Isager, in this consistently intriguing book, warns that Western medicine is blindly, or perhaps willfully, dismissing symptoms of multisystem illnesses.
The author, a Danish physician, describes the indifferent response of the worldwide medical community to such afflictions as fibromyalgia, chronic fatigue syndrome and multiple chemical sensitivities. Why do doctors label such illnesses’ symptoms as psychosomatic or even fictitious? Isager suggests that insurance companies would prefer to avoid the enormous costs of treating patients with poorly understood illnesses and that governments would prefer to avoid the social costs they’d have to bear. He argues that the medical establishment has become a “totalitarian system” that’s hostile to the idea of undergoing the “paradigm shift in clinical medicine” that researching such illnesses would require. The author’s anecdotes, which demonstrate modern medicine’s transformation into a “secular cult,” are persuasive; and so, too, are the research findings that raise concerns about health risks from exposure to dental mercury and low-level electromagnetic fields. The author warns that such exposures, combined with other stressors, can cause “mitochondrial declines,” as observed in “fatigue patients.” The book valiantly attempts to explain the chemistry (and even quantum mechanics) of such declines, and this portion will likely be less accessible to lay readers. But the overarching message is clear: There’s vastly more going on with multisystem illnesses than most doctors can, or will, admit. Although Isager acknowledges that his book will leave readers “with many unresolved questions,” he points out that its ultimate purpose is to “incite debate” about a subject treated as “taboo” by medical journals. Isager not only confronts the realities of these illnesses, he also offers hope for those afflicted that there are some physicians who really want to help them.
An important book that offers rarely heard warnings about the medical profession.