Women and Autoimmune Disease: The Mysterious Ways Your Body Betrays Itself

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9780060081492: Women and Autoimmune Disease: The Mysterious Ways Your Body Betrays Itself

A cutting-edge examination of the mysterious world of autoimmune disease—and the new discoveries made daily that may save women's lives

Autoimmune diseases—including chronic fatigue syndrome, vasculitis, juvenile diabetes, alopecia, Graves' disease, Sjogren's syndrome, lupus, rheumatoid arthritis, and multiple sclerosis—are among the most devastating conditions afflicting women today and the most resistant to diagnosis and treatment. In all of them, the body's immune system begins to attack healthy and normally functioning cells. And one of the biggest puzzles is why 80 percent of autoimmune disease sufferers are women. In this groundbreaking book, world-class immunologist Dr. Robert Lahita brings years of intensive research, patient care, and diagnostics to shed light on the mysteries of these conditions, with a particular focus on how they affect—and how he treats—women.

Through case studies, he reveals the early warning signs, symptoms, diagnostic processes, and the most innovative treatments for all the most common—and many of the less well known—autoimmune diseases. He offers a scientifically sound and sensitive work that is the best resource available to help understand these perplexing and debilitating diseases.

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About the Author:

Robert G. Lahita, M.D., Ph.D., is a professor of medicine at the Mount Sinai Medical School and chairman of medicine and vice president of the Jersey City Medical Center. He was the chairman of the conference committee of the New York Academy of Sciences and has been elected a fellow of the American College of Physicians, the American College of Rheumatology, the New York Academy of Sciences, and the Royal College of Physicians in London. The Textbook of Autoimmunity, which he edited, is the seminal work on the subject for medical professionals, and he is also the editor of the recently published fourth edition of the standard textbook Systemic Lupus Erythematosus. He has appeared on Good Morning America, CBS This Morning, Today, and Regis & Kelly. Named one of New York magazine's Best Doctors in New York for the last five consecutive years, he lives in Ridgewood, New Jersey, with his family.

From Publishers Weekly:

Lahita, a doctor who wrote the textbook on autoimmune disease for medical professionals, as well as a layperson's book on rheumatoid arthritis , concentrates here on how autoimmune diseases afflict women, who make up 75% of cases nationwide. A healthy immune system defends the body from antigens such as viruses and bacteria. But sometimes the immune system erroneously attacks healthy cells, leading to autoimmune diseases, such as lupus, multiple sclerosis and vasculitis. Lahita, aided by medical writer Yalof, draws on research and case studies to identify 16 conditions that have been categorized as autoimmune diseases (he includes chronic fatigue syndrome, though its cause remains uncertain) and describes at length the symptoms, causes and possible treatments for these debilitating ailments. Treatment is complicated, according to Lahita, since patients are often diagnosed too late because their complex symptoms mimic those of other conditions. A patient with vasculitis, for example, was first thought to have meningitis. This clearly written text should be extremely useful to people with these difficult ailments, their families and caregivers. Lahita, however, is suspicious of alternative herbal or homeopathic therapies, which he says have not been scientifically found to be effective.
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

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