Select one of the keywords
Body Signs    by Joan Liebmann-Smith & Jacqueline Nardi Egan order for
Body Signs
by Joan Liebmann-Smith
Order:  USA  Can
Bantam, 2007 (2007)
Hardcover, e-Book
* * *   Reviewed by Hilary Williamson

Have you ever worried about something unusual - or even 'annoying, weird, unsightful, or downright embarrassing' - about your body? Never quite felt the need to see a doctor about it, but wondered if it was significant? Something like yellow nails, skin tags, or a smell of ammonia. If you have, then you'll find Body Signs a very handy reference tool. Authors Joan Liebmann-Smith and Jacqueline Nardi Egan tell us that while such subtle body signs are often harmless, these medical messages may also 'warn us that something may be out of kilter.' They arm readers with tools needed to be their own diagnostic detectives.

We're told that Body Signs is not meant to substitute for doctor visits, but rather 'should be a catalyst for communicating with your doctor about things you might not have thought of discussing or might have been too embarrassed to bring up.' Chapters - which end in Signing Off summaries - cover the body, beginning at the top with Your Hair: The Long and the Short of It, and ending with Private Parts, Farts and Body Wastes, and Scratching the Surface: Your Nails and Skin. Appendices cover multisystem diseases, recommended books and websites, and My Body Signs Checkup Checklist for personal use. Each chapter is interspersed with Signpost icons, from Healthy Signs to Danger Signs and Stop Signs (how to prevent recurrence). There are also quotations (I liked Doris Day's 'Wrinkles are hereditary. Parents get them from their children') and intriguing historical anecdotes.

Following my own concerns, I found useful information in Body Signs on Floaters, on Earwax (including the fact that aggressive cleaning can create an excess), and on benign versus cancerous Moles. I also learned a lot more than I wanted to about the range of colors human excretions can come in. But every reader will find facts here addressing their own questions. Overall, Body Signs is a useful and comprehensive resource that I recommend for any home medical library - but hypochondriacs should probably avoid it.

Note: Opinions expressed in reviews and articles on this site are those of the author(s) and not necessarily those of BookLoons.

Find more NonFiction books on our Shelves or in our book Reviews