Book Review: Inflamed

Author: Shelly Malone, RDN
Publisher: Augustin Publishing
Book Publication: 2016

Arthritis – it’s a term used to describe any disorder that causes inflammation of the joints, and it comes in many forms. In fact, there are over 100 different types of arthritis, although the two most common are osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis.

For the millions of people (more than 4.2 million Canadians and more than 52 million Americans) who suffer from this painful, debilitating, disease, the diagnosis is a life-changer. Shelly Malone was 32 years old with a six-week-old baby when she was told she had rheumatoid arthritis. She was so tired she couldn’t get out of bed, and her wrists and hands were in so much pain that she couldn’t hold her daughter to breastfeed. “Prior to this,” she writes, “I would have been considered a healthy gal – a registered dietitian by trade, a competitive athlete, never receiving anything short of a glowing bill of health.”

Suddenly she was faced with a shortened lifespan, increasing disability, and potential deformity. The diagnosis of rheumatoid arthritis also brought with it the prospect of taking steroids and immunosuppressant medications with side effects such as glaucoma, osteoporosis, increased risk of infection, cancers such as lymphoma, and nutrient deficiencies. After what she calls “an underwhelming experience with conventional medicine,” Malone decided to explore other options. In the process, she learned how food sensitivities and an anti-inflammatory diet can affect the body.

One would think a registered dietician would be aware of such things, but even Malone was stunned at how little she knew. She admits she had no idea what an anti-inflammatory diet was. She didn’t know the benefits of avoiding gluten, the importance of the digestive system in relation to the immune system, and the need to eliminate toxins that can come from foods, additives, and preservatives. She eventually expanded her treatment protocol to include acupuncture and body-mind therapies to accelerate recovery.

Her experience and positive results motivated Malone to write Inflamed: discover the root cause of inflammation and personalize a step-by-step plan to create a healthy, vibrant life. She says she wanted to share her knowledge with others so they could develop their own pathway toward better health. The easy-to-read, 182-page book is divided into four parts that cover topics ranging from explaining what inflammation is to the source of the problem, lifestyle and diet changes, and a tool kit that readers can customize according to their specific needs.

Malone acknowledges how difficult it is to make drastic changes, perhaps because she found it difficult, too. She encourages readers to make one change every two weeks or so, in order to be successful, and the 25 steps to vibrant health in Chapter 10 are the reader’s blueprint to get there.

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Marlene Eisner is a valued Vitality magazine contributor.

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