A useful guidebook on fibromyalgia that encourages sufferers to explore nontraditional treatments.




A chiropractic physician offers a holistic approach to understanding and managing fibromyalgia.

Van der Merwe, with contributions from Demartino, provides a guide to understanding the history, possible causes, management and treatment of one of the most painful, debilitating and complicated medical conditions known today: fibromyalgia. Van der Merwe writes that fibromyalgia, which causes chronic muscle pain, “is a global failure of the central nervous system” affecting 4 to 5 percent of the population, making it as prevalent as diabetes or coronary heart disease. The author asserts that the condition still isn’t well-understood by the public today; this is chiefly due to the fact that it’s not fatal but also because it has so many symptoms and possible causes, which makes diagnosis difficult and treatment perplexing. The guide includes a brief history of the condition, which was originally known as muscular rheumatism and thought to be a muscular-nervous disorder. In the early 1900s, it became known as “fibrositis” and was believed to be an autoimmune disease; the name “fibromyalgia” was adopted in 1976, and in 1987, the American Medical Association officially recognized it as a disease. Readers suffering from fibromyalgia will find Chapter 3’s list of symptoms a valuable resource. Several other chapters address possible causes, such as thyroid- and adrenal-gland dysfunctions, sugar substitutes such as Aspartame, cosmetics, acidic diets, emotional stress, toxic chemicals and sleep apnea. One chapter addresses conditions that may overlap or be confused with fibromyalgia, such as Lyme disease or chronic fatigue syndrome. In Chapter 5, the author emphasizes the fact that many patients with fibromyalgia share “a history of neck pain or trauma.” The book presents solid advice for dealing with family members, employers and doctors who doubt that fibromyalgia is real; it also provides recommendations for vitamin supplements and dietary changes, along with the author’s case studies of patients and a four-step plan for healing. Overall, this well-organized guide is filled with helpful information about a complex and often frustrating disease.

A useful guidebook on fibromyalgia that encourages sufferers to explore nontraditional treatments.

Pub Date: Nov. 13, 2013

ISBN: 978-1491089903

Page Count: 270

Publisher: CreateSpace

Review Posted Online: Feb. 12, 2014

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A cleareyed, concise look at current and future affairs offering pertinent points to reflect and debate.

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The CNN host and bestselling author delivers a pithy roundup of some of the inevitable global changes that will follow the current pandemic.

Examining issues both obvious and subtler, Zakaria sets out how and why the world has changed forever. The speed with which the Covid-19 virus spread around the world was shocking, and the fallout has been staggering. In fact, writes the author, “it may well turn out that this viral speck will cause the greatest economic, political, and social damage to humankind since World War II.” The U.S., in particular, was exposed as woefully unprepared, as government leadership failed to deliver a clear, practical message, and the nation’s vaunted medical institutions were caught flat-footed: "Before the pandemic…Americans might have taken solace in the country’s great research facilities or the huge amounts of money spent on health care, while forgetting about the waste, complexity and deeply unequal access that mark it as well." While American leaders wasted months denying the seriousness of Covid-19 and ignoring the advice of medical experts, other countries—e.g., South Korea, New Zealand, and Taiwan—acted swiftly and decisively, underscoring one of the author's main themes and second lesson: "What matters is not the quantity of government but the quality.” Discussing how “markets are not enough,” the author astutely shoots down the myth that throwing money at the problem can fix the situation; as such, he predicts a swing toward more socialist-friendly policies. Zakaria also delves into the significance of the digital economy, the resilience of cities (see the success of Hong Kong, Singapore, and Taipei in suppressing the virus), the deepening of economic inequality around the world, how the pandemic has exacerbated the rift between China and the U.S. (and will continue to do so), and why “people should listen to the experts—and experts should listen to the people."

A cleareyed, concise look at current and future affairs offering pertinent points to reflect and debate.

Pub Date: Oct. 6, 2020

ISBN: 978-0-393-54213-4

Page Count: 320

Publisher: Norton

Review Posted Online: Aug. 27, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 15, 2020

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Skloot's meticulous, riveting account strikes a humanistic balance between sociological history, venerable portraiture and...


A dense, absorbing investigation into the medical community's exploitation of a dying woman and her family's struggle to salvage truth and dignity decades later.

In a well-paced, vibrant narrative, Popular Science contributor and Culture Dish blogger Skloot (Creative Writing/Univ. of Memphis) demonstrates that for every human cell put under a microscope, a complex life story is inexorably attached, to which doctors, researchers and laboratories have often been woefully insensitive and unaccountable. In 1951, Henrietta Lacks, an African-American mother of five, was diagnosed with what proved to be a fatal form of cervical cancer. At Johns Hopkins, the doctors harvested cells from her cervix without her permission and distributed them to labs around the globe, where they were multiplied and used for a diverse array of treatments. Known as HeLa cells, they became one of the world's most ubiquitous sources for medical research of everything from hormones, steroids and vitamins to gene mapping, in vitro fertilization, even the polio vaccine—all without the knowledge, must less consent, of the Lacks family. Skloot spent a decade interviewing every relative of Lacks she could find, excavating difficult memories and long-simmering outrage that had lay dormant since their loved one's sorrowful demise. Equal parts intimate biography and brutal clinical reportage, Skloot's graceful narrative adeptly navigates the wrenching Lack family recollections and the sobering, overarching realities of poverty and pre–civil-rights racism. The author's style is matched by a methodical scientific rigor and manifest expertise in the field.

Skloot's meticulous, riveting account strikes a humanistic balance between sociological history, venerable portraiture and Petri dish politics.

Pub Date: Feb. 9, 2010

ISBN: 978-1-4000-5217-2

Page Count: 320

Publisher: Crown

Review Posted Online: Dec. 22, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 1, 2010

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