Essential Resources on Health and Wellness from DiaMedica Publications

The Woman’s Fibromyalgia Toolkit

Manage Your Symptoms and Take Control of Your Life
Dawn A. Marcus, M.D., and Atul Deodhar, M.D.

Publication Date: March 2012
Price: $15.95
ISBN 13: 978-0-9823219-6-6
Trade Paperback: 288 pages
Size: 6 x 9 inches

The Woman’s Fibromyalgia Toolkit
provides clear and practical instructions to help women change their lives and effectively manage their symptoms. It gives readers the information they need to take control of fibromyalgia symptoms. It includes step-by-step instructions for using effective non-drug treatments, including exercises, yoga, and relaxation techniques; a discussion of what to expect from prescription medications; and what nutritional supplements may be helpful.

Effective fibromyalgia treatment usually requires the holistic, comprehensive approach presented in this book, one that addresses sleep patterns, exercise habits, and mood, in addition to drug therapies. Tailoring these treatments to fibromyalgia symptoms is essential. For example, while exercise is helpful for most women with fibromyalgia, it is important to develop an exercise program that can be started and advanced without causing undue fibromyalgia flares. The comprehensive chapters on exercise and yoga can be used both for developing an individual plan or in classes targeted to women with fibromyalgia.

The Toolkit provides readers with a broad sample of tools to help them discover the most effective treatment strategy for their fibromyalgia symptoms. A chapter on planning for pregnancy will help women use safer and effective treatments while trying to get pregnant, during pregnancy, and after the baby is born when you might be nursing.

Exercise is probably the most helpful treatment for managing the symptoms of fibromyalgia and the one that most physicians focus on the least. For this reason, the chapters on exercise and yoga provide a comprehensive and detailed program, clearly illustrated, that can be used by anyone with fibromyalgia. It is available separately as a 64-page booklet that can be used by support groups and fitness instructors. Contact the publisher for details.


Dawn A. Marcus, M.D. is a board-certified neurologist and professor at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center, where she specializes in headache and pain management, including the pain and related symptoms of fibromyalgia. Dr. Marcus has been the lead researcher for numerous studies investigating women’s migraine. Her interests including treating migraines in children, menstrual migraine, and migraine during pregnancy.

Atul Deodhar, MD, is a Professor in the Division of Arthritis & Rheumatic Diseases at the Oregon Health Science University in Portland, OR.


Part I: The Basics
1. About fibromyalgia
2. Who gets fibromyalgia and what should I expect?

Part II: Fibromyalgia Symptoms and the Science Behind the Disease
3. Fibromyalgia is more than just pain
4. Fibromyalgia—is it or isn’t it? Why your doctor might be unsure of your diagnosis
5. What causes fibromyalgia

Part III: Fibromyalgia Treatments That Really Work
6. Exercise and other physical treatments
7. Behavioral strategies and lifestyle changes for fibromyalgia
8. What medications really help and which ones don’t
9. Nutritional products and supplements
10. Planning for pregnancy when you have fibromyalgia

Part IV: Putting Knowledge Into Practice
11. Measuring success
12. Talking to your doctor about fibromyalgia
13. Where to get more information: A guide to fibromyalgia resources



I love this book! I have 4 fibromyalgia books now that are tops on my list. This one just joined them! Thank you for the book and great delivery time! — Amazon *****

This is probably the only Fibromyalgia [book] I’d recommend to those who are newly diagnosed (or those diagnosed years ago but who never did any reading up on the disease). Most books I’ve seen delve a little too far into the unproven and fluffy treatments. This one is quite no-nonsense, with sensible advice and lots of statistics and information from various studies. Having the pictures and instructions for exercises is a nice touch, as it will probably spur people to actually try them sooner than they might otherwise. — Amazon ****

Fibromyalgia can be a plague on one’s life, but good living can overcome it for a good life. The Woman’s Fibromyalgia Toolkit: Manage Your Symptoms and Take Control of Your Life is a guide for dealing with the symptoms in everyday life, beating them without drugs, as well as advice on living a better life. Also included is a chapter on pregnancy, and how to best avoid its complications in regards to the disease. The Woman’s Fibromyalgia Toolkit is a strong pick for any woman or friend and family of a woman facing fibromyalgia.” — Midwest Book Review

…a practical toolkit for managing fibromyalgia that distills the wealth of current recommendations into a manageable individualized program. It will be useful to all fibromyalgia patients who feel overwhelmed by the barrage of recommendations that emanate from their friends and the media and the press.” — Robert M. Bennett, MD, Professor of Medicine and Nursing, Oregon Health Science University, Portland, OR

