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26 of 26 people found the following review helpful
on October 20, 1999
I am in the process of seeing a specialist for fibromyalgia after suffering symptoms for many years. I am a 39 year old mom of 4! This book helped me feel I wasn't alone and this wasn't all in my head. The case studies were very helpful and relatable. The diet and supplement info was educational and confirmed for me that antioxidants help tremendously! Also the extreme importance of exercise is emphasized. Thanks!
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28 of 29 people found the following review helpful
on March 15, 1999
As a physician who suffers with fibromyalgia, I am stunned at the many books available for lay readers on how to treat fibromyalgia. That's why when I find a book that is credible with NO HYPE, I carefully read it and tell my patients. THE FIBROMYALGIA HANDBOOK by McIlwain is such a book. It is filled with scientific studies, easy-to-understand explanations, and a 7-step plan that is guaranteed to reduce your stress and chronic muscle pain--if you commit to doing it. The sleep and nutrition chapters were especially helpful to me, as I've found when i lose sleep, I hurt more. Thank you for writing something we can trust, Dr. McIlwain.
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30 of 32 people found the following review helpful
on October 16, 1999
I know you are sick of "answers" about FMS--because, if you are like me, NONE REALLY WORK. Forget it--this BOOK has answers that work. But you have to TAKE CHARGE OF YOUR LIFE. The book details how the patient with FMS is more sensitive to everything--stress, environment, life interruptions. So the good doctor shows how to regain control of your life, your sleep, your diet, your stress, your meds, and your exercise. BUY THE BOOK--DO THE PLAN. You will win!!!
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33 of 37 people found the following review helpful
on October 10, 1999
As a physician who specializes in natural medicine, I ordered this book because it was written by a rheumatologist and purported to be scientifically based. And while the book may be helpful to many people, Dr. McIlwain's grasp of natural medicine is rudimentary while his infatuation with pharmacological interventions is seemingly boundless. Further, his assertions about natural interventions are not based on the whole of the medical literature but apparently on his narrow review of it. For example, in his positive assessment of growth hormone, which is poorly understood and could have potentially damaging long term effects, he states that it could have "important health benefits" while magnet therapy, which has been shown to not only be useful in pain management but to also have few, if any, side effect, is decried as being able to "induce brain seizures"! Similarly, his review of Chinese medicine is, at best, inept. He reduces the 5,000 year old art of acupuncture to "a form of hyperstimulation for pain relief", as if it were something procured in a massage parlor. Perhaps the most disappointing aspect of the book is the bias that a medical doctor is able to assess the validity of every other medical intervention. Again and again the patient is advised to get the permission of their doctor, as if their doctor even has a clue as to how naturopathic medicine, Chinese medicine, botanical medicine, ayurvedic medicine, orthomolecular medicine, etc. work. In the case of homeopathy, he intones "be sure this person is a medical doctor." And why is that? Because medical doctors are somehow inherently more intelligent or capable of ministering to human suffering than other professionals? What is pointedly missing is the warning that medical doctors often spend one to four weekends learning about a natural medical field (in which its practitioners spend three to four years) and emerge as "instant experts". Unfortunately, such practitioners are typically unable to understand and deliver the kinds of sophisticated protocols that patients require. The bottom line is: if you want conventional medical management of fibromyalgia, go to an MD. If you want alternative medicine, go to a licensed alternative medical practitioner. And by all means be sure the two of them are aware of each other - co-management is often critical to a good clinical outcome. The book has some good points, but be aware of its biases.
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20 of 21 people found the following review helpful
on June 20, 2003
An excellent book on the mysterious fibromyalgia syndrome. Unless you've felt the deep muscle pain and unending fatigue, you have no idea how FMS can rob you of life. This book addresses the symptoms you might feel, possible causes (there are no "proven" causes), medical tests that can help your doctor narrow down the diagnosis (there are no medical tests to determine FMS), and a 7-step program to get relief. The program consists of a combination of therapies including complementary and alternative medical (CAM) therapies, medications, stress management, exercise, ways to increase healing sleep and more.
Having FMS for seven years, I'm always skeptical of the latest health books, but The Fibromyalgia Handbook is scientifically substantiated and extremely practical and rational--the program is something you can implement in your daily life without adding to your stress load.
Buy the book. Give it to a friend with FMS. It is a superb read that can increase relief of pain, fatigue, anxiety and other annoying symptoms.
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16 of 18 people found the following review helpful
on May 16, 1999
Best book out there on fibromyalgia. I've had FMS for seven years and NOTHING--has worked. I read this book three weeks ago--and the 7-step plan REALLY WORKS. If your chronic muscle pain and sleeplessness is affected by daily stressors--grab this book and do what it says. Also try the medications it recommends, including the new Super Aspirins (Celebrex)--which END muscle pain. The exercises also help to keep muscles flexible and ends that "knotted" feeling. BUY THIS BOOK! It will change the way you live with FMS.
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12 of 13 people found the following review helpful
on January 26, 1999
I was very disappointed in this book. Many of the recommendations are commensensical like de-stress your life and eat better, but the emphasis on finding a cocktail of over-the-counter aspirins was a real turn-off. McIlwain does not list any supplements like lecithin which have been found to be helpful. If you have a completely unhealthy lifestyle and you've never tried one thing to address your problem, this is the book for you. If you feel you have tried everything--then you should keep looking down the bibliography.
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
on June 7, 2003
Superb read!! The book is an excellent resource for men and women with fibromyalgia syndrome and FINALLY, this doctor takes it seriously. Not only does the book evaluate the best medications for FMS, but it gives complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) therapies that can ease pain and fatigue without the debilitating side effects of pain meds. I was doubtful at first--as to whether one more book could answer my questions--and ease my symptoms. But once I began the 7-step program--which is basically a lifestyle program--my symptoms subsided greatly. I've read four other books on FMS--this book far surpasses the others and gives new hope to sufferers. The suggestions for alleviating fibro-fog were incredible!! And--I esp. liked the ways to de-stress BEFORE symptoms became unbearable (as my FMS symptoms often coincide with chronic stress).
Buy this book!! If you know of someone with FMS, buy it for them. It's truly a gift of love and hope.
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22 of 27 people found the following review helpful
on May 12, 1999
Excellent book! I read the first Fibromyalgia Handbook and found it somewhat helpful. Yet this newly revised version has everything I needed to know about treatments that REALLY WORK, including guaifenisin (Robitussin), magnet therapy, Super-malic, and other alternative forms of pain relief. I especially like the fact that a rheumatologist wrote it--which means the available treatments have been evaluated--and only the best are recommended. IF YOU HAVE FMS--BUY THIS BOOK. It will change your life.
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18 of 22 people found the following review helpful
on February 18, 2004
I bought this book for my wife who has had FMS for 4 years. I wanted her to get relief and it seemed like no medication was working. She used to be so active but the past few years have been hard on all of us as she tires easily and has constant muscle pain. The book helped my wife!!! Not only did she learn about the various causes of FMS, she found relief with the exercises and lifestyle approach to treatment. My wife even made an appointment with the author (MCILWAIN) and saw him last month in his Tampa Florida office. He confirmed the diagnosis and helped her understand the program even better. She now is taking only one medication and does the exercises daily. She is managing her time better and not over extending herself. These are simple steps to take to get your life back--and they work. I recommend. WE RECOMMEND!
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