From working in the ER to the celiac diagnosis
Nadine is a registered nurse (RN, BSN CEN) specializing in celiac disease, non-celiac gluten sensitivity and intestinal health. Nadine also has celiac disease and is a Nima user.
Nadine started her career as a nurse in the emergency room. She was excited by the scope of work and intensity of the ER. She was also very motivated to help sick people get well – which was a passion that first drew her into nursing.
In 2006, Nadine was diagnosed celiac by accident. After experiencing acute physical symptoms, including organ failure and rashes, she was finally diagnosed with celiac disease, but tested initially negative. She had already gone on a gluten-free diet and felt much better, and got another test which confirmed she was a DQ2.5 homozygous gene carrier.
The start of the Gluten Free RN community
Since then, Nadine has dedicated her career to helping people navigating celiac disease and non-celiac gluten intolerance. She was surprised by the fact that celiac disease is a major health epidemic and the surprising lack of funding, support and attention for the disease and management of the disease. She went back to her roots of helping sick people get better, and this time personal and professional tracks intersected in her next career transition.
She started the Gluten-free RN community and website, supporting individuals and families through celiac and non-celiac gluten sensitivity diagnosis and lifestyle management. She has authored Dough Nation: A Nurse’s Memoir of Celiac Disease from Missed Diagnosis to Food Health Activism, a book that chronicles her journey from working in the ER to managing celiac disease and the importance of diet and focusing on food as medicine in treating the disease. Nadine also has recorded over 70 podcasts that cover topics such as food as medicine to travel safety tips.
Biggest surprises when helping celiac and non-celiac gluten intolerant families
Over the past 13 years of having her own practice diagnosing celiac patients and helping those avoid gluten for health purposes managing their diet with healthy food choices, Nadine is most surprised by how illuminating the first celiac diagnosis can be for a family – as many other family members find out they also have celiac disease. Studies show 44% of first degree relatives of someone diagnosed celiac also have celiac disease, yet most of those are not symptomatic.
Nadine is also surprised by the unwillingness for people who come to her to actually get screened and diagnosed for celiac disease. They have a fear of knowing and the impact that the diagnosis will have on their life and specifically the diet change.
Using Nima – “I recommend it to all my clients”
Nadine first heard about Nima through some of the industry conferences she attended on celiac research. She was convinced to try Nima after her good friend, Amy Fothergill, had recommended the product.
As a healthcare professional, she dug deep into the research and validation and understood the benefits and limitations of using Nima. She knew it was not 100% to guarantee what she was testing contained gluten, but also said nothing was 100%, and it was a great supplemental tool to use, especially when traveling and eating outside of the home.
Nadine mostly uses Nima when traveling and eating in those unfamiliar places. She is, however, not surprised by the other Nima users she knows who test packaged foods, as the labels are sometimes confusing and not accurate.
The most memorable Nima experiences
She said one of her most memorable Nima experiences was going out to eat after a gluten-free conference in Massachusetts. There were five other Nima users in the party, and the restaurant was supposed to have healthy gluten-free options. Unfortunately, every single gluten-free item came back positive for gluten by all Nima users. The restaurant was responsive to the questions, but the source of contamination was not traced. Everyone went home a little hungry but more than happy that there was no gluten ingested.
Nadine also hosts gluten-free travel groups around the globe. She was hosting a group of travelers on a boat cruise when the restaurant served a bisque. Immediately, her gluten radar went off when she saw the thick creamy soup that was communicated to be gluten-free. She used Nima to test a sample, and sure enough, gluten was found.
The waitstaff brought out the ingredients and there was one thickener that had all the ingredients in German. She tested with Nima and sure enough, gluten was found. They found a German translator who said wheat was on the ingredient list – she was grateful Nima took the first bite so she and her fellow gluten-free travelers could avoid the gluten ingestion.
To learn more about Nadine her work and how she might help you, please visit https://glutenfreern.com/