Relief from Ibs

Elaine Fantle Shimberg, Author M. Evans and Company $18.95 (258p) ISBN 978-0-87131-557-1
Because IBS, or irritable bowel syndrome (symptoms include chronic gas, stomach pain, and diarrhea alternating with constipation), is not life-threatening, doctors tend to give IBS patients short shrift. But Shimberg, a medical writer, does what we wish more physicians would: she discusses the problem fully and in an accessible manner. After establishing reader rapport by proclaiming herself a fellow IBS sufferer, she shares what she has learned from interviewing doctors and consulting medical literature. Shimberg discusses the physical abnormality that accounts for IBS, and reports that though the problem is incurable, symptoms can be curbed. Since the key to relief lies in controlling diet and stress, the book gives instructions for detecting ``trigger'' foods (e.g., wheat) and offers advice, of the pop-psychological sort, for making lifestyle changes and reducing stress (``It's important to learn to become assertive because it makes us feel better''). The author's saving graces are a chatty style and willingness to speak frankly on an indelicate subject. (Jan.)
Reviewed on: 11/03/1988
Release date: 11/01/1988
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