I nicknamed the group the Hypothyroid Lymie Book Club because almost everything on the current list relates to Lyme, thyroid disease, or related topics such as grain-free diets. The order of reading isn’t set up yet, but these are the books we have so far. (I put in Amazon links so you can read reviews; I have no affiliation with Amazon.)
1) Why Can’t I Get Better? Solving the Mystery of Lyme and Chronic Disease by Dr. Richard Horowitz — We’re almost done with this book. If you can read only one book about Lyme, I recommend this one. It’s amazing. If you’re a new Lymie, this will get you up to speed really, really fast. It’s long and the print is tiny (not a great thing for Lyme patients), but if you remember even a quarter of what you read, you’ll really have expanded your knowledge—so much so that you can go on a forum or to a doctor’s appointment and not need to start everything with “this may be a stupid question, but …”
If you have had Lyme for a while and have done a lot of research, there’s so much info in this book you’ll probably still learn a lot.
I recommend reading it in actual book format. I tried reading it on my phone, and it was hopeless. This is a book you need to be able to flip through and mark up.
2) Cure Unknown by Pamela Weintraub — A Lyme classic that explains the history of the controversy around the disease.
3) Why Do I Still Have Symptoms When My Lab Tests Are Normal? by Dr. Datis Kharrazian — A well-known book about the causes and treatment of Hashimoto’s thyroiditis (the autoimmune disease that causes most cases of hypothyroidism), with an in-depth analysis of the effects of gluten on autoimmunity.
4) The Root Cause of Hashimoto’s by Izabella Wentz — The title says it all. I took a quick look when it arrived, and I know it will be really helpful.
5) Grain Brain: The Surprising Truth About Wheat, Carbs, and Sugar, Your Brain’s Silent Killers by David Perlmutter— Again, I think the title says it all; the book is about the link between carbs and brain conditions such as dementia and ADHD. This book and the previous two are on thyroid expert blogger Hypothyroid Mom’s recommended book list.
6) Wheat Belly: Lose the Wheat, Lose the Weight, and Find Your Way Back to Health by William Davis. I’m doing the Autoimmune Paleo diet (well, mostly), and hopefully this book and the one before it will guarantee I never cheat. Emphasis on “hopefully.”
7) Why Isn’t My Brain Working? by Dr. Datis Kharrazian — A highly recommended book about—what else—brain fog.
I feel there’s so much I need to know and understand about my various illnesses before I can get myself into a state of semi-functionality. I hope to be able to spend my weeks doing something other than going to acupuncture, physical therapy, and doctors’ appointments. Maybe I won’t have a fabulous, fancy second career, but I’d like to work from home or get an online master’s degree. It would be nice to have that level of recovery.
I’m terrible at making schedules for myself, and need to be given “homework” when it comes to health books. I will happily blast through a novel or memoir in three days (make that one day for YA science fiction such as The Hunger Games), but health books require studying, underlining, and the making of little notes in the margins. I forget most things anyway, but I do retain a vague, shadowy knowledge of what I read. My addled brain requires me to write down page numbers with important stuff and reread as much as possible.
The group has a reading schedule, excellent chapter summaries written by the moderator, and discussions. Since it is a book group for the chronically ill and brain-fogged, it’s OK to ask for extensions. (I have already asked for several, and we’re only on the first book.) The moderator is extremely nice and helpful.
To join the group go here. (You’ll need to join goodreads.com if you are not already a member.)
For people who aren’t familiar with goodreads.com, it’s a free social networking site for bookworms. You can share lists of books you’ve read or want to read, see what friends are reading, get recommendations, write and read reviews, and join book groups. You register with an email and password, or sign in with Facebook, Twitter, Amazon, or Google. (I prefer using an email and password. I’m extremely paranoid about hackers and keep separate passwords for every site squirreled away in a little notebook that I will probably lose someday, causing a nervous breakdown. But I digress.)
By the way, I have to say my thyroid really approves of my joining the book group. Well, sort of.
Anyway, if you check out the book group, I promise my Evil Thyroid will keep quiet and not bother you.
Yeah, I don’t remember swallowing a tiny hat and broom … oh well.
By the way, I can’t seem to get my “Follow Me on Pinterest” button to work as I’m somewhat tech-illiterate, but click here if you want to see all the articles, recipes, and other stuff I have pinned on Pinterest (some of you will find your blog posts there too).
Can you think of one or more books or articles that have really helped you either to learn about your illness or to deal with the emotional fallout from being chronically ill? If books are not your thing, what are your go-to websites, forums, and Facebook pages? Please share in the comments section.