Amazon.com: Customer Reviews: Think Like a Pancreas: A Practical Guide to Managing Diabetes with Insulin
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on September 29, 2004
I am the editor of Diabetic Mommy Online Magazine. I have lots of diabetes books in my personal library and there are a select few that I am always recommending to members on my site. This one is now at the top of my list of essential diabetes books for insulin users, both syringe and pump users.

I found this book at my local library. I thought it had a catchy title and took it home. Cute title aside, this book took me by total surprise. It is now on my wish-list because it will make a tremendous difference in my self-management plus I want to mark this baby up with notes.

If you have diabetes, you might be like me...you read in books and hear organizations stressing self-management however your own healthcare team won't give you enough information to make corrections on your own so you are still dependent on them for every single little adjustment. Busy schedules for all parties mean that a simple correction can be a hassle and a long wait.

This book is not intended to be a replacement for your healtcare team, don't get me wrong, but it provides you with enough information so that you will not be totally helpless and you will have more knowledge to work WITH your team rather than just be the recipient of instructions.

This book covers many topics: Why diabetics need to be in control of their glucose levels, history of diabetes, insulin basics, tips, various methods of insulin dosing, having diabetes in the "real" world, hypo/hyperglycemia, resources, forms, and easy formulas for personalizing your insulin doses and timing, etc. It is the most detailed and clear book on the subject I have seen yet.

Something else this book has going for it is great clear writing and the unavoidable good-humor of the author. He really made me chuckle. If you are a pop-culture fan like me...and you recognize the phrase, "Hi, I'm Larry, this is my brother Darryl and this is my other brother Darryl," Then you'll feel right at home with this book!

I also found very interesting facts that I didn't know before - such as mind work lowers your glucose levels and that caffeine effects your glucose levels.

The only slight problem I had was that the author seems to be a man who really loves sports - while I am a woman who really does not! Many of his analogies use sporting examples which most of the time leave me pretty clueless. In addition, he definitely communicates "man-style." He uses very visual-type examples and explanations.

For example, I feel if the author were to give my husband and I driving directions, my husband would understand right away and take off. (He wouldn't necesarrily find the place - haha) I, on the other hand, would have to review the info, ask for landmarks, and make some notes. (I would find it for sure!)

While the book gives detailed and complete information, I would have found a little summarizing in the form of a cheat sheet would have been fantastic. Worksheets to enter your information and make up your personal plan would be great too. He does have helpful log sheets in the book.

As a result of reading this book, I feel more empowered regarding my ability to troubleshoot and correct. And it will open up a dialogue with my healthcare team and possibly start a battle with my insurance company. I found in my own personal case (and everyone is different), I would probably do best with a pump. In lieu of that, long-acting, short-acting AND an occasional intermediate acting insulin via syringes would be good too. I would feel confident enough to make the suggestions to my team, but I don't know how realistic it would be for them to provide me with all three different types of insulin. I woudn't hold my breath for a pump either!

In spite of this, I still give the book 5 stars because I feel it is so valuable and there is more than enough information for me to make my own info sheets and make suggestions for my care.
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on January 4, 2007
I have been a diabetic for over twenty-eight years and have read many books on diabetes through the years. This book , has by far, been the most informative, easiest to comprehend, and I found it quite fascinating. There are many new things to learn. A definite read for any diabetic who wants to keep on top of things. Gary Scheiner really understands the needs of the diabetic. He provides them with skill, knowledge and real integrity. Thank you.

