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The First Year: Type 2 Diabetes: An Essential Guide for the Newly Diagnosed (First Year, The)
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Product Description

After Gretchen Becker was diagnosed with type 2 diabetes in 1996, she educated herself on every aspect of this chronic condition — by reading medical and scientific books and journals, talking with doctors and listening to her own body. In 2001, she marshaled everything she had learned as a "patient-expert" into the first edition of this book, which she has now completely updated and revised. The First Year?—Type 2 Diabetes uniquely guides you step-by-step through your first year with diabetes, walking you through everything you need to learn and do each day of your first week after diagnosis, each subsequent week of the first month, and each subsequent month of the crucial first year. In clear, concise, accessible language, Becker covers a wide range of practical, medical, and lifestyle issues, beginning with coming to terms with your diagnosis and then moving on to subjects including: Choosing the diet that is best for you The role of exercise Daily blood-glucose testing routines and understanding lab tests Medications and supplements Networking with others Insurance issues Traveling and socializing

Customer Reviews:

  • I am going to buy this one today!
    I was browsing this book in the bookstore this past week, and though I only scanned the table of contents and read about two or three chapters, I've already had a few questions answered.

    My docs have not diagnosed me with diabetes, but after recently starting to bonk out on fairly easy runs, I began to suspect at least pre-diabetes. The disease runs in my family, on both sides. I started monitoring for myself, and could not understand why my BG levels would go up during exercise. It's complicated, but the book covers the reasons. My docs, like many mentioned in these reviews, don't know much about diabetes. They have advised me that my numbers are only "a little high," and that I should quit monitoring myself and just watch what I eat. I know what my numbers are when I am NOT sitting in a doctor's office, and I intend to remain pro-active. I think I will by Becker's Pre-Diabetes book, too.

    I can't wait to get further into the book. I don't think it will take me a year to read it! ...more info
  • Misses the boat on Depression
    I was incredibly impressed with this book until I got to the bit on depression. As one of my clients said, this woman has never been depressed. There are books dating back to the 30s on how eating sugar significantly affects mood in some people. Many clients seem to be able to guess their own blood sugar ratings based on their depressed mood and lack of motivation. I was surprised that Mendosa's wonderful website doesn't list the word depression. People who have significant depression associated with variations in blood sugar are severly underserved by Becker's book. While there are many studies that claim you are at no greater risk for diabetes after a diagnosis (which is probably true) it seems to me that what actually occurs is that people are more likely to experience significant clinical depression related to diabetes BEFORE it is diagnosed. Then when blood sugar is controlled they actually have less depression. How unusual and fortunate for Becker and Mendosa that they are so blessed to be depression free. I hope it doesn't make people who do have depression associated with diabetes and variations in blood sugar feel crazy....more info
  • Not just for the first year
    When I was first diagnosed with Type II diabetes, my HMO provided a training class. At first, I was just using diet and exercise to control the disease so maybe I did not pay as close attention to the parts about insulin and the various drugs. Ten years have gone by since the class, so I needed more information because the doctor says it is time for insulin. The book answered most of my questions and I trust the author because she also has the disease and knows what she is taking about. That is more than I can say for my HMO doctors and nurses who claim that I should be eating 12 pieces of bread each day. The author mentions that the high carbohydrate theory may not work for everyone so the doctors and nurses are not always right especially about nutrition. Whether you are new to the disease or relearning like me, the book can be recommended....more info
  • First Year Type II Diabetes: Ess. Guide--
    My wife is very pleased with this book. It has many answers to many questions and is even a bit inspiring as well as encouraging to her. We highly recommend this book!...more info
  • "Give Up Hope" should be the title of this book
    I disliked this book so much that I had to put it down frequently. First of all, the book is laid out in an illogical manner, with information spread out over chapters called Day 1, Day 2, Week 1, Week 2, Month 1, Month 2, etc. If you want to read all the information on a particular topic, you won't find it in one place, and that can be frustrating. Secondly, Becker's attitude is "Once a diabetic, always a diabetic". She leaves little hope that by dieting and exercising you can return your body to a normal state, even if your diabetes isn't severe (this is in contradiction to what many doctors say). Becker seems jaded to me and is obviously tired of dealing with her own diabetes, and her negativity is very evident in the book. She doesn't understand the power of suggestion to help or hinder people; and since she doesn't have any faith in the human body to regenerate itself (once your beta cells are gone, they're gone!!!), she conveys this hopelessness to the reader.

    Her sense of humor is laced with irony and reflects her negative attitude, and she uses humor to pander to the fears of her readers. She seems to think that all her readers are in a state of "shock" from their diagnoses. Throughout the section about taking blood sugar readings, she kept saying "Ouch" as if in sympathy with the reader (even though modern blood sugar meters are mostly painless). The pandering can become irritating to a reader with a more mature attitude.

