Medical reference books are often either readable or comprehensive. Erica Verrillo's "Chronic Fatigue Syndrome" manages to be both. She explains every aspect of the disorder in accurate and adequate detail without overwhelming the reader with too much medical jargon. She also offers extensive lists of online, print, and professional resources in every section, for those seeking additional information on any particular subtopic. I appreciated the well-organized chapters on possible causes, symptoms and treatments for Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS). It is easy to find the section that applies to you, which is great because this is a big book, at over 800 pages. Verrillo uses the ample space to consider CFS from all angles, including conventional and alternative explanations and treatment protocols. If you want to understand more about a CFS symptom or have wondered about the latest vitamin treatment program to hit the media, there is a fairly good chance that Verrillo has you covered.
As someone who has struggled with autoimmune disorders all my life, I loved that Verrillo left no stone unturned. Too often, doctors focus on specific symptoms or illnesses and fail to look at how these might be related to each other. Verrillo enlightened me on the ways conditions like hypothyroidism and tinnitus, for instance, may cluster under the umbrella of auto-immune disorders like CFS. I was especially gratified by the sections addressing the medical mechanisms behind exercise-intolerance, a problem I have never been able to understand before. Now I can see how my overactive immune system may simply overreact to stimuli like exercise. Verrillo's message throughout the book is that CFS patients can get better, but they need to progress slowly and always practice self-care. The information here should boost the confidence of any CFS patient trying to strike that delicate balance.
Reviewed by Sheila Trask for Readers' Favorite