J. Whinston, Cherry Hill, NJ
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on October 20, 2005
This is the best money you'll ever spend towards better health and lifestyle if you or a loved one has diabetes. Every practical detail of being in control of your diabetes, eating exactly what you want, when you want to (like "normal" people). He tells you how to match your insulin to your food instead of matching your food to your insulin without being an angel. When your doctor calls you with your A1C results you'll no longer hear the catch-all, meaningless "Watch Your Diet Better". Instead you will hear "Fantastic!", Keep Up the Good Work!, " AND you will feel like a million bucks - You'll be surprised at just how good normal feels again.
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on August 5, 2005
This book is credible because the author has researched the facts and has the disease. No laundry list of simple steps but rather a realistic discussion of the many frustrations associated with diabetes, the proactive actions recommended make sense without making it sound easy to achieve. Since this is the reality of diabetes management, the book's tone engages the reader who is has realized this will take commitment but wants to know there is a plan that works.
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on June 30, 2006
This book is a great overview of the basics on how to deal with using insulin. At the same time, there are a lot of individualized issues for staying out of trouble that each diabetic learns with time for him/herself that the book doesn't quite get to. With the upcoming availability of continuous sensors for blood sugar monitoring in conjunction with fingerstick testing, this field is going soon to expand into a whole new world of improved management that will require the next edition. I'd recommend this edition right now, though, for a thorough start.
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on April 28, 2007
After reading this book going on the 3rd time, I am still discovering more and more ways to improve my insulin regimine. I was diagnosed as a Type I diabetic 06/82 at the age of 13 months old. I will be 26 in two weeks and have maintained acceptable control but felt that I truly haven't gotten to where I want my health to be. After reading hands on information in this text, I am happy with producing an HbA1C of 6.7%, and I look forward to bringing it closer to 6% as possible. This comes after maintaining a 7-8% average over the course of many years and thanfully there have not been any long-term consequences "yet".

To anyone that feels they need some additional help with control, wants to refresh themselves on care methods, or anyone recently diagnosed I would recommend this book to. It is imformative, it is easy to read, and the overall context is a very laid back approach with a semi-humorus attitude at times. My girlfriend just finished reading this book and is already helping me with fine tuning my basal and bolus rates. I firmly believe that with all of this in mind, this book is worth more than it's weight in gold.
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on October 16, 2011
I have a medical background so I was interested in reading about this technique. I'm still taking my insulin (70/30) twice a day, but have gotten up the courage to experiment a little bit. You really have to be determined if you are going to count carbs, carb factors, etc. I'm still learning. To really follow the book you need slow acting and fast acting insulin and I'm still too scared to try that. I told my nurse practitioner about the book and she asked if she could borrow it! Guess that speaks for the reliable information and instruction it provides. I need to do a lot more studying, but what the author says is right on. And it's funny--very nice touch when you are a new diabetic and can't find much humor in anything at first! It made me forget my plan to jump off a bridge... There's hope!
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on August 6, 2006
A direct approach, with illustrative examples, to creating a protocol to control your blood sugars. It's written in simple language and well organized, providing a step by step approach to figuring out your basal rates, insulin sensitivity, and carb ratios. Provides insights into the many, many, many (many, many, many) factors that can influence your blood sugars. Well thought out and presented graphs illustrate the effects of insulin. Simple tables illustrate averages for basal rates, boluses, carb rations and sensitivity, offering a good starting place for divining your own settings. Some simple tables of carb content and glycemic indexes. An interesting table for calculating the effect of exercise on blood sugar.

I'd recommend for anyone who's BG is on a roller coaster. It's informative but not preachy.

Terry
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on January 26, 2011
After almost 5 years as a Type 2 Diabetic I finally reached the point where the oral medications no longer worked and insulin was prescribed. That was about 5 months ago and since that day my insulin experience had been filed with frustration and disappointment. No matter what I did I rarely got my glucose to stay below 250-300. I didn't really know what I was doing other than shooting myself 4 to 5 times a day with insulin in the hopes that a miracle would take place and my body would eventually respond favorably.
I bought this book as a last ditch effort, hoping that it might give me some direction. I began carefully calculating the carb counts of my meals and the dosing of my Basal & Bolus injections according to the formulas & tables in the book and that miracle happened! Within 48 hours my daytime insulin was down to between 128 & 150. My morning glucose levels were an acceptible 120 to 180. (still working on fine tuning that).
If you are frustrated with the results of your insulin therapy and are serious about getting it under control, this book, in conjunction with a big book of food carbohydrate values may very well do the trick!
The book provides the same types of helpful information for insulin pump users as well. If you are diabetic and your diabetes is out of control you can't go wrong with this book. After all, isn't your continued health worth the price of a paperback book? Give it a try!
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on July 26, 2011
I really loved this book. As a newly diagnosed type 1, it really helped me understand the basics and the intricacies of such a completed (and sometimes frustrating) disease. I also liked that it had many levels- the book presents information for type 1s, type 2s, those on pumps, pills, or injections, and even a bit of useful info for the type 3s of the world (the people who love and care for a diabetic : ). My only complaint would be that sometimes the math/formulas were a bit complicated for me-- but I am horrible at math so I think that was to be expected! Even with the math confusion I would recommend it to anyone and everyone. Best wishes--
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