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Body Signs: From Warning Signs to False Alarms...How to Be Your Own Diagnostic Detective Paperback – February 24, 2009


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Body Signs: From Warning Signs to False Alarms...How to Be Your Own Diagnostic Detective + Your Body's Red Light Warning Signals, revised edition: Medical Tips That May Save Your Life
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 336 pages
  • Publisher: Bantam; Reprint edition (February 24, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0553384317
  • ISBN-13: 978-0553384314
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.7 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 15.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (32 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,343,767 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Despite today's sophisticated diagnostic tools, doctors still rely on the same powers of observation they've used for hundreds of years, parsing visual and olfactory clues for information about their patients' health. In their latest collaboration (after 2005's The Unoffical Guide to Getting Pregnant), medical sociologist Liebmann-Smith and medical journalist Egan, with help from a panel of experts, discuss a huge list of garden variety symptoms like dry skin, persistent coughs, embarrassing flatulence and strange body odors, none of which are necessarily worrying, but which may indicate something more serious afoot. For example, dry eyes are easily treated with lubricants, but may signal an adverse reaction to medication or the onset of autoimmune disease; likewise, scaly red patches on the skin may signal relatively benign, squamous-cell skin cancer, but dark spots resembling moles can indicate life-threatening melanomas. Though they do not deal with children's diseases or obvious call-the-doctor-now signs like high fever and vomiting, this volume is otherwise quite thorough and packed with information, a handy and entertaining resource that fulfills its mission "to alert you, warn you, and maybe even scare you into going to the doctor... and save you the time, expense and anxiety of going" when one isn't needed.
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Review

"Lively and engagingly written, Body Signs is the perfect book for people fascinated by how the human body works. Read it and you'll know what to worry about and what to ignore."—Barbara Kantrowitz, co-author of Is It Hot in Here? Or Is It Me? The Complete Guide to Menopause

"Body Signs is indispensable. It's the ultimate catalog of our bodies' quirks, symptoms, and trouble spots—and a valuable guide to telling the amusing from the alarming. Written in a calm, clear voice, it's often funny, always informative, and potentially life-saving."—Joel Gurin, former Editorial Director, Consumer Reports

"Body Signs is an exceptionally well written and topical book on health. I found it chock-full of informative and interesting tidbits, substantiated by scientific research. The book is easy to read and has something to offer for everyone. I certainly learnt some fascinating medical facts! "—Gayatri Devi, MD Clinical Associate Professor of Neurology and Psychiatry, NYU School of Medicine; President, National Council on Women's Health 

“Packed with information, a handy and entertaining resource that fulfills its mission ‘to alert you, warn you, and maybe even scare you into going to the doctor…and save you the time, expense and anxiety of going’ when one isn’t needed.” —Publishers Weekly

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Customer Reviews

He probably just read a book similar to this.
D. Kadrmas
It's a medical reference book and would be great for the person in your family that always thinks they are sick.
Samantha L. Sayre
There is a ton of useful information in here.
justonemorething

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

15 of 15 people found the following review helpful By E. A. Lovitt HALL OF FAMETOP 100 REVIEWER on March 23, 2008
Format: Hardcover
Pessimists and hypochondriacs should probably avoid "Body Signs." Anyone over the age of fifty will be horrified at the number of symptoms that are caused simply by getting old and wearing out. Too many places in the text state that "it [a particular disorder] affects people around the age of 60" or "nearly 90% of men will have this condition by the time they reach their 80s."

This book has got everything from red palms to floating poop to something called "Sister Joseph's nodule." The latter, found in the navel, "usually signifies an advanced cancer in the abdominal cavity, but the malignancy can occur in virtually any organ." Cripes! I would have thought that a body sign named after a nun would have been benign, at the very least.

It you have a symptom that you find too embarrassing to mention to your physician, "Body Signs" is a good place to check it out. The authors work their way through excrement, bladder functions, borborygmus (gurgling stomach), `flatus vaginalis' and private parts. You have the option of looking up the anatomical feature that interests you, all the way from head hair to toe nails, or reading through this book from cover to cover. Not all of the symptoms mentioned within are fatal. In fact, a few of them are indicators of ruddy good health.

