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101 Tips for Coping with Diabetes

Foreword Review — May / June 2003

“Approximately 17 million people in the United States, or 6.2% of the population, have diabetes,” according to the American Diabetes Association. Knowledge is the key to cutting the incidence and sequela of diabetes. Formatted as questions with solutions, this book provides knowledge, skill, and support to help diabetics manage their illness. The authors-educators in the field-embody a combined experience of two hundred years with diabetes (four have it and the other has a family member who does).

The book covers topics like managing stress, controlling weight, increasing activity, and monitoring blood glucose. After diagnosis, many people are depressed and angry, and stress can affect blood glucose. The authors suggest tips like setting realistic goals to manage stress. The section on healthy eating and weight control suggests working with the family to change eating habits, and dealing with unpredictable schedules, dining out, and splurging. The activity chapter defines exercise, suggests how to work activity into a busy schedule, explains how to exercise with limited mobility, and describes the importance of high and low blood sugars’ effects on exercise.

“Understanding yourself and the way you feel is the best tool for constant and complete management,” claim the authors. The handy list of the best foods for low blood sugars is suitable for copying. Also, non-invasive blood glucose monitoring, a relatively new method, may open future research for those tired of sticking themselves.

“Some people say that getting a complication made them see their lives with diabetes differently; the complication was both a blow and a wake-up call,” mention the authors. To help readers understand and avoid complications, the authors cover causes, treatments, and solutions to erectile and female sexual dysfunctions, foot problems, and heart disease. Tips are offered for getting the best health care, like knowing when a specialist is needed and getting questions answered in the doctor’s office. Information on getting support and information, and dealing with emergencies, travel (including airport security), family and employment issues, and illness round out this handy reference.

Information about the American Diabetes Association is enclosed with plenty of referral phone numbers and websites. Living with diabetes can be a formidable path, but reading this text and keeping it for later reference may lead to a clearer understanding and surer footing.