Jointly written by a sufferer and her gastroenterologist, this is a physician-centered guide that doesn't offer much practical help. The ""gut reactions"" are those commonly labeled as ""irritable bowel syndrome"" by doctors, and felt as heartburn, stomach ache, nausea, and weakness by the patient. Because the physical cause is usually unclear, these patients tend to be regarded as neurotic or weak. Taylor and Rock set out to combat this view by first looking at those who get such symptoms (although there are no simple characterizations), at the physical basis for them and the secondary gains of having them (sympathy, avoidance of unpleasant tasks). The standard diet and drug treatments for such problems are summarized, and the authors stress that a ""reasonably tranquil, well-balanced life style seems to be the key to managing gut reactions."" Fine, as far as it goes; but there's very little help here on what patients can do to develop such a lifestyle or to relieve the symptoms themselves. Worse, a chapter called ""Gutsy Relationships"" starts to explore the relationships sufferers have with their families, and then turns into a physician's woeful tale of the difficulties of working with such patients. Altogether, there's too much emphasis on cooperating with doctors (and understanding their needs and problems), and not enough practical help for ""gut reactors.
Pub Date: Feb. 1, 1980
Page Count: -
Publisher: Saunders--dist. by Holt, Rinehart & Winston