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Doody's Review ServiceReviewer: Saba Beg, MD (Washington University Medical Center)
Description: Providing an excellent, detailed summary for understanding fibromyalgia and its management, this book validates the impact that this debilitating disease has on quality of life and encourages people to seek help. The authors effectively emphasize that fibromyalgia is more than just a problem of chronic pain. They explain that various pathological changes occur with this condition. Determining whether one has fibromyalgia is one focus of the book. Questionnaires and detailed tools assist readers in determining if they should seek medical attention.
Purpose: This easy-to-read book helps dispel myths about fibromyalgia, an illness that sometimes is neither completely understood nor appreciated, even by physicians. This holistic, step-by-step instruction guide provides hope for patients who suffer from this chronic disease.
Audience: It is intended as a useful source of information for women with fibromyalgia. Although it is straightforward enough for someone without specialized knowledge to understand, it also provides a concise review for physicians.
Features: Many times patients with fibromyalgia don't know that they are suffering from a real disease, believing that it is "all in their head." This book gives them hope, as various treatment modalities, both pharmacological and nonpharmacological, are explained in a simple and informative way. It brings to light the current and credible research regarding fibromyalgia and the various evidence-based recommendations for its management. Holistic approaches to controlling fibromyalgia, such as exercise, Yoga, Tai Chi, and meditation, are detailed with easy-to-follow illustrations. This book educates and empowers both patients and physicians in developing specific programs that suit a patient's individual needs.
Assessment: Although the book is written for laypersons, it is also useful for physicians who may not fully realize the health impact of the disease. It may prove challenging for physicians to recognize fibromyalgia as often there is an absence of obvious abnormalities in the examination and/or lab tests. However, recent studies have shown several biological abnormalities potentially responsible for the pathophysiology of fibromyalgia, the book nicely summarizes these studies. Although a smaller percentage of men may be affected by fibromyalgia, this book is an equally good resource for men who struggle with it. If you are looking for strategies to deal with this disease and want to have realistic expectations of the current treatments and therapies, I highly recommend this book.