Books: Featured

Diabetes Through the Looking Glass: Seeing diabetes from your child’s perspective by Dr Rachel Besser 2009 Published by Class Publishing Ltd, London. ISBN 1859592090. 287 pages, paperback. £20.99 or $32.99.

For parents of kids with type 1 diabetes, there are many excellent books to help them learn everything from the basics to making the best use of advanced insulin pump features. But Diabetes Through the Looking Glass is different. Dr. Rachel Besser not only offers excellent diabetes care advice, but she brings a very unique perspective — she brings voice to people living with type 1 diabetes. How many of us have wished we could understand what our kids were thinking as we poked and stuck them, especially if they are very young? Well, now you can find out. Real people living with type 1, from kids to adults, provide insight into the mind of our kids, and help us, as parents, to provide better care with less worry (really). And it helps that Dr. Besser, who is a paediatrition specializing in childhood diabetes, was herself diagnosed with type 1 when she was nine years old. Highly Recommended.

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Diabetes Rising: How a Rare Disease Became a Modern Pandemic, and What to Do About It by Dan Hurley 2010 Published by Kaplan Publishing, 2010. ISBN 1-60714-458-1. 312 pages, hardcover. $26.95.

Author Dan Hurley was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes at age 18, and his book Diabetes Rising is more about type 1 than type 2 — a refreshing perspective for those of us who have type 1 diabetes in our families. Diabetes Rising is broken into three parts: The Rising, The Reasons, and the Remedies. In The Rising, Hurley tracks the unprecedented increase in both type 1 and type 2 diabetes in modern times (the real focus is type 1 — not type 2). In The Reasons, he explores five hypotheses under study today, including hygeine, vitamin D, and pollution. And in The Remedies, Hurley reviews four paths to cure — or better treat — type 1 and type 2 diabetes, including the artificial pancreas project. Diabetes Rising is very well written and is a must-have for families living with type 1 diabetes. Highly Recommended.

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Celiac Disease: A Hidden Epidemic by Peter H.R. Green, MD and Rory Jones 2006 Published by Collins. ISBN 006076693X. US$22.95.

For the many CWD readers who also live with celiac disease, Dr. Green’s Celiac Disease: A Hidden Epidemic offers an exceptionally complete yet easy to read guide to celiac disease and strategies for living with it successfully. Dr. Green begins with the underlying biology — and botany — of celiac, including an explanation of various grains and why certain ones cause celiac and others don’t. You’ll learn about the various ways that celiac can manifest itself, as well as related conditions (including type 1 diabetes).

This isn’t a celiac cookbook, in case you’re looking for that. Celiac Disease: A Hidden Epidemic is a detailed medical text, written for patients but with real substance. Readers will definitely learn a lot about celiac — some, no doubt, more than their health care teams. Punctuated throughout are sidebars from real people with celiac, which no doubt will help you see that you’re not alone. For any family with celiac, Celiac Disease: A Hidden Epidemic is Highly Recommended.

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Understanding Diabetes, 13th Edition by H. Peter Chase, MD, and David M. Maahs, MD, PhD 2015 Published by the Children's Diabetes Foundation at Denver, 2015. ISBN 978-0-9832650-6-1. US$25.00 plus $5.00 shipping.

If you only have one book about diabetes, Understanding Diabetes should be it. There are more technical books, but none better to help you understand how to live successfully with type 1 diabetes. Representing the clinical practice methods of the The Barbara Davis Center for Childhood Diabetes, the 13th Edition, published in 2015, is completely up-to-date, including the latest on insulin pumps, continuous glucose monitoring, and research efforts such as the Bionic Pancreas. Understanding Diabetes is both comprehensive and easy to read — a great combination for anyone living with type 1 diabetes, regardless of their age (this isn’t a book just for kids with type 1 diabetes).

In summary, no other book about diabetes offers the depth and breadth of Understanding Diabetes. That’s reason enough to get a copy. And at US$25, it’s so inexpensive that you can’t afford to be without it.

The complete text of the 12th edition is online.

Children’s Diabetes Foundation at Denver
4380 South Syracuse Street
Suite 430
Denver, CO 80237
303-863-1200
303-863-1122 fax

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Type 1 Diabetes in Children, Adolescents and Young Adults by Ragnar Hanas, M.D. 2015 (US Edition) Published by Class Publishing, London, 2015. ISBN 1859595707. US$39.99.

In the fifth US edition of his excellent diabetes text book, Dr. Ragnar Hanas offers the most comprehensive book about type 1 diabetes, and one of the best. This book is updated to include pump therapy, continuous sensing, extensive coverage of social issues, and the latest in research. Each topic is presented in an easy-to-read style, with excellent and helpful drawings and charts. Even if you own one of the first three editions, Type 1 Diabetes in Children, Adolescents and Young Adults will make an excellent addition to your diabetes management library. Highly recommended.

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Cheating Destiny by James S. Hirsch 2010 Published by Houghton Mifflin, 2006. Hardcover, 307 pages. $25.00 ISBN 0-618-51461-9. Paperback (2007) ISBN 061891899X, $14.95.

“My son is thirsty.” So begins Cheating Destiny, Jim Hirsch’s amazing book about living with type 1 diabetes, being the parent of a child with diabetes, the diabetes industry today, the cost to the US of type 1 and type 2 diabetes, islet cell transplantation, stem cell research, the maddening nature of US healthcare, and so much more. Hirsch is a captivating writer, and as the parent of a child with diabetes, I feel a special kinship to him — he too has a child with diabetes. He has also lived most of his life with type 1 diabetes. His book is a must read for everyone whose life includes diabetes. You’ll learn more than you could have imagined. And if you, like Jim and I, have a child with diabetes, be prepared for a deeply emotional experience. Highly Recommended.

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Breakthrough: Elizabeth Hughes, the Discovery of Insulin, and the Making of a Medical Miracle by Thea Cooper and Arthur Ainsberg 2010 Published by St. Martin's Press. ISBN 978-0-312-64870-1. Hardcover, 306 pages. US$24.99.

As the parent of a child (now adult) with type 1 diabetes, there is no greater story to be told than that of the discovery of insulin. Breakthrough offers a new, richly detailed and deeply personal perspective of one young girl — Elizabeth Hughes — and her family’s struggle to keep her alive on a starvation diet so that she might one day enjoy a miracle — the discovery of insulin. I cannot help but feel our family in place of the Hughes family, sharing their emotions as they watch their daughter waste away, learn about the “Miracle in Toronto,” and do whatever it takes to get Elizbeth insulin so that she might be saved. Breakthrough brings a new emotional depth to what for many of us is truly the greatest story ever told. For pure historians, the authors have taken some liberties with some specifics in the interest of the story, but this is no work of fiction. Breakthrough is a must have addition to the library of everyone living with type 1 diabetes. Highly Recommended.

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Diabetes: An Emotional Journey by Renea Jo Zosel 2003 Published by Zay Publishing. Hand bound hardcover, 75 pages. $24.95 ISBN 0-9743431-0-2.

Every once in a while, a book comes along that captures the emotions that parents feel about having a child with diabetes. This book is one. In fact, this book is all about the emotions we feel as parents. It’s about the shock of diagnosis, the anguish when you can’t make it go away, the pain in looking at the eyes of a three-year-old who is asking, “Why do I have to get stuck with pins and needles all the time?” If you have a child with diabetes, get this beautifully hand bound hardcover book and, whenever a friend asks you about your child’s diabetes, simply let them read the book — but don’t let them take it out of your house. This book is too beautiful — and too important — to loan out.

— JSH

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