I nicknamed the group the Hypothyroid Lymie Book Club because almost everything on the current list relates to Lyme, thyroid disease, or related topics. 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.)
(Update 2017: This group is no longer active, although we did make it through Dr. Horowitz’s book. I’m leaving this post up in case anyone wants to start a new book club, since it is so hard to get through the these medical books alone. We can change the list of books, add more recent books, move the group to Facebook–whatever people want. Send me a message in my contact form if you’re interested.)
1) Why Can’t I Get Better? Solving the Mystery of Lyme and Chronic Disease by Dr. Richard Horowitz — 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.
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’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, but health books require studying, underlining, and making little notes in the margins. I forget a lot, but I do retain a vague, brain-foggy knowledge of what I read.
The group has a flexible reading schedule and discussions, and the moderator posts short chapter summaries. Since it is a book group for the chronically ill and brain-fogged, it’s OK if you don’t finish a certain chapter by a certain date.
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.
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.