The Massachusetts CFIDS/ME & FM Association does not assume any responsibility for the outcome of treatments or other self-care strategies described in any of the listed books, that might be undertaken by readers and we recommend individuals always consult with their healthcare providers before trying any new treatment, supplement, or healthcare product.
Chronic Fatigue Syndrome & Fibromyalgia
"Faces of CFS" by Dr. David S. Bell (available as E-book). The original release of this book was in 2000 as a hardcopy. It is a compilation of 10 case histories of patients with Chronic Fatigue Syndrome/Chronic Fatigue and Immune Dysfunction Syndrome/ Myalgic Encephalopathy and Fibromyalgia (CFS/CFIDS/ME and FM). Dr. Bell has developed a keen insight about the reality of this illness which he shares as stories about these patients in a professional yet caring way. He is now offering "Faces of CFS" as a free E-book at his website. To download a copy of this book, click here.
While at Dr. Bell's website, called the Lyndonville News, you might want to browse over a variety of informative topics and links. Of particular interest is the newsletter written by Dr. Bell himself. Information, news and commentaries on current issues are compiled by Dr. Bell specifically for the CFS/CFIDS/ME and FM communities and these updates /newsletters are released several times per year unless events or developments warranted a special edition. To view or print the current issue as well as previous ones, follow the link on Dr. Bell's website to the Newsletter page. There is also an option to receive this (free) newsletter automatically by submitting your email address per the instructions on that page.
Chronic Fatigue Syndrome and Fibromyalgia, From F.I.N.E. to Feeling Better, by Nancy Fowler and Lisa Ball, 2010, ISBN: 1882883683
A new book is out by Nancy Fowler and Lisa Ball titled, Chronic Fatigue Syndrome and Fibromyalgia, From F.I.N.E. to Feeling Better. The authors are long-time patients with Fibromyalgia (FM). This book is an easy read loaded with good, sensible information. It is an excellent resource for newly diagnosed people as it explains the bumpy path along the CFS/CFIDS/ME or FM highway.
There is an overall theme that these illnesses rob patients of their everyday life and hence the authors have chosen to label them both "The Thief." They are clear that both illnesses are different but do have many overlapping symptoms. They also list many of the different names that have been bestowed to CFS/CFIDS/ME/FM over the years, whether correctly applied or not.
The F.I.N.E. stands for Frustrated, Irritated, Nauseated, Exhausted. That may put some folks off, but don't let it. As orchestrated as F.I.N.E. may sound, it is a very good read. Many long-time patients may pick up some good information in these pages. The book covers an overview of the illnesses, the issues surrounding the symptoms, various treatment options including alternative ones, the best way to get the most from your doctor's appointment, coping strategies, psychological issues relating to how to live with CFS/CFIDS/ME or FM, and the best advice which is "listen to your body and PLAN for down time." The authors have broken CFS/CFIDS/ME and FM down by body system and describe how they each affect you.
From Fatigued to Fantastic! A Proven Program to Regain Vibrant Health, Based on a New Scientific Study Showing Effective Treatment for Chronic Fatigue and Fibromyalgia, by Dr. Jacob Teitelbaum, revised and updated edition of 2001, ISBN: 1583330976.
Please note a third edition was released in Oct. 2007, ISBN: 1583332898.
Individuals who have become fairly well-acquainted with their illness(es), by living with them and having tried some of the commonly used medications and treatment options, might be ready to learn about and explore additional interventions. We think most newly diagnosed patients might be overwhelmed by all the information and ideas in this book (as some have told us). The edition we reviewed was the second one, from 2001, which was found to be greatly expanded from the original edition of 1998. Dr. Jacob Teitelbaum is a board-certified internist who states that he himself has suffered with CFS/CFIDS/ME and FM and this eventually lead to further research of these illnesses and other treatment strategies.
Dr. Teitelbaum's knowledge about the complex nature of the illnesses and wide array of symptoms clearly exceeds that of the average doctor. He brings up such things as persistent infections and strains commonly found in these illnesses, sleep disorders, hormonal imbalances, problems with nutrition and energy production.
One bonus in this book (as well as in the first edition) are the appendixes which contain such things as a guide for physicians, treatment protocol outlines and questionnaires to help document certain problems. Treatment protocols consist of some prescription or over-the-counter medications, dietary changes, dietary supplements and various herbal/alternative formulations. In previous years, opinions were rather mixed in the medical community about some of these treatment protocols; however, it is becoming more common to use supplements and vitamins in the treatment of CFS/CFIDS/ME and FM.
This book provides a lot of insight into the illnesses and numerous suggestions in how to relieve or improve many problems—it is loaded with a lot of information, but it may not be for everyone. Since many people with these illnesses live on a limited income or disability benefits, it may be difficult to afford many of these treatments. It is quite likely this book can be located through the public library system or borrowed from someone at a group. Patient finances, ability to find local doctors who will work with them, and /or patient preference for integrative medical care (which this is) or not, will greatly influence one's opinion about this book. We always urge that patients consult with their healthcare providers before trying supplements or new healthcare products.