I chose to review this book both to satisfy my thirst for all things medical and because I have a beloved friend who has suffered from this condition for over two decades. Due to its complex and varied presentation, CFS/FM is difficult to diagnosis and there is a need for awareness in both the medical and general community. You could have the disease and not know it, or know it and be told by your doctor that you have something completely different, or be told your tests are inconclusive which points to nothing is wrong. And nothing could be further from the truth. CFS/FM is a very real, often debilitating condition. How frustrating for the individual who suffers from it. That’s what makes a book like this so important. If you or a relative, or a friend of yours has CFS/FM you will find this book a valuable, empowering resource. It will equip you with enough knowledge and data to help you advocate and better manage the symptoms of the illness, and hopefully prevent serious relapses.
Alison Bested, a doctor with years of knowledge and experience in the management of CFS/FM patients delves into the diagnosis of the disease, and includes the most recent investigations and theories as to the cause, and expounds on the most popular and effective treatment methods. She explores treatment with dietary supplements and herbs, mind-body medicine, alternative management, as well as pharmaceutical treatments.
The book is written to the layperson, and is easy enough to grasp, but there were a few statistical analysis charts that made me a little sleepy. I like that being a doctor she didn’t find it necessary to over-use medical jargon or flowering vocabulary. She even uses cute cartoons with funny captions that show an excellent sense of humor. In order to be helped, the person who needs this book should be able to understand it.
And, the author is clear to state that correct, early diagnosis is the key to recovery.
“Traditionally, most general practitioners or family doctors (about 70 percent) have been reluctant to make the diagnosis of chronic fatigue syndrome. For some doctors it is simply because they don’t “buy into’ CFS/FM as illnesses. However, the majority of those reluctant to make the diagnosis are fearful that it will only ensure that the patient will live out a life of chronic fatigue/pain….However, in reality the diagnosis of CFS/FM has been shown to be very helpful for patients. If the patient fits the diagnosis, it needs to be made. Individuals who live in the dark, not knowing what they have are clearly worse off. Only through a diagnosis can recovery begin.”
I’m hopeful this book will help my dear friend, and others out there who have either not received the correct diagnosis, or the proper treatment for their illness.