BREATHE EASY: An Asthmatic's Guide to Clear Air by

BREATHE EASY: An Asthmatic's Guide to Clear Air

By
Email this review

KIRKUS REVIEW

About one percent of the population suffers from asthma, according to Doctor Reichman's statistics; the figure is much higher--between five and fifteen percent--for young people under sixteen. This self-care book is based on the philosophy that the patient who understands is in the best position to control the condition. The techniques Reichman recommends are a mild form of behavior modification: self-questionnaires with contracts and goal-setting. The patient builds up a body of knowledge and a regimen of diet, breathing exercises, and so on. The main considerations are that the patient know what asthma is, why attacks occur, what characterizes the patient's own type of asthma (allergic, infectious, etc.), what can trigger an attack (weather, emotional upset), what medications are available, and which work best for a particular person. Throughout, Reichman uses case histories which suggest that physical factors--genetic predispositions, infections, and the like--are as likely to be the root of asthma as psychogenic factors. In addition to the variety of self-questionnaires to probe medical and psychological history, Reichman explains how to test for allergies through elimination diets and how to administer adrenalin injections, and he includes lists of foods that might be allergens, sources for allergen-free products, and samples of treatment programs. Such books are part of a growing and useful trend toward educating patients to take responsibility for their own health care. Became of the high incidence of childhood cases, this book is also a useful source for parents.

Pub Date: Nov. 28th, 1977
Publisher: T. Y. Crowell