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Arthritis for Dummies
By Barry Fox, Nadine Taylor, and Jinoos Yazdany

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Arthritis for Dummies

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Arthritis for Dummies
Second Edition
By Barry Fox, PhD; Nadine Taylor, MS, RD; Jinoos Yazdany, MD
Thorndike Press, Large Print Edition (2008)
ISBN 10: 0-7862-9291-1
ISBN 13: 978-0-7862-9291-2
Genre: Health

Reviewed by Auggie Moore - December 1, 2008

If you live long enough, odds are, you'll develop arthritis. If you are lucky, it will be nothing more than a minor inconvenience that causes you a little pain and makes your joints stiff on occasion, and that your body has become a weather vane, allowing to predict rain, snow, or chilly weather. Those with severe cases of arthritis have a harder row to hoe, facing at times debilitating pain, difficulty in moving, and deformation of the joints. However, no matter how minor or burdensome your arthritis is, there are steps you can take to ensure that you retain, or regain, as much mobility as possible. Most important, there are new treatments available that can ease the discomfort of the disease, and steps you can take to impede the progression of the disease.

Learning to cope with arthritis and improving your quality of life, are but a few of the numerous topics covered in the second edition of Arthritis for Dummies. This marvelously informative book explains, in clear and reassuring detail that there is indeed life after arthritis. Stressing a 'take charge of your own health' attitude, the book's authors describe how arthritis is diagnosed, the latest in arthritis medication, surgery, and alternative therapies, what to eat to help control your arthritis, steps you can take to slow down the progression of the disease, and how to cope with emotional aspects of living with arthritis.

Arthritis for Dummies is written in plain, non-technical English by three experts in the field of arthritis. The authors are Barry Fox, author of The Arthritis Cure, Nadine Taylor, a dietician and author of Green Tea, and Dr. Jinoos Yazdany, a fellow in rheumatology at UCSF.

This book is divided into six main sections:
  1. Getting a Grip on Types of Arthritis
    This section provides a cogent overview of what arthritis is, and the various forms it can take, including Rheumatoid Arthritis (my nemesis), Osteoarthritis, and Gout.

  2. Tests and Treatments: What to Expect from Your Doctor
    As you can imagine from the title of this section, it deals with just about every aspect of dealing with your doctor from getting one and the types of tests that might be performed to pain management and the various types of surgery that can be performed to combat arthritis such as a synovectomy, osteotomy, arthrodesis, arthroplasty, and autologous chondrocyte implantation. Don't let these names mystify you. The authors explain in simple terms what each of these procedures is and why it might be warranted.

  3. The Arthritis Lifestyle Strategy
    Dealing with lifestyle and quality of life issues, this section covers exercise and diet regiments, how to deal with the emotional side-effects of arthritis, and day-to-day coping strategies.

  4. Alternative Medicine for You?
    This section covers alternative treatments for arthritis, including nutritional and homeopathic treatments. It also provides advice on how to avoid scams and harmful products and treatments.

  5. The Parts of Tens
    This section comprises a series of lists, such as ten ways to save on your prescriptions, ten new treatments, and ten trips for traveling with arthritis.

  6. Appendixes
    The book concludes with several helpful appendixes, including a glossary of terms, a resource list, and weight loss guide.
Throughout, this book is filled with handy tips, check-off lists, sage advice, and helpful illustrations. As someone who has suffered from Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA) for years, I wish I had a copy of this book when I was first diagnosed. It shows in no uncertain terms that being diagnosed with arthritis is not the end of your life. No matter how severe your condition, there are treatments and medications available that will help ease your discomfort, and there are means available to help slow the progression of the disease. Most important, the authors offer a wealth of information on how to deal with the day to day issues of arthritis, from the stress and cost of medications to learning how to how to modify your routine, when necessary, so that you can continue to do things you've always done. This is an invaluable resource for anyone with a family member who has arthritis, for anyone who thinks they might have arthritis or who were recently diagnosed, as well as for those who have been dealing with the disease for years. I was mightily surprised at the vast array of information that I found in the book to be helpful and new - after all, I already thought that I knew all there was to know about arthritis. I was wrong.

Arthritis for Dummies is essential reading for anyone desirous of gaining a general overview of what arthritis is, how it is diagnosed, its symptoms and treatments, alternative therapies, and anyone who is looking for practical advice on how to live a full and healthy life with as little pain and stiffness as possible!

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