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Choosing Headache and Migraine Disease Books

   

The problem

The sheer number of books available today can make choosing good ones very difficult. The old adage about not judging a book by its cover can absolutely be taken literally in this case. One of the worst books I've ever read even got a one-half-star review from me for having probably the prettiest cover I've ever seen. It can also be difficult to choose books based on the author's biography and even other measures such as online bookstore reviews. Some books are written by doctors who also teach, and their book could be required reading for their classes, with many students writing online reviews.

Books about headaches and Migraine disease aren't exempt from this problem. Searches on Amazon.com bring up more books that I'd have dreamed. Consider the results of searching on these keywords:

  • headache brings up 657 books
  • headaches, 486 books
  • Migraine, 557
  • Migraines, 556
  • Migraine disease brings up 134 books, but that includes any book that mentions both Migraine and disease, not necessarily Migraine disease. If you specifically want to search for "Migraine disease," you need to enter it into the search box in quotation marks.

What to look for

  • Check the copyright date. With all due respect to Dr. Oliver Sacks, his book "Migraine" was copyrighted in 1992. Sumatriptan (Imitrex) had just been developed. Migraine was not yet fully recognized as a disease. Yes, the book still contains some valid content, but much of is out-of-date.
  • Take a look at the terminology used. Does the book refer to Migraine with aura and Migraine without aura or classic and common Migraine? If it's the latter, the author is using older diagnostic and classification terms and may or may not be up-to-date.
  • Does the book recognize Migraine as a disease?
  • How are triggers discussed in the book? Is there material only about controllable triggers such as foods, or is there also material about triggers we can't control such as barometric pressure changes?
  • What types of headache are discussed in the book? Tension-type headaches are the most common. If it's a book on "all" types of headache, does it include chronic daily headache, new daily persistent headache, hemicrania continua, cluster headaches, medication overuse headache (rebound), and others?
  • Take a look at the book at an online bookstore such as Amazon.com or BN.com. Look at the section usually called "Editorial Reviews." Are there review comments there from recognized experts?
  • Does the author cite sources for any of the information in the book? Even the researchers and expert physicians who write books, generally have a list of sources in the back of their books.
  • Look for reviews of the book from sources you trust.

The bottom line

There's no fool proof way to know how good a book is before you read it. There are also books that I like to call "buffet books" because I "digest" the parts I think are good and relevant and ignore the rest. These books have some sections that are quite good, but others that aren't so good or are even bad. They can still be worth reading as long as you know which sections to take seriously and which to leave behind. None of us has unlimited funds to spend on books, but with some checking, we can build a great library that allows us to be educated and empowered patients.


Teri Robert, July 28, 2006

 

Living Well With Migraine Disease & Headaches continues to be a top listed title in bookstores and online booksellers. For a description on the book or an Amazon link, click HERE. To read an excerpt from my book or other content, check our Supplemental Content Section.

 

Remember:

Optimal health care can be achieved
only when patients are educated
about their health and patients and
physicians work together as
treatment partners in an
atmosphere of mutual respect.


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NOTE: The information on this site is for education and support only. It is not medical advice and should not be construed as such. Always consult your physician if you have new or different symptoms. Never change your treatment regimen or add herbals, supplements, etc., without consulting your doctor.

 The American Headache and Migraine Association (AHMA)...

a patient-focused, patient-driven organization for patients with Migraine and
other headache disorders and their family, friends, and care partners.
Anyone interested in the concerns or patients with these disorders is welcome to join.

The AHMA exists to EASE the burden of Migraine and other headache disorders through Education, Awareness, Support, and Engagement.

www.ahma.ws


 

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NOTE: The information on this site is for education and support only. It is not medical advice and should not be construed as such. Always consult your physician if you have new or different symptoms. Never change your treatment regimen or add herbals, supplements, etc., without consulting your doctor.

All content on this site is physician reviewed by Dr. John Claude Krusz.

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