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Dr. Meggs is professor and chief of the division of toxicology at the Brody School of Medicine at East Carolina University in Greenville, North Carolina. He has been instrumental in the development of the theory of neurogenic switching, which is related to the study of inflammation. As such, he is definitely an expert on the subject of this book.
Dr. Meggs states that a growing body of medical research points to the process of inflammation in the body as a primary contributor to (if not an actual cause of) the major killer diseases: heart disease, stroke, diabetes and cancer (in particular, colon, stomach, esophageal, lung, breast and ovarian cancer). Inflammation is also implicated in chronic fatigue, fibromyalgia, obesity and sleep disorders. It plays a major part in the bodily degeneration of aging, especially Alzheimer's and osteoporosis, and it is strongly implicated in the progression of autoimmune diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis, osteoarthritis, Hashimoto's thyroiditis, asthma, dermatitis, lupus, and scleroderma.
Dr. Meggs provides clear, easily understood explanations of what inflammation is, how we get it, and how to avoid it. He also offers an inflammation quiz to allow you to self-screen for inflammation. His writing (and that of his co-author Carol Svec, an award-winning health writer) is accessible throughout the book, and the flow from subject to subject is so smooth, it invites the reader to study every word. In addition, the book contains a detailed table of contents, an index, and 21 pages of references for those who wish to pursue this subject further.
I found it extremely helpful that after making an extensive, well-documented case for the ravages of inflammation in the body, Dr. Meggs proceeded to list, in a non-overwhelming fashion, lifestyle changes that anyone can make which will lessen the personal health impact of inflammation. He also includes important information on non-prescription and prescription anti-inflammatory medications.
I would strongly recommend this book to anyone interested in learning more about inflammation. It is written in such a straightforward fashion that the lay public will have no trouble understanding it, and the information in it is so crucial and up-to-date, many healthcare professionals could benefit from reading it as well.
I was particularly interested in this book on a personal level, because within my immediate and extended family, all of the following diseases indicated by Dr. Meggs to be implicated in inflammation exist (and in some cases, abound): heart disease, stroke, diabetes, various cancers, chronic fatigue, fibromyalgia, obesity, sleep disorders, osteoporosis, rheumatoid arthritis, Hashimoto's thyroiditis, and dermatitis. I plan to immediately implement many of this book's practical suggestions and discuss with my doctor at my upcoming annual physical what it has taught me about inflammation.
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on March 21, 2004
The Inflammation Cure by Meggs and Svec, and The Inflammation Syndrome by Challem, both appeared in 2003 and both discuss the role of inflammation in the major diseases of our time, and the things that one can do to limit the risk of diseases related to inflammation. Both books are easy to read. Which to choose? According to the prestigious Library Journal, "While Jack Challem's The Inflammation Syndrome covers similar ground [to the Inflammation Cure], his approach leans toward the faddish and sensationalist, while Meggs takes a more levelheaded approach, weaving the latest research on various diseases into a broad picture." The thing I most prefer about Meggs' book is that it takes a comprehensive approach (including diet) to the things that affect inflammation, rather than spending the whole book just discussing the role of diet as is done in Challem's book. Challem is a health reporter who writes and publishes The Nutrition Reporter newsletter; it is natural that he would stress diet and its consequences. But diseases are caused and controlled by much more than our diet. Meggs is a practicing physician who has a great deal of clinical experience with all aspects of inflammation, and who has woven many real-life cases into the book as illustrations. So, which book should you buy? I have little doubt that you will find The Inflammation Cure by Meggs and Svec more informative and much more useful as a reference on your shelf.
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on October 10, 2003
This is a good book. It's an easy read and the author clearly understands the connection between inflammation and lifestyle choices. His advice is interesting and helpful.
I agree with the reviewer below; this book is broad-based and really doesn't address specific inflammatory issues. The point of the book is to recognize how pervasive inflammation is among various health issues and to learn to make beneficial changes in our lives.
My one criticism is: the author states, "There is no need to take supplements for vitamins B6 or B12". I absolutely disagree. As many vegetarians (especially vegans) have learned the hard way, sometimes vitamin B12 supplements are essential. The author recommends a vegetarian diet, yet apparently doesn't recognize that one of the most common risks of a vegetarian diet is insufficient vitamin B12 intake. The author is potentially putting people at risk by not recognizing the possible need for vitamin B12 supplements (totally supported by research on vegetarians and vegetarian diets).
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on February 7, 2004
This book is "all right"...but I much prefer "The Inflammation Syndrome, by Jack Challem, which came out first. Both books cover much the same material, but I think The Inflammation Syndrome does a better job of connecting the dots between dietary imbalances (caused by eating too many junk foods) and inflammation. It also recommends a very clear anti-inflammation diet plan, with easy to follow guidelines and recipes, as well as a number of well-documented anti-inflammatory supplements, such as the omega-3 fish oils, gamma-linolenic acid, antioxidant vitamins, and B vitamins. In addition to describing the big picture of inflammation, The Inflammation Syndrome also focuses on the top 20 or so inflammatory diseases, including heart disease, cancer, and arthritis, as well as inflammatory athletic injuries -- each with specific recommendations for eating habits and supplements. At the very least, you might consider getting both books and synthesizing their advice to suit your needs.
