Best Medical Books To Have At Home

With so many diet and health books on the market, it's hard to know which ones to choose.

So, Prevention magazine has done the leg work for you, picking a handful of books that deserve a spot in your home library.

They're in Prevention's July issue.

Prevention Deputy Editor John Hastings told The Early Show co-anchor Harry Smith Thursday that books beat the Web in many instances.

"Especially in a medical situation," Hastings says, "you might be a little nervous. You're in a hurry, and you go on Google, say, and you enter a search term. You're not sure what you're getting. You're not sure if you're ending up at a site that's reliable, or maybe somebody who's got something to sell.

"We talked to our advisers at Prevention, all qualified people, tops in their fields, and these are the books they turn to when they have questions."

The five Hastings mentioned on The Early Show, from among Prevention's top choices, with reasons they were selected:

Encyclopedic:
AMERICAN MEDICAL ASSOCIATION FAMILY MEDICAL GUIDE

  • Head-to-toe user's manual filled with easy-to-follow info on hundreds of diseases and disorders, including symptoms and treatments.
  • First-aid guide and colorful photos and illustrations, good for detecting skin diseases and moles, for instance.
  • It's not all about being sick; first two sections focus on how to lead a healthy lifestyle.
  • Favorite feature: The self-diagnosis flowcharts are an excellent way to figure out when your aches, pains and other symptoms require a doctor's attention.

    Hastings agrees with Smith's assessment that if you're only going to have one of these books in your personal library, this is the one, saying: "Without a doubt, it's great. It goes from very basic information about health care and about just being healthy to very detailed information on symptoms."

    Women's health:
    OUR BODIES, OURSELVES: A NEW EDITION FOR A NEW ERA

  • Arranged by topic, very user-friendly.
  • Considered a classic in terms of women's health.
  • Jam-packed with vital information for every woman.
  • "Knowledge Is Power" section enables and encourages women to take charge of their care and get the attention they require.
  • Favorite feature: Personal essays are a nice break from the nuts-and bolts health info, since the book is loaded with facts, and the essays humanize the book.

    "It's one of the frankest discussions about women's health, I think, available still," Hastings tells Smith, "even in this day when we feel like we know so much. It's a changing field. Research is always coming out that's changing what women should do and know about hr their health. For example, heart disease has really emerged in the last decade as a primary concern for women."

    For more selections, go to Page 2.

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