Chronic fatigue syndrome and fibromyalgia afflict around 6 to 12 million Americans, creating a substantial impact on those affected by these conditions. Despite their prevalence, these disorders have posed a persistent mystery, leaving both patients and the medical community struggling to comprehend their intricacies.
In the quest for knowledge and relief, ‘Living Well with Chronic Fatigue Syndrome and Fibromyalgia’ by Mary J. Shomon emerges to bridge the knowledge gap surrounding these disorders.
In 1995, Mary J. Shomon received a diagnosis of thyroid disease, which became a catalyst for her to become a renowned patient advocate on a global scale.
Currently, Shomon serves as the thyroid and hormonal health patient expert for HealthCentral, where her articles reach millions of readers annually, catering to a global audience seeking reliable thyroid and hormonal health information. She also runs an email newsletter, Sticking Out Our Necks, which has amassed over 100,000 subscribers.
What is the book about?
‘Living Well with Chronic Fatigue Syndrome and Fibromyalgia’ delves into the diagnosis and treatment of chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS) and fibromyalgia. The book rejects the notion of a one-size-fits-all approach, recognising the varied reasons and manifestations of CFS and fibromyalgia in each person. It also discusses how doctors diagnose these conditions in various ways, such as through tests or by understanding the person’s medical history and symptoms.
Mary Shomon, who has a personal experience with CFS, shares helpful insights and research to guide readers in managing these conditions. The book provides detailed guidance for diagnosis, explores different ideas about what causes CFS and fibromyalgia, and helps readers find suitable doctors and create personalised treatment plans. There is also a section with additional resources for further support and information.
Table of contents
- Foreword by Jacob E. Teitelbaum, M.D.
- 1. Introduction
- 2. Understanding Chronic Fatigue Syndrome and Fibromyalgia
- 3. Risk Factors and Symptoms
- 4. Risk Factors and Symptoms Checklist
- 5. Getting Diagnosed
- 6. The Role of Infections
- 7. The Immune System
- 8. Endocrine System, Hormones, and the Hypothalamic-Pituitary-Adrenal Axis
- 9. The Brain, Pain, the Nervous System, and the Heart
- 10. Sensitivities, Allergens, and Toxins
- 11. Nutritional Imbalances and the “Guai” Protocol
- 12. The Musculoskeletal Connection
- 13. Sleep, Biopsychology, and Stress
- 14. Finding and Working with the Best Practitioners
- 15. Creating Your Plan
- 16. Finding Hope
- CFS/Fibromyalgia Experts
- About the Author
- Other Books by Mary J. Shomon
- About the Publisher
Key takeaways from ‘Living Well with Chronic Fatigue Syndrome and Fibromyalgia’
1Finding the right doctor is crucial in overcoming CFS and fibromyalgia
‘Living Well with Chronic Fatigue Syndrome and Fibromyalgia’ provides a detailed plan for finding the right practitioner or team of practitioners to effectively manage these conditions.
To find the best practitioners, it is crucial to consider specific qualities and features, such as gender preferences, cost and insurance coverage, experience, credentials, certification, and treatment focus (conventional or alternative).
Identifying candidates can involve seeking recommendations from friends, relatives, medical specialists, and health professionals. Conducting brief screening interviews via phone can further help to assess the compatibility of a practitioner with your needs. During these interviews, you can inquire about patient referrals, availability, appointment wait times, insurance acceptance, and communication methods. Once a shortlist of potential practitioners is compiled, verifying their credentials through reliable sources is essential. It is crucial to gather as much information as possible about the doctors, their education, office policies, and payment procedures before making a decision.
2Infection is one possible cause of CFS and fibromyalgia
Throughout the book, the author acknowledges that the cause of fatigue syndrome and fibromyalgia is still unknown. However, Shomon raises a theory that there is a connection between CFS and fibromyalgia with infections caused by viruses, bacteria, parasites, and fungi.
She cites studies that suggest a link, with chronic infections found in a significantly higher percentage of CFS patients than in healthy individuals. While no definitive causal relationship exists, infections likely contribute to the development of these conditions.
Various viruses, bacteria, parasites, and chronic yeast infections are believed to play a role. Some infections may benefit from specific treatments like antiviral or antibiotic drugs, while alternative remedies like vitamin C, zinc, probiotics, and herbal supplements may support the immune system’s response.
3Nutritional deficiencies can contribute to CFS and fibromyalgia development
In ‘Living Well with Chronic Fatigue Syndrome and Fibromyalgia,’ the author delves into the potential role of nutritional and enzyme deficiencies in these conditions. The book highlights key nutrients like magnesium, L-carnitine, choline, B12, and multivitamins, which are believed to be essential in addressing symptoms associated with CFS and fibromyalgia.
The book also touches upon the significance of dietary changes, such as adopting a low-carbohydrate diet, which may help alleviate hypoglycemia and reduce fatigue.
Strengths and weaknesses, according to readers’ reviews
Rich source of information: The book is a rich and helpful source of information for individuals suffering from CFS or fibromyalgia.
Practical reference: The book’s information is valuable for reference purposes, making it a useful tool for individuals seeking to compare information from various sources.
Realistic expectations: It offers sobering but realistic expectations of the difficulties involved in the healing process of Chronic Fatigue Syndrome.
While the book addresses both CFS/ME and fibromyalgia, it appears to prioritise CFS/ME, providing less extensive coverage of fibromyalgia-related topics.
Best quotes from ‘Living Well with Chronic Fatigue Syndrome and Fibromyalgia’
“If you can imagine the worst fatigue you ever felt in the midst of the flu, and multiply by it by 100, this is the type of fatigue that some people feel every single day with CFS or fibromyalgia.”
“You can be as prepared and organized as possible, but if you’re dealing with a closed-minded or uninformed practitioner, you may be wasting precious time fighting against an insurmountable obstacle to diagnosis.”
“Don’t misunderstand the concept that beliefs, coping, and behavior are linked to your health. This is not suggesting in any way that CFS or fibromyalgia are psychosomatic, brought on by emotional problems, or a figment of your imagination. Because they are most definitely not. And you should not put up with any suggestion otherwise whether from health-care practitioner, family member, or friend. But it is a fact that your behavior and how you cope with your condition will have an impact on how you feel and your long-term efforts to feel and live well.”
‘Living Well with Chronic Fatigue Syndrome and Fibromyalgia’ by Mary J. Shomon serves as a valuable guide for individuals seeking to understand and manage these complex conditions. The book offers practical advice, eye-opening insights into the disorders and realistic expectations for the healing process.
Those seeking reliable information on diagnosis, treatment, and coping strategies for Chronic Fatigue Syndrome and fibromyalgia should consider reading this book.
Where to buy
You may purchase ‘Living Well with Chronic Fatigue Syndrome and Fibromyalgia’ on Amazon at the best price. It is available in paperback Kindle, so you may choose an option that appeals to you the most.
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