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Living Well with Autoimmune Disease: What Your Doctor Doesn't Tell You...That You Need to Know Paperback – October 8, 2002


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Product Details

  • Series: Living Well
  • Paperback: 544 pages
  • Publisher: William Morrow Paperbacks; 1st edition (October 8, 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0060938196
  • ISBN-13: 978-0060938192
  • Product Dimensions: 5.3 x 1.2 x 8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 15.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (103 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #34,467 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

Autoimmune diseases affect 50 million Americans, mostly women, who frequently remain undiagnosed and untreated, or are treated ineffectively. Living Well with Autoimmune Disease helps readers pinpoint symptoms, find the right practitioner, and learn cutting-edge approaches to reduce symptoms and reverse their disease.

Author Mary Shomon, who has the immune disease Hashimoto's thyroiditis, explains how the immune system is supposed to work, and what can go wrong. Then she discusses more than 20 specific autoimmune diseases--such as chronic fatigue syndrome, inflammatory bowel disease, lupus, thyroid disease, Graves' disease, rheumatoid arthritis, type 1 diabetes, fibromyalgia, scleroderma, and multiple sclerosis. For each, she covers symptoms, diagnosis, and treatment.

Shomon, a patient advocate and Web guide for people with thyroid disease, hears the most success stories from people who combine conventional treatment with complementary therapies, so she gives specific strategies for using herbs, diet, and mind/body therapies. She also includes a 30-page checklist of risk factors and symptoms (helpful when you have no idea what condition you might have), a guide to finding and working with the right practitioner, and an extensive resources section that includes patient support organizations, Web sites, and books. --Joan Price

From Publishers Weekly

It took physicians two years after the author complained of weight gain, depression and fatigue to diagnose her with the autoimmune disease Hashimoto's thyroiditis. Autoimmune disease, which includes such conditions as multiple sclerosis, lupus, rheumatoid arthritis and chronic fatigue syndrome, are estimated to afflict at least 8.5 million Americans. According to Shomon (Living Well with Hypothyroidism), because of the difficulty of diagnosis and tendency of some physicians to prescribe treatments that may have serious side effects, those with autoimmune illnesses are being shortchanged by the medical establishment. Since those who suffer from one are more vulnerable to other autoimmune disorders (not to mention that they may have a genetic predisposition toward a disorder), this informative self-help manual is badly needed. Drawing on extensive research, as well as doctor-patient anecdotes, Shomon's guide is designed to empower patients to participate in their own care. In addition to a detailed discussion of every type of autoimmune disease, the author provides advice on how to choose an appropriate medical team that will work to integrate conventional and alternative therapies. Based partly on her own experience, Shomon advocates an integrative approach to treatment that may include meditation, herbs, exercise and dietary changes along with antibiotics and hormones that together will minimize symptoms and maximize health.
Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information, Inc.

More About the Author

I'm Mary Shomon, and I'm a patient advocate, author, communications consultant, wife and mother. I've tried to transform my own struggle with thyroid disease into an advocacy campaign on behalf of patients with chronic diseases such as thyroid disease, autoimmune conditions, hormone imbalances, and weight gain, among others.

I was diagnosed with Hashimoto's Thyroiditis in 1995, and now research and write about these conditions and their impact on health and weight. Since early 1997, I have served as founder and Guide for the award-winning About.com Thyroid website, and as editor of my popular patient thyroid news report, Sticking Out Our Necks.

In my patient advocacy role, I try yto bring much-needed attention to underdiagnosed and often overlooked health issues. My desire to cut through medical jargon and deliver information to my fellow patients in a form they can understand resulted in my first health-related book, Living Well With Hypothyroidism: What Your Doctor Doesn't Tell You . . . That You Need to Know, which was first published in 2000 by HarperCollins, and has gone to more than 20 printings before a 2nd Revised Edition was published in 2005. The book was a Prevention Book Club Selection, and Amazon Top-Selling health book, and its popularity launched a new series of consumer health books for publisher HarperCollins.

I am also author of the New York Times best-selling book The Thyroid Diet: Manage Your Metabolism for Lasting Weight Loss. (2004) "Thyroid Diet" was also a semi-finalist for the prestigious Quills Awards in 2005.

I am also author of Living Well With Graves' Disease and Hyperthyroidism" (2005) Living Well With Autoimmune Disease"(2003) Living Well With Chronic Fatigue Syndrome and Fibromyalgia," (2004), Thyroid Hormone Breakthrough (2005), The Menopause Thyroid Solution, The Thyroid Diet Revolution, and the Thyroid Guide to Hair Loss.

I have served as the Guide for the popular About.com Thyroid site -- formerly part of the New York Times, and now part of Ask.com -- launching the site in early 1997, and managing the site and working as its sole researcher/writer since that time. That site, Thyroid.about.com, along with my advocacy site Thyroid-info.com, are among the Internet's most popular and visited sites dedicated to thyroid disease.

I've been featured in hundreds of television, radio, newspaper, magazine and web interviews, including appearances on ABC World News Tonight and CBS Radio Networks, and interviews in the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Ladies Home Journal, Health, Cooking Light, Elle Magazine, Woman's World, and the Los Angeles Times, to name just a few.

