TAMING THE BEAST by Katinka van der Merwe

TAMING THE BEAST

A Guide to Conquering Fibromyalgia
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KIRKUS REVIEW

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. 13th, 2013
ISBN: 978-1491089903
Page count: 270pp
Publisher: CreateSpace
Program: Kirkus Indie
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