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.