Warning Signs and Similar Symptoms - Ernest Roberts and Juliet Williams
A crucial book for all practitioners of alternative and complementary medicine. It is clear and easy to use reference to the signs and symptoms of main life threatening diseases and conditions requiring urgent or specialist attention.
Reprinted with the permission of The Society of Homeopaths, from 'The Homeopath' magazine, Summer 1998 edition:
Reviewed by Amalia Punzo:
Warning Signs and Similar Symptoms is a short and concise reference guide for non-medical practitioners of alternative and complemenÂtary medicine. The book is alphabetically organised for easy reference by symptoms. Although these symptoms are not examined in depth or detail, the more important medical conditions are, in fact, discussed clearly and responsibly.
The more integrated homeÂopathy finally becomes into mainstream healthcare, the more important it becomes to make accurate and prompt diagnoses and assessments. We need to work together if we are to effect lasting change in healthcare. We need, then, to make good diagnostic as well as therapeutic deciÂsions. This book helps to inform the reader as to important basic criteria for distinguishing signs and symptoms of more serious disease. The authors have made a useful contribution toward this aim.
The authors, Ernest Roberts and Dr Juliet Williams, are both practising homeopaths with a wide range of knowlÂedge and expertise. In addiÂtion to being practitioners, both are also actively involved in teaching and/or disseminating homeopathic education. They are, thereÂfore, dedicated homeopaths who believe that responsible homeopathy is best pracÂtised with knowledge and training in both medicine and homeopathy. They have, written this book with the intention of offering a way to concisely and succinctly educate prescribers so as to best treat and serve their patients.
This small reference text makes evident the absolute need to be aware of the potentially serious symptoms and conditions which could be life threatening within hours, days or months. The more widespread homeopathy and alternative medicine becomes, the more critical it will be to be responsibly informed. More and more patients are seeking alternaÂtive care and, therefore, we are all in a position to see and treat more and more serious pathology. The very future of homeopathy depends upon our ability to recognise as well as treat diseases which will inevitably present themÂselves to us in our practices. Our patients depend upon us to be informed and disÂcerning enough to make important triage and referral decisions in cases of potenÂtially life threatening medÂical conditions. These are the times we need to work collaboratively with our medical colleagues. This small reference manual offers the non-medically trained practitioner a good place to begin to question and differentially evaluate worrisome signs and sympÂtoms. It is not esoteric or verbose. It is practical and easy to reference. I caution the reader, however, against assuming that this manual is complete. It serves as a beginning reference guide, which the authors make clear in the introduction This book is a useful and necessary manual for all non-medical practitioners, and should be a tool in the arsenal we use to responsiÂbly serve both patients and homeopathy.
Reprinted with the permission of The Homeopathic Links magazine, Volume 16, Winter 2003:
Reviewed by Ivo Wiesner, PhD., Czech republic:
Every classical homeopath who was not trained in the university MD program, wishes to comprehend the skills of basic differential diagnosis at the highest posÂsible standard. Especially he is conÂscious of an imperative to properly recognise emergency cases or cases of serious pathology which have to be urÂgently treated by a hospital specialist. Immediate recognition of these emerÂgency cases requires not only a lot of practical experience but also mastering vast medical knowledge.
Ernest Roberts, together with Juliet Williams, has written a friendly introÂduction to challenging area of medical diagnostics, for this purpose. They have written a really tiny featherlight book or rather booklet, bringing to us a concise synoptic desktop guide covering the very basics of standard diagnostic skills typically exercised in the daily office of a general MD practitioner. Brilliant text illumines the collection of basic signs and symptoms in order to serve purely as an introductory aid in diagnosis. It is not intended to replace an ordinary textbook, reference book or thick dictioÂnary or even personal teaching. And, of course, it also cannot replace ordinary medical practice for any layman.
The professional curriculum vitae of both authors well complement each other and thus creates an ideal basis for the more than qualified author team. Ernest Roberts, who was born in LanÂcashire, developed an original approach to therapy using yoga practice and apÂplication of the therapeutic system of twelve biochemical tissue salts. These healing activities guided him finally to the College of Homeopathy. In 1983 he started a full-time homeopathic practice in Manchester and founded the North West College of Homeopathy, of which he is now Principal. The second writer from the team is Juliet Williams who graduated from the Kings College HosÂpital London in 1989. Since then she worked as a social research with particuÂlar emphasis on issues of HIV and AIDS. She graduated from the School of Homeopathy in Devon in 1994 and since then had practiced in London and teaches Human Sciences in a number of colleges of alternative medicine. Who could then be more familiar with and could understand better the 'allopathic demands' of a homeopathic student or alternative practitioner?
So to whom is this book assigned? To students of homeopathic colleges all over the world, but even more generally, it will be useful to all alternative and complementary practitioners who all have to collaborate in some part of their everyday practice with the local system of standard health care. All the text has grown out naturally from the regular lecÂtures in final classes at the North West College of Homeopathy in Manchester. The purpose was that all qualified gradÂuates in homeopathy should recognize health conditions which, being urgent, could be life threatening or require prompt and accurate treatment of a speÂcialist or need purely mechanical surgiÂcal intervention.
Therefore the book describes signs and symptoms of imminently dangerous or potentially dangerous conditions, those conditions, which might require urgent action. Moreover, the diagnostic signs and symptoms are sorted, allowing clear differentiation between urgent acute conditions and less urgent or less serious states. The reader is thus equipped with the key for identification of situations where there is a risk of acute and serious deterioration or where there is a call for surgical management. Also those condiÂtions of chronic problems are gone through, which may require higher vigiÂlance during case management.
The contents of the book is sorted into 29 chapters:
Abdominal pain. Back pain. Breast problems. Breathlessness. Cancer - genÂeral signs and symptoms. Chest pain. Cough-persistent. Diabetes. Dizzy spells. Ear symptoms. Eye symptoms. Gall bladder. Gastrointestinal haemorÂrhage. Haemoptysis. Haemorrhage. Headaches. Intestinal obstruction. Lumps. Nasal obstruction. Pallor. PalpiÂtations. Reflexes - abnormal. Skin growths. Swallowing. Urinary tract. Haematuria. Vaginal bleeding. Voice -change of weakness. And weight loss. Each chapter is further divided into subÂchapters labeled in a decimal system, which improves arrangement of the text. The book is further appended with the bibliography, chart of signs and symptoms, the list of diseases, which any therapist should inform local health authority about 9notifiable diseases) and ends up with the list of diseases, which are completely illegal to treat by non-MDs according to the Medicine Act from the 1968 year.
We can conclude that 'Warning Signs' is a crucial book for all homeopathic stuÂdents, practitioners or healers of alternaÂtive and complementary medicine and that it is worth buying in order to either keep a personal copy for immediate refÂerence in the standby position on the table or in a traveling briefcase. HowÂever, the concise volume of 45 pages may be easily accommodated right in anyone's head.