To think like a pancreas is to come as close as possible to matching your insulin level to what your body actually needs. This is what your body would do automatically if you didn’t have diabetes. But with a little help from insulin injections or an insulin pump and a lot of guidance about how to use insulin you can do it.
Guidance aplenty is what Gary Scheiner serves up in the completely revised and updated second edition of his most appropriately titled book, Think Like a Pancreas. When I reviewed the first edition in 2004 for my “Diabetes Update” newsletter, it was great, but this edition is both better and more comprehensive. It can guide its readers to learn how to match the amount, timing, and type of insulin that they take to their needs.
The proper timing of insulin injections has always seemed to be to be one of the trickiest aspects of insulin use. That’s why in 2007 I asked Gary to write a little article about it for my website. His article, “Postprandial Hyperglycemia: It’s All in the Timing,” covers the basics of insulin timing. But Think Like a Pancreas covers it completely.
If you follow a very-low carb diet to manage your diabetes, you have no better starting point than the big book by Dr. Richard K. Bernstein. Even if you have been on a very low-carb diet for years, as I have, this book is a basic guide to refer to again and again.
Until a few days ago I had only four of his books. Three of them, Diabetes Type II, The Diabetes Diet, and Beating Diabetes, are important. But the fourth one, Dr. Bernstein’s Diabetes Solution: The Complete Guide to Achieving Normal Blood Sugars, is essential. So essential, in fact, that I keep and have studied the first, second, and third editions of this book.
But the first edition came out in 1997, the second edition appeared in 2003, and the third in 2007. Since management of diabetes changes so fast, that’s long ago.
Now, the fourth edition, newly revised and updated, is out. I asked Dr. Bernstein if he had a summary of the differences between this and the previous edition that could guide me in writing this review.
The fourth edition has “hundreds of additions and changes, too numerous to relate,” he replied. At least one-third of the text is changed.
Every month when I send out my “Diabetes Update” newsletter to about 20,000 subscribers it includes a section on Dr. Bernstein’s webcast. That’s because Dr. Richard K. Bernstein’s monthly webcast is one of the best resources we have to help us manage our diabetes.
The webcasts are live seminars with Dr. Bernstein answering questions from readers of his books and others of us who have diabetes. They are usually on the last Wednesday of each month starting at 7pm CST.
But we can’t always connect at that time. I know that I have missed many because of my travels.
I’m also one of those people who find audio to be a relatively inefficient way to impart knowledge. I find it a lot quicker to learn something that I read.
Diabetes Rising is a strange name for the most readable book ever written about diabetes. But diabetes is a strange disease, as Dan Hurley shows in the book that Kaplan published yesterday.
The publisher sent me galley proofs of the new book several months ago. I’ve been waiting to review it until it became generally available.
Of the hundreds of books on diabetes that publishers and authors send me every year, I don’t usually review any of them. I’ll keep one or two of them in my bookshelf for reference, but I give away the vast majority of them, usually to my local library.
Diabetes Rising is the exception because its author has exceptional qualifications to write about it. Dan Hurley is a medical journalist who regularly contributes to the science section of The New York Times as well as to many other major publications. He earned his other relevant qualification 34 years ago at the age of 18. That’s when he got type 1 diabetes. Continue Reading