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Diabetes Rising Paperback – February 1, 2011

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 344 pages
  • Publisher: Kaplan Publishing; 1 edition (February 1, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1607148307
  • ISBN-13: 978-1607148302
  • Product Dimensions: 0.9 x 6 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (21 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #524,277 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Booklist

The good news about being a professional science journalist with type 1 diabetes is that you can devote 100 percent of your time to researching its history and the evolution of its diagnosis and treatment. Your credentials also give you entrée into the bosom of up-to-the-moment research in the field. The even better news about being such a journalist is that you can write a fascinating, informative book from which people with either type 1 or type 2 diabetes and their loved ones (it is so widespread as to affect the lives of countless people, whether they have diabetes or know someone who does) can be informed of the latest theories about causes, treatments, and potential cures. Ideas about causes are all over the map, ranging from cow’s milk to insufficient sunshine. Treatments are vastly improved and getting better everyday; Hurley even submitted to the all-too-brief experience of being symptom-free while he was hooked up to an artificial pancreas. And cures? Well, read the book. --Donna Chavez --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.


“An important work...Well written, weaving personal stories, interviews with lead scientific researchers, and historical reviews to create an easy-to-read, complete look at the epidemic of diabetes.” Journal of the American Medical Association

""Diabetes Rising takes on the fastest-growing disease in history with a take-no-prisoner’s attitude. You got to love the author’s pugnacity. Dan Hurley takes the same approach to diabetes that Ronald Reagan took on the Cold War. Not willing to live with the enemy, he wants to kill it in its crib."" —Chris Matthews, Host of MSNBC's Hardball with Chris Matthews 

""...the real zingers in Hurley’s account are the variety of new studies he reports in connection with the astonishing increase in overt or potential diabetes in nearly 25 percent of the world’s adult population."" — Kirkus Reviews

""Books offering advice on living with diabetes are legion. Hurley provides instead a compelling layperson’s overview of diabetes research enlivened by multiple interviews with scientists in the field. Diabetics and those who love them will find this a fascinating and hope-filled read."" — Library Journal, starred review 

...""fascinating, informative book…"" — Booklist 

""Few people are more qualified to write this medical mystery story. An award-winning journalist for medical publications and the New York Times, Hurley has been matching wits with the killer for thirty years inside his own body—he developed type I diabetes in 1975, and his description of his last supper as a non-diabetic on Thanksgiving is harrowing. One of the many strengths of this book, in fact, is Hurley’s ability to juxtapose masses of historical medical information with highly personal stories, his own and those of others, which give a human face to this impersonal killer. We want a cure for diabetes, not just for mankind, but for Hurley and his young daughter."" — Foreword

""Diabetes Rising is very well written and is a must-have for families living with type 1 diabetes. Highly Recommended."" — ChildrenwithDiabetes.com 

""This is a stunning book about diabetes. For patients, family members, physicians, and those simply interested in learning more about a disease so closely linked to the rise of modern civilization, Diabetes Rising offers not just a thorough background, but the hint of an 'out of the box' approach to how we can treat and prevent diabetes."" — from the foreword by Zachary T. Bloomgarden, M.D., Editor, Journal of Diabetes 

""With engaging style, Dan Hurley uses the tools of investigational journalism to ask the question millions affected by diabetes ask themselves every day: 'Why can’t we cure and prevent this devastating disease?' Diabetes Rising challenges conventional wisdom in search of pioneering scientific approaches to achieve a world without diabetes."" — S. Robert Levine, M.D., Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation Board of Chancellors 

""Dan Hurley has created a superb framework for understanding diabetes today and the profound challenges that face anyone affected by it. In crisp, vivid prose, Hurley offers unerring insight on what we live with. Essential reading!"" — Kelly L. Close, editor in chief, diaTribe 

""We are increasingly living in a diabetic nation, and Dan Hurley provides a durable framework for understanding what that means -- the potent forces driving the epidemic, the deep impact on individual lives, and the possible solutions that can turn the tide."" — James S. Hirsch, author of Cheating Destiny: Living with Diabetes

More About the Author

I come by my interest in psychology, learning and intelligence the honest way. Back in third grade, when I still couldn't read, my teacher told my mother, "Daniel is a slow learner." But in sixth grade, I received straight A's. In-between, my best friend had started reading Spider-Man and other Marvel comics. When I discovered them, and began writing and drawing my own, my life as a writer began.

