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Never Bet Against Occam: Mast Cell Activation Disease and the Modern Epidemics of Chronic Illness and Medical Complexity Paperback – March 15, 2016
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A long overdue book competently written by one of the worldwide leading hematologists in the field of systemic mast cell diseases. In addition to the current state of knowledge about systemic mast cell activation disease, the author vividly illustrates a selection of possible clinical phenotypes of this disease by means of patient cases, emphasizing the many pitfalls in diagnosis and therapy. The book is an absolute must for all physicians (the frequency of systemic mast cell activation disease in the population amounts to about 10%) and affected patients. The author s brilliant style of writing makes reading a pleasure. --GERHARD J. MOLDERINGS, M.D., Associate Professor of Pharmacology and Toxicology, Molecular Geneticist, Mast Cell Immunologist, University Hospital of Bonn, Germany
Dr. Afrin's case studies illustrate how a single underlying disease process can explain a multitude of seemingly unrelated symptoms. This discovery has the potential to unlock some of the most perplexing medical mysteries of our time. His treatment protocols have ended years of patient suffering and offer much needed hope to the chronic illness community. --JENNIFER ROBIN KULIK, Founder, Mast Movement
About the Author
Dr. Afrin earned a B.S. in computer science at Clemson University in 1984 and then an M.D. at the Medical University of South Carolina (MUSC) in 1988, where he also pursued internal medicine residency and hematology/oncology clinical and research fellowships. While on faculty at MUSC from 1995-2014, he was active in undergraduate and graduate medical education, educational and information technology administration, and practice and research in hematology/oncology and medical informatics. Since the mid-’00s, his clinical work has increasingly focused in hematology, especially mast cell disease. He joined the University of Minnesota in 2014 to further his interests in this area. He has an extensive record of peer-reviewed publications and has spoken widely in his areas of interest.
Top customer reviews
Anyone who has ever rolled their eyes at patients who say they have allergies to things it's "impossible" to be allergic to, like Benadryl, or steroids, should read this book.
Anyone who has a complex, bizarre unexplained illness should read this book.
It is not a scientific book. It is a composite of patient case studies and Dr Afrin's thoughts on Mast Cell Activation Syndrome or Disease. Although it is written in fairly clinical language, I believe most patients who have been through the mill trying figure out what's wrong with them will be able to follow most of it. Plus he has a comprehensive glossary.
Dr Afrin writes in a fun, informal style. And the part about spontaneous human combustion is just.... intriguing!
Not alternative medicine - this is a representation of the best clinical medicine. Refreshing in this era of worshipping "Evidence Based Medicine" which is largely based on poor quality research. Clinical observation and taking the time to think about patients has, sadly, become seriously endangered by the current payment model for physicians. Dr Afrin is a great role model for physicians everywhere.
Dr. Afrin is a world expert when it comes to mast cell activation syndrome and I was very happy when I saw he had written a book about all of his experiences.
His book is completely different from what I had expected at first. Since I am reading every piece of literature that the very few specialists publish about mast cells I thought there could not be many surprises in this book. But I was totally wrong. While reading the patient stories there were many symptoms I too had experienced but that never anyone could explain to me. And now everything made sense. And keep in mind that I am already diagnosed with mast cell activation syndrome, and still every doctor I asked could not explain all of my problems. Dr. Afrin did, in only one book.
It took me a while to merge with Dr. Afrins writing style because it is very different from what I usually read. At some points it is quiet confusing how he jumps from one patient story to his own thoughts and back. But after a short time it was even exciting for me to not know where this story goes and whats next. There even were some laughter in the book and I was able to finish it after only 5 days. Medical literature usually takes me longer than that.
He gives a lot treatment options, plus he lets us all know what his personal experiences with those treatments are. Now even so far unexperienced doctors who have mast cell patients can access those information and maybe are able to treat us better.
I also liked the way he made it possible for both, medical professionals and patients, to understand the content of the book. I have not read many medical books were doctor and patient can benefit from the information in it.
What I also really like is how he has a patient story to every organ system or symptom that could possibly occur and how he is not scared from telling his opinion about what is wrong with the health system. He even mentioned many times what he thinks where mast cell research goes without knowing so far. I loved being a part of his thinking process and even without knowing him I would love to be his patient.
The only critic I have is that I was surprised to see that the Appendix with explanations of all medical terms in the book (which is good) was almost half of the whole book. But still the prize is very affordable for an amazing book like this and I would highly recommend it.
This is the kind of doctor we need more of and that is a book with the potential to help all doctors with already diagnosed MCAS patients OR with patients with so far unclear confusing bizar chronic symptoms. I wish what he already knows might soon reach other medical professionals and help us get better treatment options.
With this book he made it again possible for me to be my own specialist and to take care of my own treatment. This is not only empowering me as a patient but could also lead to my doctor being more confident in treating me.
This book is very good because it is written in normal language so everyone can understand. Mast cell activation disorders are becoming more and more common and people go for years without a diagnosis. I am impressed and grateful that this doctor cares this much to base his practice on this horrible disease and condition. The good news is… There is hope. So if you have been struggling with pain and chronic conditions and have not found an answer… I highly recommend you look into a mast cell disorder with an allergy doctor or a hematologist.
Our society is full of allergies these days that did not exist 50 years ago… Kids and adults. It is not just itching and hives like we have been led to believe… It can be so much more.
Unfortunately I think it's going to just continue to get worse and I'm glad that there is attention being paid to it because they're going to be a lot of patients who need it. Highly recommend read!
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