- Paperback: 330 pages
- Publisher: Jones & Bartlett Learning; 1 edition (June 4, 2007)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0763746401
- ISBN-13: 978-0763746407
- Product Dimensions: 6.1 x 0.7 x 9.1 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1.1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 39 customer reviews
Amazon Best Sellers Rank:
#513,808 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
- #96 in Books > Textbooks > Medicine & Health Sciences > Medicine > Clinical > Rheumatology
- #143 in Books > Textbooks > Medicine & Health Sciences > Medicine > Clinical > Physician & Patient
- #165 in Books > Health, Fitness & Dieting > Diseases & Physical Ailments > Chronic Fatigue Syndrome & Fibromyalgia
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Fibromyalgia: The Complete Guide From Medical Experts and Patients 1st Edition
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Like the author of the book, I have been diagnosed with fibromyalgia. Everyone with this diagnosis will share some things and not others. It is not a cookie-cutter syndrome. It is not even technically a disease, but a syndrome. According to Adrienne Dellwo (a journalist with FMS) of About.com: "A syndrome is a collection of signs and symptoms known to frequently appear together but without a known cause. A disease is a disorder in a system or organ that effects the body's function."(1)
Fibromyalgia: The Complete Guide from Medical Experts and Patients is a good start for someone wanting basics of what is involved, but it tends to go all over the place. The chapters do not seem to follow a logical order and the writings from different people seem to bring more confusion than clarity.
The author, Sharon Ostalecki has a BS in science, MS in physcial science, and PhD in nutrition. Her specialty is in fibromyalgia and she also has the syndrome for over 15 years. You might expect someone with so much insight to have written more of the book, but she opted to let other doctors, specialists, and patients to write a chapter. Dr. Ostalecki wrote chapters 17 (Self-Management Techniques) and 19 (Nutrition and Healing) along with the introductory preface about what she does.
The first two chapters talk about FMS in some detail, but to be honest you can find more detailed information online for free. The first chapter is written jointly by two doctors and the second chapter is written by an FMS patient. I like having different perspectives, but not necessarily within the same book. Chapter one sort of tunnel visions what FMS is and it is backed up by one person's experience which would leave someone unfamiliar with FMS to think all doctors are on the same page as far as diagnosis, tests which need to be run, and the other similar things it could be if not FMS (chronic fatigue, for instance).
Fibromyalgia is almost as diverse as the person diagnosed with it, but it is mostly recognized by the pain points - the ones that not all scientists agree upon. The book also touches on, but doesn't go too much into the other displays of FMS such as depression, seizures, Raynaud's syndrome, or restless leg syndrome(2). It is at least a good smattering of information for beginners to start, so I've said, but when you need more information about it, this falls short.
The book seems to suggest most FMS people can deal with a bit of medicine, nutritional support, yoga, alternative medicine and a positive attitude. If I were to just scan the chapter titles, I would run thinking it was just another quack book. It does take each topic in a responsible manner and does not even suggest that FMS is all in one's head nor that some New Age positive thinking will make it go away.
To date, there are no cures for FMS, all one can do is manage the symptoms as best as possible. Sometimes it will go away for no reason and with others it doesn't seem to go away. This book points out some good methods in coping such as acupuncture and other options for dealing with the pain and what to do with things such as IBS, visual distortion, and sleep disorders as well as how to cope mentally with this sometimes overwhelming syndrome. Again, it's a good start. What might work for one person may not work for another. Anyone who has FMS should be working in conjunction with their doctor(s) and/or specialist(s) and finding a personalized plan. That is the most responsible part of the book, it will refer you to work with your doctor and encourage you not to give up. FMS won't kill you and won't make your body deteriorate, in and of itself, but it will put you in a position where you will not want to be active and that inactivity itself is what can make your body deteriorate (not the FMS).
The part of the book I wish were expanded upon was the medication part. It talks about relieving your pain with NSAIDs/Tylenol and narcotic/non-narcotics as well as pain block injections. It then talks about anti-depressants such as tricyclic, SSRIs and SNRIs which are usually associated with patients who have emotional issues. And then it goes on to anti-convulsant drugs given to seizure patients. The effects of these drugs on FMS are brief as well as the side effects and the potential dangerous interactions with other things like herbal remedies.
If you hate needles, acupuncture won't help you. If you have a bad reaction to certain medications, those meds won't help you. If you cannot work with any type of therapist (physical or emotional), they cannot help you. As the book makes it clear, the FMS patient is the one who has to be the proactive one in getting better.
All in all, the book is a good read. Most of it can be found online on free, but if you have the visual issues of FMS, the book might give you a headache where you can always adjust type-size on a browser. Likewise, if you have FMS and have problems sitting behind the computer for a long time, the book option is good to read when lying down where you may be more prone to shift position. Worthwhile for a look, but I've seen more thouhrough information elsewhere.