This innovative, dual-focused volume from Drossman and Ruddy offers a study of the history, diagnosis, and treatment of Disorders of Gut-Brain Interaction from Drossman, the eminent scientist of gastroenterology, with an emphasis on new approaches to these chronic illnesses that too often have been misunderstood by a conventional medical wisdom that failed to grasp their negative impact on patient health. Gut Feelings pairs this specialist’s intervention in his field with an urgent effort to improve communication between doctors and patients, especially in cases of chronic illnesses where there’s a disconnect, as in the case of DGBI, between symptoms and medical findings. Ruddy, a patient advocate and executive director of the Rome Foundation, has endured DGBI herself; she pens clear-eyed, authoritative passages for patients about how to optimize their communication with their physicians.
Together, Drossman and Ruddy address physicians and patients, with Drossman explaining his findings over a lifetime or treating and researching DGBI. With rousing passion rare in medical literature, Gut Feelings urges physicians to adopt George Engel’s biopsychosocial model of treating patients—to create the conditions in which patients and physicians can “engage collaboratively on the care that will improve the clinical outcome.” The book itself is evidence of what doctors and patients can achieve when they collaborate: Drossman treated Ruddy and her DGBI.
In moving testimonial, Ruddy recounts how other doctors proved dismissive of her symptoms–“Women can get hysterical and exaggerate pain, especially at certain times of the month,” she recalls a physician telling her. Drossman, though, listened to her and understood that there’s more to gastrointestinal health than what colonoscopies can reveal, as he spells out in persuasive detail in the book’s first half. While it offers sound advice for patients, Gut Feelings will most resonate with medical practitioners eager to optimize communication between doctors and patients, especially in cases of chronic illness or pain that’s not traditionally been well diagnosed and treated.
Takeaway: This innovative medical text guides patients and doctors toward greater understanding of disorders of gut-brain interaction—and greater communication.
Great for fans of: Emeran Mayer’s The Mind-Gut Connection, Peter Tate and Francesca Frame’s The Doctor's Communication Handbook.
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