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Park City mother’s journey inspires gluten-free revolution

Danna Van Noy: From personal struggle to gluten-free pioneer

PARK CITY, Utah — Parkite Danna Van Noy turned her personal quest to treat her son’s celiac disease into a global movement to understand and embrace a gluten-free lifestyle. Her latest book, “Living Gluten-Free for Dummies” (third edition), is a testament to nearly three decades of advocacy and education.

In 1991, when Van Noy’s toddler son was diagnosed with celiac disease, the concept of a gluten-free diet was largely unrecognized. Doctors dismissed her concerns, which led her to undertake a relentless pursuit of knowledge. This journey not only transformed her son’s health but also her own life trajectory.

Van Noy’s early experiences of being labeled “neurotic” and being turned away by pediatricians for challenging their diagnoses led to an isolation that fueled her determination. She immersed herself in medical research, eventually sharing her findings through her writings and public speaking.

Today, celiac disease is thought to affect one in every 100 people globally, with many undiagnosed. Van Noy’s book delves into the often-overlooked emotional and social challenges of living gluten-free. It distinguishes between celiac disease, gluten intolerance, and wheat allergies, debunking the myth of a universal need for gluten-free diets while acknowledging the benefits for those genuinely affected.

This third edition of “Living Gluten-Free for Dummies” contains updated content reflecting the latest scientific and medical insights alongside practical advice on navigating a gluten-free life. It underscores Van Noy’s role as a non-medical expert who has twice spoken at the International Symposium on Celiac Disease—a rare honor.

Beyond personal health, the book explores the burgeoning gluten-free industry, valued at nearly $10 billion, and discusses the diet’s implications for neurological conditions, including autism.

Van Noy also founded the first support group for children on gluten-free diets, Raising Our Celiac Kids (ROCK), which now has chapters across North America.

“We absolutely love and appreciate everything about our amazing town,” Van Noy says of Park City. “Our passions are adventure activities, discovering new things about ourselves and other people, and constantly learning.”

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