By Ed Coghlan
Fibromyalgia impacts an estimated 10-million Americans, many of whom are frustrated by their inability to get help from their doctor.
That’s exactly why Ginevra Liptan, M.D. has written her second book on the matter - The Fibro Manual—A Complete Fibromyalgia Treatment Guide for You and Your Doctor released this week by Random House Books.
Dr. Liptan is an interesting figure in the treatment of fibromyalgia. She developed fibromyalgia while she was in medical school, dropped out for year in the pursuit of how to deal with and now is one of the few clinical specialists to focus solely on it in her work.
Dr. Liptan, who has written in the past for the National Pain Report, recounts how she had a difficult time getting a diagnosis when she was in medical school (at Tufts) and how, in characteristic fashion, she threw herself into finding out more about fibromyalgia and how to treat it.
The book does a number of interesting things—including (importantly) at the end of each chapter how a patient can talk with their doctor.
One of the reasons the book is easy to read is that she breaks it into four main parts—what she calls The Four R’s of Fibromyalgia Treatment—Rest, Repair, Rebalance and Reduce.
The book is replete with patient anecdotes: like how they addressed the sleep issue that plagues many fibro sufferers, how diet (eating the right things) and exercise (from a little to a lot) can help a patient and many others.
She discusses medical marijuana (it works but we need to study it more), opiates (some work, some don’t), and non-traditional approaches like acupuncture and bee venom.
What this book is, about as much as anything, is how there is not a one size fits all treatment for fibromyalgia—which is important for both patients and physicians to embrace.
She points out—directly—that fibromyalgia still isn’t recognized as a disease but as a syndrome. And she admits that her inability to get a diagnosis from her doctors when she was in medical school not only caused her to take a leave from medical training for a year, but also made her angry for years at the fact she couldn’t get an accurate diagnosis.
That has fueled her work since. She directs the Frida Center for Fibromyalgia in Oregon and serves as a medical advisor to the Fibromyalgia Information Foundation.
And for fibro patients, the people who love them and the doctors that treat them, she’s written a book that all should read.
The National Pain Report did an interview with Dr. Liptan on the book which will be published this week.
The book is available on Amazon (click here)
You can follow Dr. Liptan on Twitter (here)