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The Diabetic's Book

By June Biermann and Barbara Toohey

Reviewed By David Mendosa

Last Modified On: January 16, 2001

The fourth edition of The Diabetic's Book: All Your Questions Answered, published last year, is completely revised and enlarged. About the only significant thing that the authors, June Biermann and Barbara Toohey, didn't change was the title.

They now advocate low-carb.

Diabetic?
The publisher said they couldn't change the title to The Diabetes Book because it is a new edition of a previously published book "and you can't change the title in midstream."

Okay, so it's not politically correct. A growing movement would never let us use "diabetic" as a noun. It seems that quite a few people are offended by the term and prefer to be known as persons with diabetes instead.

Still, whether you think of yourself as a person with diabetes or a diabetic, you are sure to get a lot of expert information out of this book. Whether you are an expert yourself or a beginner at this disease, there's something here for you. Their book is especially value for newly diagnosed diabetics, er, people with diabetes.

Who They Are
The authors are a team of well-known writers and educators in the diabetes field. June has had type 1 diabetes for more than 30 years.

Together they have written a total of eight books on the disease. They run Prana Publications in Van Nuys, California, which until recently has published The Diabetic Reader, a semiannual newsletter. Instead of the newsletter, they say that now they are going on the Web.

The Book
In this book, they're at their best with clear, sensible and ready-to-read information. They tell it like it is while at the same time emphasizing the positive.

With their characteristically personal and upbeat writing style, June and Barbara guide people with diabetes and their families by showing them how to handle real-life issues often neglected in other books about the disease. People with both type 1 and type 2 diabetes learn how to select a doctor, how to cope with insurance and HMOs, how to deal with interpersonal relations and work situations, and take control of their lives by coming to terms with the demands of the disease.

Included in this edition are diet techniques based on the recently revised American Diabetes Association's nutrition guidelines, a section on health insurance, information on new pills, and the emerging possibilities for a cure.

The part of the book that the authors say they are most excited about is a 10,000-word supplement on the low-carb diet, which they have begun to advocate. This supplement is a distillation of what they learned and experienced in the three years in which they have followed this controversial yet often effective way of eating.

This perennial bestseller has proven itself to be a reliable, practical, comforting, and honest guide to living the good life with diabetes. Now it is better than ever.

Published by Jeremy P. Tarcher/Putnam, a member of Penguin Putnam Inc., The Diabetic's Book is a 282-page paperback listing for $13.95. 


This article originally appeared in Diabetes Digest, May 1999.


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