despair. To help guide you and separate facts from fiction, the Mayo Clinic has published Going Gluten-Free, a definitive layperson’s guide to celiac disease, gluten sensitivity and emerging issues like FODMAP disorders. Think of it as ‘Celiac A to Z,’ with the underlying theme that your illness does not define you.

Written by Mayo gastroenterologist Dr. Joseph Murray, it covers the gamut from medical explanations, to detailing what gluten is, when it is a problem, and onward to recipes and what to watch for when grocery shopping. (See our Q&A with Dr. Murray at

Those with celiac disease will learn about vitamins and supplements, how to speak to members of your family, and beliefs about celiac disease that have persisted over time. For those who want to learn this will be welcome resources for years to come. – Lisa Fitterman


Preschool handbook CoverPreschool Food Allergy Handbook
By Gina Mennett Lee and Laurel J. Francoeur
Self-published, $34.95

Sending a food-allergic child off to preschool can be daunting. But experts Gina Mennett Lee, an educator-consultant, and Laurel Francoeur, a lawyer with expertise in disability law, show you step-by-step how to do it safely. Their thorough little handbook reviews the food allergy basics, then the authors dive into all you need to know to craft a strong food allergy management plan.

Important issues for both parents and providers include risk reduction at snack/lunch time, spillable allergens, arts and crafts, hand-washing protocols, and how birthdays will be celebrated. There are sections on legal rights, posters, and most helpfully, sample accommodation plans you can borrow from.

The emphasis here is on inclusion, and helping to ensure the child with food allergies has a safe, happy preschool experience, just like the other children. – Gwen Smith


Jennifer's Way CookbooksJennifer’s Way
By Jennifer Esposito
Da Capo Press, $25.99 hardcover

This is a candid, personal story, but don’t believe tabloid reviews: Jennifer’s Way is not a beans-spiller. OK, there is a passage that may allude to her ex, fellow actor Bradley Cooper. And Esposito does tell her version of the rather infamous parting of the ways with CBS and the TV series Blue Bloods.

But if there’s a tell-all aspect to this book, it’s about the failure of the medical establishment to help a woman, who at times is literally crying for help to identify what is wrong with her. In 2009, she finally learns that it is celiac disease, but along the way, she endures stomach symptoms, sinus infections, migraines, and black holes of depression. Then Esposito encounters hair loss, walking difficulty, and panic attacks. She’s desperate for answers. Yet again and again, she’s told it’s anxiety or stress.

Esposito performs a difficult balancing act of finding acting success while attempting to cope with symptoms. This book is frank, it’s raw, compelling, and ultimately uplifting. I just hope the tabloid coverage will lead to many book sales. Jennifer’s Way is a page-turner of medical self-discovery that will give many people a new appreciation of celiac disease. –Gwen Smith


Gluten Freedom
Gluten Freedom - Alessio Fasano1By Dr. Alessio Fasano, MD with Susie Flaherty
Wiley General Trade, $24.95

Penned by one of the world’s top celiac disease experts, Gluten Freedom contains a wealth of knowledge for anyone interested in celiac disease and, gluten-related disorders. Readers get a front-row seat into the exciting breakthroughs in celiac research, plus helpful insights on living a healthy life with the autoimmune condition.

Essential topics in this book, to be released in April, include explaining the mechanisms behind a ‘leaky gut’, the difference between celiac disease and non-celiac gluten sensitivity, gluten’s effect on the brain and its association with psychological disorders such as autism and schizophrenia, and more.

An entire chapter devoted to celiac disease and pregnancy offers answers for expecting, expecting-to-be-expecting or nursing mothers with celiac. Fasano even includes gluten-free recipes, adapted from his own mother’s traditional Italian cooking (there’s a lot more to it than bread and pasta!).

This is the ultimate celiac handbook. Not only does it contain authoritative, up-to-date information on where celiac research stands today, where it came from, and where it’s headed, but it also comes with excellent advice and tips for living a full, healthy life without gluten. –Patrick Bennett

Next: Flying with Food Allergies, A Little Bit Can Hurt and more resource titles.