Finally we have a book that tells us that fibro is a real biological condition. I don’t know about you, but those words are music to my ears! I’ve been to many health care professionals over the years who have said that I need to Œlearn to live with it. Whatever Œit is! Well, this book gives lots of techniques so that we can take charge of our lives and tell fibro that we are in the driver’s seat! And you know what? That gives me lots of hope that today I will be able to feel better than I did yesterday and tomorrow will be even better…” — Patricia Tirrell, CRA, CPDT-KA, Tellington TTouch Companion Animal Practitioner

From pre-diagnosis to support groups, how to talk with your doctor or what supplements might be useful, this book provides you with the tools to be an active participant in your own health care. As a medical professional I found the content to be current, well-researched, and documented in a way that was not too difficult for the average person to comprehend. As a patient diagnosed with fibromyalgia for more than 20 years, I found the information to be both practical and sensitive. I am sure that readers will reach for this book time and again to find just the resource or advice to help them live life to the fullest despite fibromyalgia.” — Sue Ann Bland, R.N.

…provides a solid scientific and clinical outline for understanding the management of this consuming malady. Fibromyalgia is more than just widespread pain, and its effective management requires an educated patient. This book provides that education and allows the patient to look beyond the false promises of quick fixes of promised cures. It highlights the treatments that will improve their function and quality of life.” — Michael Duren Ready, MD, Scott and White Clinic, Temple, TX

I am absolutely amazed at how much my life will be changed for the better just by reading this book. The readability was outstanding….very informative and thorough, covering everything anyone with this disease should know. I thought fibromyalgia is just a pain disease and that any other symptoms or problems I am having were just in my head. I am so relieved to know that the other problems I am having are part of having fibromyalgia. And now, with the knowledge I have gained from the book I can manage and even conquer these symptoms….a must-read book for anyone who has fibromyalgia….” — Kerri Stamas

[I feel] elated that such a useful, down-to-earth, easily understandable, and balanced resource exists for my patients and the many thousands of patients, families, and health care practitioners who struggle with this common condition. The authors have truly listened to their patients, know the research on fibromyalgia and its treatment, have had their own deep practical experience with it, and have an earnest interest in empowering patients…[the book] teaches the reader what we know about the disease process, its physical and emotional impact, and the journey of diagnosis and treatment; practical physical therapy and exercise approaches, complete with photographs; the issue of sleep; how to cope during pregnancy; medications, diet, and supplements; and practical aspects of putting a self-management plan in place….” — Philip Mease MD, Director, Rheumatology Research, Swedish Medical Center and Clinical Professor, University of Washington School of Medicine, Seattle, WA

A fibromyalgia diagnosis doesn’t have to be a bewildering journey through chronic pain, medical visits, medicines, and other treatment plans, especially with a helpful resource like The Woman’s Fibromyalgia Toolkit. This book offers invaluable information for patients and practitioners alike….so the practical summaries and comprehensive tracking logs are great tools for measuring the impact of symptoms, exercise, and relaxation….Drs. Marcus and Deodhar offer hope, understanding, and a useful plan of action for millions who suffer from fibromyalgia, ‹75 to 90 percent of whom are women.” — Sheryl Lynn Sochoka, Marywood Magazine, Marywood University

Throughout my 15+ years of working with fellow fibromyalgia patients, my goal has been to educate, encourage and empower them. This book accomplishes all three.

Education—Who gets fibromyalgia? What causes it? Why me? Questions every fibromyalgia patient asks are tackled head on. The multiple symptoms that accompany fibromyalgia are broken down and their biological underpinnings explained in an easy-to-understand format. Then the most effective treatment options available, both traditional and alternative, are discussed in-depth. Even planning for pregnancy with fibromyalgia, a subject often overlooked, is addressed.

Encouragement—After reading this book, I felt understood and encouraged. Not only is fibromyalgia validated as a real physical illness with multiple biological abnormalities, but the medical explanations are backed up by solid research that should impress even the most hardened skeptic. Also encouraging is the assurance that fibromyalgia symptoms can be brought under control.

Empowerment—They say that knowledge is power and this book certainly provides a wealth of knowledge about fibromyalgia. In addition, the tips for communicating effectively with your doctor and the logs for tracking symptoms and treatments are essential tools that empower women to take an active role in managing their fibromyalgia.

This comprehensive, well-written “toolkit” is a must read for every woman with fibromyalgia. I’ll definitely be recommending it to my readers.” — Karen Lee Richards, Co-founder, National Fibromyalgia Association and Chronic Pain Expert, The HealthCentral Network