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Book Review: A Nurse Practitioner's Guide to Smart Health Choices

Posted Oct 02 2008 6:00am

A Nurse Practitioner's Guide to Smart Health Choices is a self-published guide book to good health. Its author, nurse practitioner Carla Mills, ARNP, has over 20 years' clinical experience. Mills created the book as a wellness tool for patients with no prior medical knowledge to take control of their health.

The book encourages independence and self care, but throughout the book Mills is careful to advise readers to consult their primary physicians. She begins the book by defining health and then providing a health checklist of sorts. Readers can record a snapshot of their health: body measurements, blood tests, cholesterol profile, complete metabolic profile, etc.

This is a jumping-off point to exploring your health risks. The next section examines some of the most important risks, including cardiovascular disease, high cholesterol, and stress. Here again Mills provides "Are You At Risk?" checklists that allow you to evaluate aspects of your health. This is not a magazine quiz that will diagnose your condition; rather it is a list of symptoms and behaviors that you may want to discuss with your doctor.

Mills follows this section with chapters on three key health "choices," exercise, weight and nutrition, and mental resilience, and practical advice for making and keeping these health choices.

Nearly half of the book comprises the appendix, which provides in-depth information on the health risks previously discussed as well a glossary of medical terms.

Overall I think Mills does a good job of explaining important health issues and directing readers on a path of wellness.

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