From Publishers Weekly
Intended for a popular readership but remarkably comprehensive, this reference manual begins with the important distinction between the relatively rare Type I form of Diabetes (which mostly afflicts people at a young age and affects only 5 to 10% of diabetics) and the increasingly more common Type II, which is related to obesity, lifestyle, genetic predisposition and, in a small number of cases, pregnancy. Ali (Are You Fit to Live?) reviews signs of the disease, such as thirst, frequent urination, and fatigue; discusses a simple blood-sugar test that can be administered by a primary-care physician; and provides in-depth treatment options. Diet and exercise, he states, may lower blood sugar in early-stage Type II Diabetes sufficiently to prevent the need for insulin, but careful monitoring is stressed. An overview of different methods of administering medication is also included, and Ali reviews potential medical complications from failure to receive proper treatment, including the slowing of mental functions and a greater risk of heart attack. The author also gives advice on food: what to avoid, what to eat, and in what amounts. This guide will prove very useful for Diabetics and their families. (Feb.)
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In this well-organized guidebook, physician Ali gives diabetics and their families understandable information about an increasingly common and ultimately debilitating disease. More than 23 million people suffer from diabetes in the U.S. alone. Ali expertly covers the causes, treatment, and early and later symptoms. (The first signs are excessive thirst, urination, and appetite. Later, people can suffer from erectile dysfunction, acne, headaches, and cramps.) Ali also explains the disease’s mind-boggling alphabet-acronym soup: BMI, SMBG, DCCT, NP, DKA. Rather than blaming type 2 diabetics for sufferers’ condition, which is often brought on by obesity, Ali tries to motivate them to exercise and lose weight. He also includes a thorough glossary (whoever heard of Goodpasture’s syndrome?) and several pages with contact information for research groups, diabetes centers and clinics, and other resources. His advice isn’t always earthshaking; learn portion size, keep a food diary, eat more fruits and vegetables, quit smoking. But it may be lifesaving. --Karen Springen