The essence of this book is in the subtitle of "Healing the illnesses that doctors cannot cure", to which the author might have added "and often don't even recognise". In consequence the sufferer is left bereft of orthodox medical help and, as Read shows, the numbers of such patients are increasing rapidly. This book explores how this increase is related to changes in society and it examines the interactions between society, health and the rhythms of life.
Inevitably Read concentrates on disorders of the bowels and stomach as these are his own areas of particular interest and expertise, but those who suffer from other poorly recognised conditions will find much that they have in common with the case histories described in this book and will, hopefully, recognise that there is hope after all.
The scientific purist may complain that there is much that is speculative in this book. But that would be to miss the point which is that, at present, the scientific rationale for many of these illnesses is still not adequately understood. That, of course, does not make the sufferers' symptoms any less real.
A little effort is required to grasp some of the concepts which are described, but the book is well written and the effort will be rewarding for both patients and their doctors.