My first job after graduating from Beloit College in Wisconsin was to help create and serve as editor of the Clayton Times, based in the suburbs just outside of St. Louis. Determined to write for national publications, I sold a few stories to the National Examiner, a supermarket tabloid, including my first cover story, "I Was Attacked by Killer Bigfoot."

In 2009, after more than 25 years as a freelance science journalist, I wrote a piece for Neurology Today, the official publication of the American Academy of Neurology, about research into drugs that could improve the cognitive abilities of people with Down syndrome. One of the doctors I interviewed, Alberto Costa, had published the first study to show that a drug could immediately improve the ability of mice with a version of Down syndrome to navigate a maze; he was now testing the drug on young adults with Down syndrome. His own daughter, the same age as mine, had been born with the disorder. I ended up writing about Dr. Costa and his search for Down syndrome in the New York Times Magazine.

Then I wondered, "Is it possible to increase the intelligence of people who don't have Down syndrome?" I learned that dozens of studies had been published showing that the intelligence of children, adults and older people, whether healthy or facing cognitive challenges, could be increased through a variety of methods: physical exercise, specially designed computer games, learning a musical instrument, mindfulness meditation, transcranial direct-current stimulation, and more. A handful of prominent skeptics continue to insist that it's all a lot of baloney, that IQ is forever. I've now described the latest research in two other feature articles in the New York Times Magazine. And for my new book, "Smarter," I personally combined all the methods shown to work, including learning to play the Renaissance lute. (That would surprise some of my old friends, who recall my college band, the Mutations, for which I sang songs like "I Hate You" and "I Want Your Body.") As a result of my training, my fluid intelligence increased by 16%.

Another part of my career as a writer is something called 60-Second Novels. Back in 1983, I decided to take my manual Remington typewriter onto Michigan Avenue in Chicago, tape a sign to it that said, "60-Second Novels, Written While You Wait," and see what the heck would happen. It was meant to be an absurd performance-art experiment in which I expected most people to squint at me and tell me to get a job. But like in "The Producers," my bizarro idea turned out to be a success: a line of people formed and started handing me five dollars a pop to talk with them and then write something inspired by our conversation. Within a year I quit my job as an editor at the American Bar Association, moved to New York, and became a full-time 60-Second Novelist, earning as much as $300 a day on the sidewalks of New York. Eventually I started writing 60-Second Novels at corporate and private events around the country. Is this a great country or what??

But after 30 fricking years of it, I'm giving up 60-Second Novels. This science writing thing just might work out.

Customer Reviews

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I recommend everyone read Diabetes Rising, not just full-blown diabetics.
For now, diabetics must rely on self-monitoring, adherence to a healthful diet, and good medical care to avoid the horrible complications that afflict so many.
E. Bukowsky
This book was very informative and easy to understand and an enjoyable read!
Susan Backus

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

32 of 32 people found the following review helpful By RC on January 18, 2010
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Medical journalist Dan Hurley has written an engaging and important book. He divides his book into a prologue, three major sections, and a conclusion. In the prologue, he introduces us to the prosperous town of Weston MA which illustrates two things about diabetes in the United States today: it is increasingly common and we are not doing enough to track it. He then broadens the perspective so that the reader can understand that we are really dealing with a global pandemic. Then, Part One of the book gives an accounting of the history of diabetes, from ancient times when it was rare, to the current day when the rates of both Types 1 and 2 have exploded. He concludes this section with a detailed discussion of the state of Type 2 today and a visit to Logan County WV, the county with the highest incidence of diabetes in the United States, where 14.8% of everyone over the age of 20 has been diagnosed with the disease. In Part Two of the book, the author outlines the five theories as to the likely causes of diabetes that he finds most compelling. In Part Three, he examines four different approaches that may ultimately lead to significantly better management, to a cure, or to significant rates of prevention. He wraps up with a brief conclusion. Please note that while you will learn things about what might be smart to do (take 2,000 IU of Vitamin D3 each day, for instance), this is not a guide on how to manage diabetes on a daily basis. If you are looking for a book on how to calculate basal rates and boluses or cook low-carb dishes, this is not it.

