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Living with Rheumatoid Arthritis
By Tammi L Shlotzhauer and James L. McGuire

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Living with Rheumatoid Arthritis

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Living with Rheumatoid Arthritis
Second Edition
By Tammi L Shlotzhauer, M.D. and James L. McGuire, M.D.
A John Hopkins Press Health Book,
Large Print Edition (2003)
ISBN: 0-8018-7621-4
Genre: Health

Reviewed by Rochelle Caviness - November 10, 2003

Rheumatoid Arthritis can be a painful and debilitating disease. If you have rheumatoid arthritis, or if you have a family member with this inflammatory disease, one the most important things you can do is to learn as much as you can about the disease. By doing this you will be better able to make an informed choice when it comes to treatment options, and you will be better prepared to live with this disease.

Written by Tammi L Shlotzhauer and James L. McGuire, Living with Rheumatoid Arthritis is an excellent resource for anyone wishing to learn about rheumatoid arthritis, and how to live with the disease. Dr. Shlotzhauer is a rheumatologist and instructor of medicine at the University of Rochester Medical Center and Dr. McGuire is the former chairman of the Department of Medicine at Mount Auburn Hospital in Massachusetts. Although written by two medical professionals, this book is eminently readable and it is addressed specifically to patients and their families.

Living with Rheumatoid Arthritis provides readers with a clear explanation of what rheumatoid arthritis is, and how it affects the body. The authors outline how the disease is diagnosed. They offer a clear-cut explanation of the various tests used to diagnose the condition - and why all these tests are necessary. They also explain how this form of arthritis can impact other areas of the body beyond the joints.

Besides explaining the medical aspects of rheumatoid arthritis, the authors also describe the various medications used to treat the disease, and useful alternative remedies that might prove useful. In the realm of alternative remedies, the authors touch upon various surgical options for treating the disease, nutritional therapies, acupuncture, aromatherapy, homeopathy, and many other therapies. In each case they offer advice on how you can best evaluate the effectiveness and risk of each treatment.

While readers will find the medical aspects of this book extremely informative and practical, the main focus of this book is offering information that will enable you to learn to live with and cope with rheumatoid arthritis. To this end the authors emphasize actions that you can take that will improve your overall life - both physically and medically. They also strive to provide advice that will enable you be live a life as full and active as possible. To this end they offer advice on developing strategies to cope with pain, fatigue, and emotional stresses caused by the disease. They also offer advice on how to set realistic goals, and how to cope with the changes that you find that you have to make in your life style.

This text also deals with rehabilitation options, including exercises that you can do to increase your range of motion. They also address related issues such as dealing with the financial difficulties that can arise, obtaining health insurance, and policies related to disability benefits. They answer a variety of questions such as "How will a pregnancy affect my RA?" and "Should I get a yearly flu shot?"

Written in a friendly and readable style, this book is perfect for the general reader beginning to learn about living with rheumatoid arthritis. The text is enhanced by the inclusion of illustrations and tables that expand upon the text. Also included is a glossary of terms and a bibliography that you can use to expand you knowledge about rheumatoid arthritis. The large print edition of this text is a welcome addition to the library of health texts that are accessible to individuals with low vision. Living with Rheumatoid Arthritis is an excellent and comprehensive guide that offers a plethora of advice on how to cope with the challenges presented by rheumatoid arthritis, and how to maintain a happy and healthy lifestyle. I highly recommend this book to anyone seeking to learn about, and live with, rheumatoid arthritis.

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