I have been intrigued by Jennifer Esposito since she left a hit TV show due to celiac disease. She even wrote a book about it: Jennifer’s Way.
It turns out it was more complicated than that: her celiac disease is very severe (like mine), and her acting job was full-time hours at part-time pay without any accommodations for celiac. She became very ill and still got no accommodations.
It’s nice reading experiences of people with celiac as severe as mine. It’s validating and reassuring to know there are people who are as profoundly affected by this disease as I am. It’s important to hear people reiterate that this is an autoimmune disease, and it is serious. And it’s relevant to know that even thin and conventionally attractive women are not believed, or even committed to psych hospitals, before diagnosis (and sometimes after).
The first 2/3 of the book is her celiac story. It’s compelling and heartbreaking and infuriating and familiar. An illness so severe that it causes permanent damage, and takes an average of a decade to be diagnosed, with the simplest medical treatment in the world.
The rest of the book is about how to get diagnosed and adjust to post-celiac life. It’s the usual stuff about kitchen and bathroom products going to dumpsters, about missing nutrients, and navigating social situations. It wasn’t news, but it was interesting… until I read the part about lemon juice being alkaline and how important it is to make your body less acidic with foods like lemons and grapefruits.
It’s hard to take the rest of the science seriously when such a fundamental fact is mistaken.
Lemon juice has a pH of 2. It is unquestionably acidic. I believe this started when the Food Babe made these same claims.
I did learn (and confirmed elsewhere) that 90% of serotonin is produced in the small intestine… which explains a lot of mental health problems that pair well with celiac disease.
The lemon thing made me put down the book, though.