Much of the information in this book will be at least somewhat familiar to those who follow the disease. Very few people, however, will be familiar with all of it.
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21 of 22 people found the following review helpful By Michael T Kennedy VINE VOICE on January 7, 2010
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I am a physician with a diabetic son and I ordered this to see if it would be useful for him, especially, to read. I have enjoyed it and it has many bits of new information. The first 87 pages is a pretty good history of the disease and of attempts to treat it. I have one quibble as I had always believed that Frederick Allen got the idea for the "starvation treatment" of diabetes from evidence that diabetics did better than nondiabetics with the malnutrition in cities cut off during the First World War. His treatment program began in 1919 to 1921. His method, described by Hurley, was to eliminate carbohydrates from the diet. This worked to stop acidosis and glycosuria but the children became skeletal and were obsessed with hunger. The only way they could be treated was by residential centers where they could be kept from eating sugar. The method did keep some children alive until insulin came along in 1922. One of those children was the daughter of Charles Evans Hughes whose father was the Republican presidential nominee in 1916, losing to Woodrow Wilson. She lived to the age of 88 and few in her family even knew of her diabetes.

Hurley follows the lead of Michael Bliss in denigrating Fredrick Banting who, while not the learned professor that MacLeod was, had the vision to try a new tack in the search for a cure. There are other versions of the story that give Banting far more credit. Still, the history is all good. The most intersting part for me is where he gets into the mechanism for the disease, the "accelerator hypothesis" and the "cow's milk hypothesis" and the others. They are very interesting and may hold clues to treatment and prevention. There have been other studies, one for example, with prediabetic pregnant women in which frank diabetes may have been prevented.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Susan Backus on March 26, 2010
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I was very interested in this book as my 10 year old daughter was recently diagnosed with type 1 diabetes. While I haven't
done exhaustive research regarding this disease I have read and been given a lot of information lately, some of it contradictory.
This book was very informative and easy to understand and an enjoyable read! I really appreciated the history of the disease and some of it's early treatments
and an overview of the kind of research currently being done. I felt empowered at the end with a greater understanding of the disease and hopeful for my daughter's future. Valuable read.
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Format: Hardcover
The alarming rate of diabetes growth over the past two decades alone has quite literally become an international health epidemic in 21st Century society. As the numbers have continued to rise and rise while blood sugar disorders have become much more common than ever before, the health experts have attempted to put on their thinking caps to come up with a solution that will help people suffering with diabetes have the ability to beat this problem once and for all. So far, there have been no cures found. What we need are people who can come up with solutions to this monstrosity of a disease and Dan Hurley has attempted to do just that with the release of his book Diabetes Rising: How a Rare Disease Became a Modern Pandemic, and What to Do About It.

Hurley himself has Type 1 diabetes and as an investigative medical journalist has a personal vested interest in this topic. After living with this disease and seeing so many people suffering from both the juvenile diabetes (Type 1) and adult onset diabetes (Type 2), you would like Hurley would examine ALL of the science and latest information on how to best control the symptoms of diabetes. But one thing glaringly missing element in the Diabetes Rising book is the lack of any mention of the low-carbohydrate nutritional connection to diabetes and how it would play some role in the solution. With all we know about carbohydrate-restriction as an essential part of an effective way to control blood glucose levels, this is quite perplexing to say the least.

But there are exactly TWO references to low-carb (one simply mentioning the Atkins diet and another talking about what the low-carb diet is). But that's it!
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