Some of my favorite parts of this book are the anecdotes. Did you know that "The 16th-century German theologian Martin Luther claimed he could `drive away the evil spirit with a single f*rt" or that former President Bill Clinton has a bent...well, read "Body Signs" and find out for yourself.
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20 of 22 people found the following review helpful By Dr. Jonathan Dolhenty on February 3, 2008
Format: Hardcover
"Body Signs" is one of those books which really belongs in everyone's home library. Most people have become extremely health-conscious these days, even though many do not seem to act upon the medical advice which is -- relentlessly, it seems -- thrust on us by the media and our own healthcare providers. I receive at least three e-mail health reports every day and I'm sure others do as well. Unfortunately some of the information provided is inconsistent, counterintuitive, and even contradictory, but medical research is being conducted at such a rapid pace today that this is probably to be expected. But we all want to be physically and mentally well and so it behooves us to pay attention to the latest findings and, at least, give them some consideration in our lives.

Recommendations for maintaining one's health is one thing; but what do we do when we notice that something seems not quite "right" or "normal" with our own health right now? I don't know anyone, young or old, who hasn't complained at some time about some unusual ache, sudden mysterious pain, or perceptible bodily change, and is unable to exactly identify the cause, whether or it classifies as serious or minor, temporary or chronic, or should be ignored or warrants a trip to the physician. Speaking for myself, I certainly do not want to run to my physician every time I suspect something is awry. (I should mention that I don't like such visits in the first place and definitely do not like hospitals, although I've been forced to stay in one twice in the past six years -- emergencies only, suffice to say.)

So, what to do if we need some advice about our immediate medical concerns?
Read more ›
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31 of 36 people found the following review helpful By justonemorething on December 26, 2007
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This book is both fascinating and fun. The detective approach makes it a great read. There is a ton of useful information in here. The book is quite funny and very well written. If you're interested in the human body and what it's trying to tell you, there's no better book out there.
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful By H. Remer on January 15, 2008
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I could hardly believe the depth of subjects in Body Signs. It seems that the authors covered everything anyone might want to know, at least,about symptons that do not require a physician.
I liked the format very much. It is "kicky" without being trendy. One doesn't get bored.
Body Signs certainly should be on everyone's reference bookshelf.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Anthony Miserandino on January 12, 2008
Format: Hardcover
This text is a great starting point for gathering informative data on your worst fears. The easy style and keen observations included as a sidebar reference quickly help put concerns to rest while offering insights for the next step in addressing personal questions. A great companion to webmd.com.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Marcia A. Dimartino on January 30, 2008
Format: Hardcover
How wonderful to be able to look up a symptom I'm experiencing and be able to find a clearly written explanation for it! I love this book! "Body Signs" is a welcome addition to my collection of informative medical books.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Susan on April 7, 2008
Format: Hardcover
Today I made a timely discovery in Body Signs! I was looking up snoring and noticed something about sleep apnea, which a friend has. Body Signs suggests that if you have sleep apnea and are having surgery, it's important to let the doctor know about the apnea. Well, I was just in time, because my friend is having surgery in a few days! This book is invaluable and the information is so accessible, easy to read, not to mention entertaining! I find myself referring to it all the time.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By AmazonJunkie on March 19, 2008
Format: Hardcover
Okay, I will admit it: I have been called a hypochondriac. Well, maybe not the classic definition of one, as I don't go around imagining I have symptoms of diseases I do not, but I am the type of person (like many of us in this electronic information age) who experiences a very real symptom or body sign as this book calls them, heads straight to the internet for information, and then becomes frightened about the endless morbid possibilities. While this book contains tons of interesting information about bodily functions, it is not a diagnostic manual. It will however help you to calm yourself down, if you, like me find yourself panicked over what you see in the toilet, refer to the appropriate chapter, and then breathe a deep sigh of relief because you remember you ate a bunch of beets last night (see Chapter 8). Sorry for the full disclosure but I really want to illustrate my point. This book certainly has come in handy to me on a few occasions. If you are not really like me (congratulations, you probably lead a much happier life because you spend less time worrying!) then this book is probably not for you. If you are like me, and I am sure many of you are, check this book out. It is nice to have on hand in times of crisis.
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