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Life and Breath: The Breakthrough Guide to the Latest Strategies for Fighting Asthma and Other Respiratory Problems -- At Any Age Paperback – March 9, 2004

4.8 out of 5 stars 18 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Schachter's late father was a WWII refugee from Vienna who landed in the South Bronx and began a practice that inspired Schachter fils to enter the family profession; he now holds multiple titles in pulmonary and respiratory care at New York's Mount Sinai Medical Center, has published more than 400 research papers and five monographs, and is the former president of the American Lung Association. If any further evidence were needed of his menschdom, 25 percent of all earnings from this preventative how-to will be donated to the American Lung Association of the City of New York. Schachter shows COPD (the disease in the subtitle) to encompass various forms of chronic bronchitis (sometimes in the form of smoker's cough), asthma and emphysema, and notes that many potential victims of the disease-which affects 35 million Americans and is the fourth leading cause of death in the U.S.-are between 45 and 64. He carefully lays out environmental hazards (from particulate matter to gas stoves), warning signs, testing options, treatments and preventatives, including changes in diet and exercise. He argues against smoking, of course, and offers tips on how to quit. The book is brisk but sympathetic-one section about asthma, a disease that many argue has links to stress, is titled: "It's Not All In Your Head"-and should help even the most doctor-phobic seek proper care.
Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From the Inside Flap

The fourth leading cause of death in the United States, COPD, or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, affects an estimated 35 million Americans. Yet only half are aware that they are seriously ill. Life and Breath, by Dr. Neil Schachter, is the first book that alerts people to their risks for COPD and explains the steps they need to take to prevent the development of this debilitating and often fatal lung disease.
"Life and Breath begins witha quick quiz to rate your risk for COPD. It explains the steps of a complete pulmonary work-up and teaches you about the painless, inexpensive six-second test that can save your life.
We all know that diet, exercise, and environmental changes can reduce the risk of heart disease and some types of cancer. Now, for the first time, "Life and Breath provides the medical and lifestyle steps that can prevent, treat, and sometimes reverse the signs and symptoms of chronic lung disease. Dr. Schachter discusses the role of antioxidants in treating asthma and chronic bronchitis, explains why indoor exercise is better if you have irritable airways, and provides a supportive, simple, and successful plan to quit smoking.
"Life and Breath takes you on a tour of your own home, pointing out sources of irritants and allergens that can cause pulmonary problems. Dr. Schachter explains how to improve indoor air quality to protect your lungs at any age, on the job, in your home, and on the road.
If you are one of the 15 million Americans with asthma, or one of the 94 million current or former smokers in this country," Life and Breath is the one book you need to stay alive and well.

"From the Hardcover edition.

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 336 pages
  • Publisher: Harmony (March 9, 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0767912896
  • ISBN-13: 978-0767912891
  • Product Dimensions: 5.2 x 0.8 x 8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (18 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,379,888 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
I first saw Dr. Schacter being interviewed on the Today Show in April while I was home recouperating from my third round of pneumonia in about 15 years. I ordered the book immediately and read it within a day of receiving it.
The information contained in the book was extremely helpful in educating me about how serious a chronic cough can be and how important it is to get appropriate treatment for anything that is related to your lungs on a timely basis. My sister is a severe asthmatic and I ordered a copy for her and sent it to her in California.
Following my bout of pneumonia, I have learned that I have a pulmonary nodule and again found the information in the book helpful as I have begun to navigate the ramifications of that health issue. When I was first diagnosed, I also emailed Dr. Schacter some questions and he responded to me personally which was certainly "above and beyond."
I highly recommend this book to anyone anyone with any pulmonary issues.
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Format: Hardcover
I happened to open Dr. Schachter's book randomly and began reading about the complications of cigarette smoking. As an ex-smoker (I quit after a "warning" heart attack several years ago and still dread the thought of lung cancer) I found the information both revealing and riveting. I read much more of "Life and Breath" and discovered a great deal of information that really hit home for myself and several people in my life - primarily the links between one's diet and home environment with asthma, heart disease, hypertension and some cancers. The book also surprised me with some common symptoms a person could easily dismiss as "nothing to worry about" but which could be clear signs of a totally unexpected lung disease. Most impressive was the doctor's writing style. It is delightfully engaging and very clear, presenting medical information as a skilled storyteller would. This was a pleasant surprise and greatly enhanced my enjoyment of "Life and Breath". I'm a mystery fan and this is a book I never expected to read. But once I got going, "Life and Breath" was as interesting as a good forensic whodunit.
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By A Customer on March 3, 2004
Format: Hardcover
Finally, a book to help patients suffering from Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD). The families of people suffering from COPD will have a better understanding of the disease after reading this book.
At the present time, COPD is not curable. However, by reading Life and Breath, it will help those suffering from COPD live longer, happier and healthier lives. The book will teach us how to better control COPD.
One is taught and is given a better understanding of the complete chest workup. Eating habits are gone over extensively, and we learn that by changing our diet we can breath easier and more normally.
Pulmonary protection and physical work outs will allow us to breath easier and realize it is never too late to give up bad habits. Treatment strategies for both asthma and COPD are outlined in the book and are extremely important.
I recommend this bood to doctors, COPD patients and their families.
Daniel J. Colona, NY
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By A Customer on August 24, 2003
Format: Hardcover
This is an excellent book for anyone suffering from or who has just acquired a breathing disorder. I bought it after coming down with a case of bronchitis that would not go away after several weeks. The book helped me realize the dangers of not getting the proper treatment for COPD. It also helped me be a partner with my doctor in the treatment of it. I understand the treatment decisions, the drugs used (and not used) and what to do to prevent a recurrance. The cost of the book is a small price to pay for being a knowledgeable patient.
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Format: Hardcover
I picked this book up because I was concerned about my husband, who has had a morning cough for about 2 years. The book was the catalyst to a whole lifestyle change for him! We went to his doctor, had him tested for COPD (he is in the early stages), he quit smoking, we ripped out our carpet, we've changed our diet.... I can't say enough about the value of this book. Read it!!!
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Schachter's book is generally excellent, and I gave it only four stars because it is a bit outdated in the chapters regarding meds and their development; O2 and the various delivery systems available and the travel requirements for those using supplementary O2. The book was published in 2003 and there have been many changes in those three areas since that time. In all other respects, it is one of the best I've read. The chapters explaining the physical changes that occur with asthma, emphysema and chronic bronchitis and the ways those physical changes affect breathing are both detailed and relatively easy for the layman to understand. His explanations of the various medications that are used, what they are designed to do and how they are supposed to work are detailed and complete. I was particularly pleased with his acknowledgement that while medications can improve some aspects of breathing for COPD patients, lifestyle changes are the keys to a better quality of life: no smoking, daily aerobic and strengthening exercise and attention to diet and nutrition. He encourages routine spirometry testing for smokers as part of regular physical checkups in the hopes of helping doctors diagnose and begin treating COPD early when there is a much better chance of a good quality of life as the patient has time to make the lifestyle changes necessary.
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