top of page

Midwest Book Review

Straight from the Gut: Battling Inflammatory Bowel Disease is not a 'how-to' book; nor is it pure autobiography. Instead, it straddles the line between the two as it chronicles the author's struggles with IBD, the many treatment options considered and tried, and their impact on his life.

 Other books on the subject of IBS or IBD provide one approach or another: they either are purely autobiographical and focus on one person's experience or path, or they adopt the tone of an informal medical guide as they survey traditional versus alternative treatment options fellow sufferers can consider.


Vivek Sardana had a different purpose in mind: to use the progression of his disease and the choices it presented at each juncture as a pivot point for explaining anatomy, physiology, procedures, and the psychological challenges posed by each decision.


 From his disease's impact on his family, pleasures, work life and freedom to the involvement of his physicians in all aspect of his evolving health challenges, Straight from the Gut pulls no punches and makes no attempt to soften the blows of the progression of a chronic disease, but ultimately offers readers hope as Sardana repeatedly navigates the pros and cons of painful procedures and uncertain recoveries.


Expect a series of powerful, explicit descriptions of bowel struggles that reach into daily life and demand adjustments, responses and life-changing decisions at every turn. Also expect a personal story that tempers its medical crises with the author's interest in his native India and his journeys there for personal connections and alternative treatments alike. Also, anticipate the author's respect for all of his medical providers, which blends with graphic accounts of surgical procedures and recovery processes.


How does one live with a progressive, life-altering disease that constantly offers new twists and turns? How does one assess all medical possibilities and work with physicians to choose the best options? And how does one still maintain hope and a love of life against all the daily odds of a body-wracking illness?


Straight from the Gut promises neither pat answers nor even a pain-free future for its author or readers, but simply holds out Sardana's experiences as an example of handling life's daily slings and arrows - even at their most extreme. It tenders hope and even a glimpse of attitude adjustment… and this, perhaps, is Sardana's greatest strength and the foundation of a work that stands out from the crowd as a reference recommended for any fighting IBS or IBD.


 - D. Donovan, Senior e-reviewer, MBR

bottom of page