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Doody's Review ServiceReviewer: Willem J de Villiers, MD, PhD, MHCM (University of Kentucky College of Medicine)
Description: This is a complete guide for people with irritable bowel syndrome and their families. The editor, an international expert in the field, has written a compassionate and readable book to explain all aspects of the disorder. It is appropriately aimed at lay people and includes many case studies with which readers can identify.
Purpose: The author wishes to share the new information about IBS with patients (predominantly) and healthcare providers. His worthy goals are to convey what we currently understand about IBD; to clear up the many misperceptions that surround the disorder; to help one recognize the symptoms of IBS; to describe tests that may be used during the evaluation of symptoms; and to provide information that will allow IBS patients better understand their symptoms, institute appropriate changes, and improve their quality of life. The book meets the challenges superbly.
Audience: The book is aimed at patients with irritable bowel syndrome and their family members, friends, or coworkers. It is written in an easy to read manner by a well known expert in the field.
Features: The first of the book's four parts provides a general introduction to the disorder, using a case history and describing the epidemiology and pathophysiology. Part 2 focuses on the evaluation and diagnosis of a patient with IBS symptoms and includes a discussion on the natural history and prognosis of patients with IBS. The treatment of IBS is highlighted in part 3 and this includes an excellent discussion of the utility of complementary and alternative therapies. Finally, in part 4, the special needs of children with IBS are addressed as well as possible future developments. Importantly, lists of readily accessible patient resources as well as references to the original medical articles are provided at the back of the book.
Assessment: This is an excellent, well written addition to the lay literature on irritable bowel syndrome. It is clearly written and the use of case studies adds to its utility. IBS patients (and treating gastroenterologists) will benefit greatly from this Johns Hopkins Press Health Book.