Even though autoimmune diseases like lupus and rheumatoid arthritis impact the lives of millions of Americans, few books on the subject are aimed at general readers. Journalist Nakazawa (Does Anybody Else Look Like Me?) seeks to shed light on this relatively new area of medicine, drawing on personal experience, extensive research, and interviews with medical personnel to look at what autoimmune diseases are, why they happen, and what may trigger them. Special attention is paid to the overwhelming number of seemingly harmless triggers that surround all of us every day. Readers will find practical suggestions on how to minimize susceptibility to these diseases, but the majority of the book concentrates on the scientific studies that are helping to explain autoimmunity and the recent, cutting-edge research that may one day make autoimmune diseases more predictable and more treatable. Nakazawa articulates highly complicated medical processes in extremely comprehensible language. Highly recommended for public and academic libraries.
Type 1 diabetes, Crohn's disease, lupus, rheumatoid arthritis-all these increasingly common illnesses are autoimmune diseases in which the immune system attacks the body's own tissues or nervous system. Equally alarming, as journalist Nakazawa tells us, is researchers' growing suspicion that autism may be an autoimmune disease, brought on in part by genetic predisposition, exposure of young bodies to man-made chemicals and perhaps viral triggers. Nakazawa (Does Anybody Else Look like Me?), who herself has been diagnosed with the autoimmune Guillain-Barré syndrome, tells of a lower-income Buffalo, N.Y., neighborhood where the growing number of relatively young residents with lupus led one persistent woman to discover that a lot where children played had been a dumping ground for industrial chemicals. She also chronicles the work of researchers at Johns Hopkins and other medical centers who have been able to regrow nerves using embryonic stem cells and destroy errant T cells of the immune system that have run amok. Included are suggestions for foods that may promote healthy immune response and consumer body care products to avoid. Everyone with a friend or family member with an autoimmune disease will find this a must read. (Feb. 5)Copyright 2007 Reed Business Information
"In this important book, Donna Jackson Nakazawa sounds the alarm about the rise of autoimmune disorders, and the too-often unexamined evidence of linkages to the environmental contaminants we encounter on a daily basis in our homes, schools and workplaces. I encourage every American to read this book and learn about the choices you can make to reduce the spread and impact of this growing epidemic." Senator John Kerry
"For the first time sufferers from the epidemic of autoimmune disease are offered a ray of hope and understanding about why their bodies have rebelled against themselves. Seriously asking the question "why", Donna Jackson Nakazawa provides answers and a roadmap for recovery which just doesn't exist with conventional medicine." Mark Hyman, MD, Founder and Medical Director of The UltraWellness Center; Author of the New York Times bestselling UltraMetabolism, The UltraSimpleDiet, and UltraPrevention; and Editor in Chief, Alternative Therapies in Health and Medicine
"An insightful exploration of one of the greatest medical mysteries of our time." Frederick W. Miller, MD, PhD, Chief, Environmental Autoimmunity Group, National Institutes of Health
"Autoimmune diseases touch millions of Americans. Most of these diseases seem to be increasing in frequency. It is most likely that the environment is a major contributor to this increase. Ms. Nakazawa deserves credit for putting this important issue before the public". Noel R. Rose, M.D., Ph.D., Director, Johns Hopkins Center for Autoimmune Disease Research
"Donna brilliantly blends personal stories with pure science highlighting the severity of autoimmunine disorders and the role everyday environmental toxins play in triggering onset of a myriad of diseases. As patients and policymakers, we must heed her warnings and demand attention to the causes and potential cures for this growing autoimmunine epidemic." Congressman Fortney H. "Pete" Stark (California)