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on December 4, 2003
"The Inflammation Cure", by Dr. William Meggs, M.D., Ph.D., Professor and Chief of Toxicology at the School of Medicine of East Carolina University, with Carol Svec, an award-winning health writer. Dr. Meggs is a physician and has conducted research related to the study of inflammation.
As a medical doctor, I had long understood that inflammation is a key component of the body's defense system - when appropriately activated, inflammation is meant to protect and repair the body after insult or injury. Too little inflammation can lower the immune function and result in disease, whereas too much inflammation can result in and contribute to certain specific diseases.
But in this fascinating, easy-to-understand synthesis of cutting-edge medical research, the authors show how recent medical science is revealing an "inflammation connection" in many of today's common diseases and conditions - cardiovascular disease, autoimmune diseases, asthma, obesity, allergies, fatigue, and others, even aging. They pull together the latest research across medical specialties, and in lay language, explain the functions of inflammation, its scientific basis, and the problems that can arise when there is uncontrolled (severe or long-term) inflammation. Selected scientific references are provided for each chapter.
Most important, the authors give simple lifestyle steps aimed at helping to lower the inflammation risk, reduce hidden sources of inappropriate inflammation, and help the body keep inflammation and anti-inflammation in proper balance. There are informative and lively chapters on dietary measures, lifestyle, mind-body connection, medications and medical tests.
I strongly recommend this timely, easy-to-read book for both lay and medically-trained readers. I believe it is a valuable resource for understanding recent scientific information on inflammation, and in helping make healthy, positive choices.
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on September 2, 2003
The book has inflammation as its central focus, and Dr. Meggs convincingly describes inflammation related connections amongst an amazingly broad spectrum of conditions, diseases, nutrients, attitudes, and other factors. As a non-medical lay person, my impression in reading the book was that the title is a bit inadequate. While the straightforward, lucid style in which facts and ideas are presented makes the book's inflammation related advice accessable in a pragmatic fashion, Meggs seems to cover so much territory with his recommendations that this work could almost be understood as a broad guidebook for living a healthy and happy life in general, albeit with inflammation as the book's raison d'etre.
Certainly I have wondered how and why various drugs functioned in my body, and I have learned a great deal on that subject here. The same can be said about foods, moods, and the air we breathe; it all gets clearly mentioned. Looking at the back portion of the book reveals the depth of research that went into the writing of it, and Dr. Meggs has not speculated with much of what he says - it's all backed up with facts that can be verified.
I enjoyed the book (it's a fun and easy read) and I highly recommend it. I was left with the impression that I was reading solid medical advice, not romantic fantasy. Buy this book.
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on August 3, 2005
This is a clear and well-written discourse on what inflammation is, and the role it plays in a multitude of problems;it is convincing and sincere. It does not, however, offer much in the way of guidelines for how to address the problem, beyond offering some basic "good health" prinicples. In all fairness, there may be no clear "cure" for the condition -- but if so, the title is a tad misleading.
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on September 17, 2007
I know very well what inflammation is and how it adversely affects one's life. I've suffered with idiopathic inflammation for almost two years now. I've been tested for every disease, rheumatoid arthiritis, Lyme, erlichiosis, etc. The doctors cannot find the cause. I'm on Zyrtec 365 days a year to eliminate allergies. But even this does not lessen my joint inflammation at the young age of 43, thin, active and non-smoking.
I anxiously purchased this book to see what potential cures the author had to offer sufferers. None. Don't smoke, don't overeat, eliminition diets, exercise... all the usual stuff found in every health pamphlet. Nothing new here at all. I learned nothing my doctors hadn't already told me or I'd read online. It's a well-written book on an important subject. It just doesn't have answers as the title implies.
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on April 6, 2005
This is not a good book. People who are seeking real insight into their problems will be let down. We generally know that inflammation is involved in diseases. What is needed is a broader framework for making sense out the multiple inflammation phenomena which we observe in disease states. This book fails to bring together the massive amount of scientific and medical data which is currnetly available about toxicology infection and oncology. The title of the book offered such a possible explanation. It failed to deliver. There is no cure in this book.A much better book is "Oxygen; the molecule that made the world" by Nick Lane which is a thought provoking book full of useful insights. The "inflammation cure" makes Outragious Generalisations without any reference.(readers are asked to make the connections themselves to references at the back of the book). In many instances dietary recomendations clash with knowledgable opinion and strike me as misleading and wrong. Another book with much better credenitials is called "The Cholesterol Myths" by Uffe Ravnskov.
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on June 18, 2009
I have developed a chronic inflammation and have been doing research. The title sounds good but it is totally inadequate. It's an easy read but adds very little true knowledge. There are several relationships to foods, spices, and herbs to relieve inflammation and very little is covered in this book. All of the author's credentials and nothing new. Lose weight, eat right,become a vegetarian, get your sleep, be happy is too simplistic. Still it's a good start for those at the very beginning of the road and those without any health knowledge or common sense.
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