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Chronic Fatigue Syndrome for Dummies Maff Hot

http://www.ei-resource.org/media/reviews/photos/thumbnail/250x250s/36/ba/e5/1320_cfsdummies_119401898388.jpg
Written by Maff     November 02, 2007    
 
6.2
6179   0   0   0   0

You’ve been repeatedly poked, prodded, tested and scanned, yet, despite how awful you feel, your doctor, like many of your friends, co-workers, and family members have begun dropping subtle (and some not-so-subtle) hints that they think it’s “all in your head.” Maybe you’re one of the lucky few CFS sufferers who’ve received an accurate diagnosis but nothing your health care provider does seems to help. Well, you’re not alone. According to recent estimates, of the approximately 800,000 Americans with CFS, more than 90% have been misdiagnosed, dismissed, or are not receiving proper treatment.

 

Don’t despair, help has arrived. Written by a national expert who has successfully treated scores of CFS patients in her own practice, Chronic Fatigue Syndrome for Dummies gives you the knowledge and tools you need to beat CFS and get back to living a normal life. In plain English Doctor Susan Lisman fills you in on:

 

  • What CFS is, how you get it, and how it effects your body
  • Its major symptoms and warning signs
  • Getting an accurate diagnosis
  • Avoiding situations that might be making you sicker
  • Teaming up with the right doctor and crafting a treatment plan
  • The most effective drugs, therapies and alternative approaches
  • Coping with CFS in your personal and professional lives

 

Packed with checklists, self-tests, questionnaires, and other powerful tools, and featuring many inspiring real-life stories of patients who’ve licked CFS, Chronic Fatigue Syndrome for Dummies puts you on the road to recovery.

 

Chronic Fatigue Syndrome for Dummies

 

» Buy from Amazon.co.uk

 

 

Editor reviews

This book is a bit of a mixed bag. After reading the back cover and discovering that it was authored by an anesthesiologist and a health writer I wasn't overly confident about the quality of the material. The bio of Dr. Susan Lisman suggests she has had experience treating CFS patients, but she certainly isn't an expert in the condition as far as I can tell. No mention is made of CFS in health writer Karla Dougherty's bio.

After browsing through the book a little my scepticism was confirmed by the glaring lack of accuracy in various sections of the book. On page 125 the cause of Lyme disease is referred to as a virus when in fact the cause of Lyme disease is a type of bacteria known as a spirochete. Strangely, this is explained correctly elsewhere in the book. Other sections that leave a lot to be desired include those exploring the relationships between CFS, allergies, and gut issues.

As may have been expected with the book being co-authored by an anesthesiologist there is an extensive section devoted to pain management using pharmaceuticals. Perhaps Dr. Lisman would have been better off writing a book about fibromyalgia where pain is the central issue. Only a very small quantity of ink is devoted to discussing drug-free options for pain management. Likewise with the section on sleep, a huge list of sleep medications is presented with no mention of potential addiction, while information regarding proven natural sleep aids is omitted.

Large sections are devoted to cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) and exercise as being primary treatments for CFS. I was baffled to say the least by casual suggestions that exercise such as backpacking and playing sports such as soccer and rugby could form part of a sensible treatment plan.

The medical information as a whole simply dishes out official medical establishment guidelines and will be of very little help to most patients. In many instances patients will be turning to books such as this once these standard practices have failed and they have come to the end of the line with their doctor.

Having said all that, Chronic Fatigue Syndrome for Dummies does have some redeeming qualities that may just make it worth reading for some. The information is organized in an easy to read format, in bite-size sections. The 'cheat sheets' also provide a quick and easy reference for information such as symptoms used in diagnosis and some helpful figures about the prevalence of CFS etc.

If you discount the strictly medical sections you also find there is a wealth of practical advice in the book that could certainly be helpful. Included are chapters aimed at helping the patient to track down the best doctor for them, handling emotional and psychological issues, file for disability benefits, and cope with relationship issues that arise from being sick.

As I was diagnosed with CFS myself at the age of only 11 I was particularly pleased to find a whole chapter dedicated to helping parents help their child with CFS.

When considering which CFS book to buy it boils down to exactly what you are looking for. If you want to discover the most effective treatment options so that you can help yourself I would suggest you avoid this book like the plague and instead buy From Fatigued to Fantastic! by Dr. Jacob Teitelbaum. If however you are looking for practical advice for dealing with life with CFS then Chronic Fatigue Syndrome for Dummies may well have something to offer.

Overall rating 
 
6.2
Content  
 
6.0
Ease of reading  
 
8.0
Value for money  
 
6.0
How much did this book help you?  
 
5.0
Would you recommend? 
 
6.0
Maff Reviewed by Maff November 02, 2007
Last updated: July 24, 2009
#1 Reviewer  -   View all my reviews (107)

Some helpful information but not the best CFS book

This book is a bit of a mixed bag. After reading the back cover and discovering that it was authored by an anesthesiologist and a health writer I wasn't overly confident about the quality of the material. The bio of Dr. Susan Lisman suggests she has had experience treating CFS patients, but she certainly isn't an expert in the condition as far as I can tell. No mention is made of CFS in health writer Karla Dougherty's bio.

After browsing through the book a little my scepticism was confirmed by the glaring lack of accuracy in various sections of the book. On page 125 the cause of Lyme disease is referred to as a virus when in fact the cause of Lyme disease is a type of bacteria known as a spirochete. Strangely, this is explained correctly elsewhere in the book. Other sections that leave a lot to be desired include those exploring the relationships between CFS, allergies, and gut issues.

As may have been expected with the book being co-authored by an anesthesiologist there is an extensive section devoted to pain management using pharmaceuticals. Perhaps Dr. Lisman would have been better off writing a book about fibromyalgia where pain is the central issue. Only a very small quantity of ink is devoted to discussing drug-free options for pain management. Likewise with the section on sleep, a huge list of sleep medications is presented with no mention of potential addiction, while information regarding proven natural sleep aids is omitted.

Large sections are devoted to cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) and exercise as being primary treatments for CFS. I was baffled to say the least by casual suggestions that exercise such as backpacking and playing sports such as soccer and rugby could form part of a sensible treatment plan.

The medical information as a whole simply dishes out official medical establishment guidelines and will be of very little help to most patients. In many instances patients will be turning to books such as this once these standard practices have failed and they have come to the end of the line with their doctor.

Having said all that, Chronic Fatigue Syndrome for Dummies does have some redeeming qualities that may just make it worth reading for some. The information is organized in an easy to read format, in bite-size sections. The 'cheat sheets' also provide a quick and easy reference for information such as symptoms used in diagnosis and some helpful figures about the prevalence of CFS etc.

If you discount the strictly medical sections you also find there is a wealth of practical advice in the book that could certainly be helpful. Included are chapters aimed at helping the patient to track down the best doctor for them, handling emotional and psychological issues, file for disability benefits, and cope with relationship issues that arise from being sick.

As I was diagnosed with CFS myself at the age of only 11 I was particularly pleased to find a whole chapter dedicated to helping parents help their child with CFS.

When considering which CFS book to buy it boils down to exactly what you are looking for. If you want to discover the most effective treatment options so that you can help yourself I would suggest you avoid this book like the plague and instead buy From Fatigued to Fantastic! by Dr. Jacob Teitelbaum. If however you are looking for practical advice for dealing with life with CFS then Chronic Fatigue Syndrome for Dummies may well have something to offer.

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