Still Hurting? FIND HEALTH! presents a new model of disease, which empowers readers suffering with pain, symptoms (e.g., fatigue), and symptom syndromes (e.g., irritable bowel, fibromyalgia, chronic fatigue) that doctors can't explain. Whatever their philosophical, spiritual, religious, or secular world views, readers will discover how and why they hurt and what they can do to help themselves and work effectively with their caring professionals.
EVERYONE HURTS. Everyone is symptomatic from time to time, and many hurt chronically. Symptoms include pain anywhere (such as head, jaw, neck, back, chest, abdomen, pelvis, or bladder), or pain everywhere (widespread pain), stomachaches associated with bowel trouble, and/or fatigue. One in every two primary care patients suffers from symptoms that cannot be explained by medical tests. Nevertheless, they are real symptoms, which are not imagined or "all in the mind." In fact, we are all part of a worldwide epidemic of these "medically unexplained symptoms," which leaves sufferers and their caregivers — physicians, psychologists, spiritual counselors, and alternative healers — frustrated, fragmented, and confused.
Increasing the complexity of the diagnostic problem are specialists who label collections of these medically unexplained symptoms as “symptom syndromes” called, “functional somatic syndromes” or “central sensitivity syndromes” (“functional” refers to how the body works and “central” refers to the mind/brain). Examples of these syndromes include, tension headaches, irritable bowel, fibromyalgia, chronic fatigue, and multiple chemical sensitivity.
Scientific studies confirm that medically unexplained symptoms and symptom syndromes frequently occur together and overlap, and that they are commonly associated with stress, depression, and/or anxiety. These interrelationships of symptoms and symptom syndromes are very confusing and difficult for both patients and caregivers to understand. All too often, patients do leave doctors’ offices feeling like the symptoms are all in their heads. Patients are fragmented from within (with seemingly unrelated and unexplained multiple symptoms) and from without (with multiple caregivers seemingly not relating to each other about their care).
Very few see the bigger picture regarding the symptoms epidemic, because no one is asking the right questions. Everyone's vision — patients and caring professionals — is blurred by lack of understanding and misunderstanding. The view of specialists is obscured by the narrow focus of their discipline, specialty, training, and insight.
But patients should not despair, because there is hope once they know how to see the big picture clearly. When people learn to ask the right questions, they can get the right answers about their health, beginning with the following basic questions:
What if I could discover what's really behind my symptoms?
What if I could see clearly how and why they occur?
What if I could learn how to stop hurting?
Readers will see clearly with the authors' unique new model of disease, because it does not narrowly focus upon a single branch of knowledge. Instead, it comprehends that it is the integration of wisdom of ancient healing traditions, modern science, medicine, psychology, sociology, spirituality, and faith, which provides the basis for understanding why people are symptomatic and how they can find health.