In my two decades of consumer advocacy, I have never hesitated to take a stand on behalf of patients, and my independence from drug companies and medical/patient organizations that are funded by the pharmaceutical industry has allowed me to maintain an unbiased, truly patient-first advocacy effort.

I am also co-star of the PBS television special, Healthy Hormones: Mind-Body Fitness, with fitness expert Teresa Tapp.

Customer Reviews

A very helpful, informative book!
Catherine M. Edwards
Reading that book changed my life, it gave me the tools I needed to DEMAND correct treatment by my doctor.
Bigdumptruck
I would recommend this book to all autoimmune suffers.
Tracy Green

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

110 of 113 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on October 25, 2002
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
As an woman with autoimmune condition, Graves' disease, I have been desperately looking for information to help me in my efforts to improve my health. I am very grateful for Mary Shomon's book, because it's a fresh approach, and doesn't back off of looking at alternative and natural medicine options, but does include all the standard information (symptoms, how it's diagnosed, traditional treatments) that some people want.
As for me, I struggled for years with symptoms that were vague, and were pooh-poohed by the numerous doctors, until finally hitting on the right doctor to get a diagnosis. That was when my horror story just began, because I had to go through the dreadful maze of antithyroid drugs, radioiodine and thyroid treatment. What a mess. Since that time, I have suspected that I might have other conditions as well [symptoms of Raynaud's, arthritis, hair loss, I am even worried at times that I might be getting lupus], but most doctors look at me like I am losing my mind when I raise the risk of autoimmune disease, or complain about these symptoms as related to my Graves' disease.
I learned a great deal reading about the more than 30 conditions discussed in depth. They're grouped according to the organs or systems under autoimmune attack (like hair & skin, gastrointestinal, and such), which I've not seen done anywhere else.
There's a chapter that's just a list of symptoms and various things that put you at risk for autoimmune diseases. It's particularly detailed -- that list alone would have made this book worth its weight in gold to me back when I was struggling with mysterious symptoms and my GP and I couldn't figure it out.
Read more ›
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52 of 54 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on April 17, 2003
Format: Paperback
I had been diagnosed with an autoimmune disorder, the doctors just did not know which one. There was a baffling array of symptoms that suggested that there were two disorders involved. Which two? The lack of information, and the lack of something specific to research, was maddening.
This book helped it all make sense to me. Seeing all the possible disorders and all the possible symptoms, it became clear how difficult it was for the doctors to pinpoint a problem. It also helped me to realize that I did not need a label before I could begin working for a treatment. This book gave enough information for me to feel more in control and to familiarize me with the different diseases that were possibilities. Now I know which symptoms could be significant and should be reported. Things that did not seemed trivial before now have a different level of importance. But without guidance, I would not know what was worthwhile to report. Now I can be a better patient and can help my doctor narrow the diagnosis.
This book was an excellent springboard to new topics to research and possible treatment avenues that might be worth investigating. The references for more information -- and why you would care -- was helpful too. This is a great book for those new to the autoimmune disease community.
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46 of 49 people found the following review helpful By Elaine A. Moore on October 9, 2002
Format: Paperback
In Living Well With Autoimmune Disease, Mary shows the reader how to successfully take charge of their autoimmune condition. Mary empowers her readers by showing how the best of both conventional and alternative medicine can be incorporated into a lifestyle plan. She not only teaches us about cutting-edge therapies, she explains how lifestyle changes contribute to healing. Showing us how diet, stress, and environmental toxins affect immune system health, she invites the reader to take charge and reduce their symptoms. By including anecdotes, symptom lists, and recommendations from a wide array of medical practitioners, Mary makes this book very user friendly and a welcome addition to any personal library.
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43 of 47 people found the following review helpful By Richard Shames, MD on November 26, 2002
Format: Paperback
Having treated auto-immune conditions for over 20 years, I am delighted to finally have a book on the subject that I can recommend to my patients wholeheartedly. Mary Shoman has done a truly superb job in collecting and coordinating a wide variety of very helpful diagnostic and therapeutic information. I am especially please to see the inclusion of both conventional and alternative approaches. In fact, her book makes more sense out of the auto-immune challenge than most of the medical textbooks I have read.
Best of all, this richly packed comprehensive overview is easily readable and understandable. Her action plans are a compelling incentive for patients to take health issues into their own hands. Her detailed list of resources and references together rounds out a sparkling achievement. With auto-immune illness increasing dramatically all over the world, EVERYONE needs to read this book.
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31 of 33 people found the following review helpful By Bigdumptruck on October 10, 2002
Format: Paperback
Two years ago I dragged myself to the doctor for blood tests after a friend told me to read Mary Shomon's Living Well with Hypothyroidism. Reading that book changed my life, it gave me the tools I needed to DEMAND correct treatment by my doctor. I've been waiting for Living Well with Autoimmune Disease to read more about Hashimoto's Thyroiditis (my autoimmune disease) and to share the book with my mother, who suffers from Raynaud's Phenomenon. I can't believe that Ms. Shomon keeps writing books that *I* need; it's like she's a close personal friend.

So far my mother has already taken what she's read in this book and written it all down to ask her doctor questions about changing her current treatment. To empower my mom this way is just a gift.
I need to buy two more copies now, as I know folks with Crohn's Disease who will benefit greatly from Ms. Shomon's wisdom. 5 Stars.
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