Welcome to The Gluten Free NP!

Hi! My name is Liz and I have created this site to help support those in the gluten free community and beyond. I am a Family Nurse Practitioner (FNP) with a master’s degree as a community health primary care nurse practitioner. Much of my nursing background is in community health and home health care.

A little over four years ago I started working in Rheumatology and it was my first “office” job. Instead of traveling to patient’s homes and caring for them where they live, I now see patients in a somewhat sterile environment and I get to know very little about them and their lives.

Although I love what I do, I realized that there is a big piece missing in health care and I think it has to do with time. There just isn’t enough time to do and teach and say everything you want to when you are seeing patients every 15 minutes plus answering messages and documenting and signing off on labs and X-rays and contacting patients with results and and and… It’s not that I don’t want to spend the time with my patients, it’s just that I can’t.  So I decided to create a space where I can do that without being a slave to my office 24/7.

Where does the gluten free part come from? Well, my “TMI” story is this: When I started my position in rheumatology four years ago I was nervous. Really nervous.  Let’s just say that I had a “gut reaction” only I didn’t realize immediately that there was more to it than that. What I initially blew off as a nervous gut didn’t go away when I stopped being a nervous wreck going to work every day. I had been keeping a food diary because I was also trying to lose weight (yes, we actually do what we preach) and I noted that every time I ate certain foods I would be a mess the next day. So I mentioned this to my doctor who tested me for celiac disease and just like that my world was turned upside down.

No more croissants. No more “real” pizza. No more Guinness. That last one really hurt…

Ultimately I was grateful for the diagnosis because I had been having more subtle symptoms for years and it all went away when I changed my diet.  It was almost over night actually. Buh-bye gluten. But it was still hard to do and my healthcare providers had very little information for me. No one recommended a dietitian or had any follow up care suggestions. I had to research the disease for myself and request all of the tests that are recommended after being diagnosed with celiac disease. It felt like I was paving my own way and that I was alone.

I found it somewhat ironic that just as I started working in a field that treats autoimmune diseases, I was diagnosed with one myself. It has certainly given me a better perspective when discussing a new diagnosis with my patients. It has also helped me realize just how important nutrition and lifestyle is to health and I try to address this with my patients as much as time allows. Once again, this is hard to do within a 15 minute time slot.

So what I am here to provide the information and resources to help support you on your journey to healthy living that your healthcare provider (and myself!) don’t always have the time to do in the office.  I am NOT here, however, to replace your healthcare provider. So please, always ask your provider if the suggestions I make are right and safe for you.  If you take medications you should always check for interactions before taking any type of supplements, even vitamins. You can ask your pharmacist to do this for you. If I post something about an activity I recommend, make sure you ask your healthcare provider if it is something your body can handle or if you need to make modifications. Always be safe and always ask questions! This is only a guide, it’s not a personal prescription!

I believe strongly in self care and I want to support you in that. I believe you need information that is fairly unbiased and not sensationalized by someone on TV or in a magazine. I believe you need facts and health recommendations backed up by research whenever possible. I believe you need recommendations that are “do-able” and don’t require you to grow all your own produce, raise your own livestock and live off the land (unless you really really want to of course…).

If this sounds like something that would be helpful for you, please grab a cup of coffee (or tea!) and  join me here on this site.  I hope you find something useful. And please feel free to give (kind) feedback and let me know what topics you’d like to learn more about. I’m here to help! Let’s begin…