Coeliac Disease — a new edition

The release of the third edition of my book, Coeliac Disease: What you need to know, has crept up on me. Originally slated for release in late Spring, Covid-19 put paid to that, and today was the day instead! I remembered only at 1pm …

I ought to tell you what is new:

  • Greater clarity on barley malt derivatives — always a sticking point with the newly diagnosed;
  • Updated food labelling section — another complicated minefield of emphasised allergens and ‘free from’ claims;
  • More on oats in the gluten-free diet — and on the peculiarities of the labelling of oats;
  • PPDS (Pre-packed food for Direct Sale), and Natasha’s Law;
  • Improved section on gluten-free communion;
  • Updated ‘future therapies‘;
  • And much more … including new and updated resources, and extra advice on eating out.

Having looked back at my edits just now, for the purposes of compiling the above list, it’s the subtler changes that catch my attention far more.

I managed to write the 2015 edition using the word ‘highlight’ in reference to allergens on ingredients labels — instead of the more accurate word, to which I’ve now deferred, which is ’emphasise’. 

And I changed instances of the word ‘cheat’ — ie in reference to deliberately consuming gluten when prescribed the gluten-free diet — to ‘stray’ instead, as well as tweaked my language when writing about overweight and obesity, as some of the phrasing was inappropriate.

Language matters, and the more I write about allergies and food hypersensitivities the more I become aware of the importance of choosing just the right word for both the context and the reader — you can’t dumb down or sugar coat, but you can’t risk making the reader feel bad about themselves either, not least when they’re dealing with a diagnosis that might well have turned their world upside down. 

It’s fair to say I am still learning … 

For those who have the second edition of Coeliac Disease: What you need to know (2015), you probably don’t need the third, but for those still using the first edition (2010), might I suggest an upgrade? So much has changed in the intervening decade, especially on regulatory matters.

If you do take the plunge, I hope you find it useful and informative. 

Sheldon Press, the publisher, has been bought into John Murray Press, a division of Hodder & Stoughton, and I’m excited to see what they do with the book. As some of you know, an Italian version is available, but I hope foreign rights in other languages follow too. 

Coeliac Disease: What you need to know was released on 20th August 2020, and is available via Amazon UK and bookshops nationwide.


  1. Micki

    Congrats, Alex, on your new release. May it be very helpful for people and successful for you. And, yes, we are all constantly still learning – I still feel like that after 30 years in the business! Very good to hear someone actually admit it though.

    1. Alex G (Post author)

      Very kind of you, Micki. I think that old truism really does hold: the more you learn, the more you learn there’s more to learn!


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