    Having said all that, there is nonetheless a great deal of information in the book; but to get it all, you have to ward off her negative bullets with your magic bracelets -- and that may be difficult for people who are new to diabetes. I DON'T recommend this book....more info
    This book has answered so many questions I had and answers for questions I didn't have. Greatest book I bought for learning about how to take care of myself and why I feel the way I do. Why I am hungry all the time. Why I crave sweets. Why I feel tired all the time and more. Great buy. You won't be dissappointed....more info
  • Interesting and not what I expected.
    This book was not what I expected, but I really enjoyed it, however there are a few concerns with this book.

    First there are inconsistencies within the book that are concerning. Some times she says one thing then states the opposite which can be confusing. I know she does not want to diagnose or give advice that might seem medical, but the reader can get confused.

    I did not like how she often repeated information for the sake of a chapter. She mentioned certain topics several times which could have been combined into one ore two. This was disheartening because of the level of knowledge she has on the subject.

    She has some misstatements that the reader must be aware of. One is that she mentions that herbal treatment is controversial and is not tested the way drugs are such as double blind test. I disagree because they are tested more frequently and more harshly then drugs which proves there safety and effectives. The still go through the double blind and single blind test that drugs would have to go through. They are not recommended by the FDA because of an obscure rule of the federal government, which left the control of the herbs to the companies themselves; which they have done a great job thus far. Just because the drug companies do not test herbal remedies, doesn't mean they are not safe or effective. Herbal remedies are tested by a third party which makes the tests more creditable. The controversy is with the drug companies because they want to sell more drugs and don't want to test the herbs. The doctors who do not have time to read the actual studies on the herbs do not recommend them because of what the drug companies tell them. I know, I worked for a drug company for many years.

    I do believe that herbal remedies should come with warnings also, but not for the reasons she states everyone is different and has different effects on different people.

    While there are some other issues that are small, these are the biggest.

    I do like how much information she gives and in the manner she gives it. She explains diabetes better then other authors and doctors to the point of an advanced person. She has done her homework and it shows. She is very knowledgeable and explains things for the masses with a lot of examples.

    I like how much advice she does give which is great because it feels like no one can help you and even though I went to my hospital's Diabetes Self Management Classes, I learned far more form this book. I should have spent the $16.00 instead of the $2,100 for the classes. I am going to recommend this book to my doctor.

    I highly recommend the book with this warning, read as much as you can on every subject in the book or not.

    ...more info
  • It's not too late to buy this book even after the first year
    My expertise with this book is somewhat different than the 'Newly Diagnosed'. I read the book 2 years after i was diagnosed with type 2. When initially diagnosed, not being a frequent visitor to the doctor's and with insufficient knowledge on the matter, i took my endocrinologist's advices granted without any second thought and without discussion. The endo was definitely a competent one and my diabetes at beginning stage, it was easy to recover from high BG level to rather normal range say within one month or so only by dieting and metformin tablets. I was also prescribed to take ace inhibitor and aspirin tablets daily along with cholosterol suppressant. Being back to normal level and having calmed down, and having not really understood what went on with my health, i started reading about the subject and received piece of information here, another there... until i happened to find this book which practically and simply answered all the questions i had in mind, once and for all. The reason of my high BG, how my diet contributed to get back to normal, the meaning of the pills i was taking, the influence/duty of each one to my current/future health condition. Having been diagnosed two years ago the chapter numbers (1st day, 2nd day..,weeks,months) really didn't mean much, but no harm, they were simply chapter 1, chapter 2 and so on for me.
    As the Author completes every chapter,
    "in a sentence: this book is simply and fully beneficial for the people with diabetes, especially type 2. Highly recommended".

    ...more info
  • A volume no one deserves to have to own, but many of us need...
    I expect that after I get my next diabetes blood test in a couple of weeks, and then see my new doctor in my new city a week or so later, I will have to accept the fact that yes, I am diabetic. I have been climbing the scale toward that status for two years, and my promises to my old doc to change my diet and lose weight and get more exercise have not panned out in significant measure. Whether this means that before May 1st I will be sticking my finger and measuring my blood glucose at home or not, Ms. Becker's book is properly a part of my collection. It's a good effort. My main criticism is that it is more technical/scientific than I wanted at this stage of my acceptance. Several other reviewers found it depressing, and finally, at the end of it, I did too, but that is not the author's fault. Those of us who qualify to read it have a permanent and dangerous condition that never takes an hour off. I admire Gretchen's discipline and record-keeping and extensive reading and networking about diabetes---but Lord, I don't want to have to imitate all of her efforts. I will be consulting her book frequently as this first year of my disease unfolds, and I feel it was worth every penny I spent on Amazon to get it. I wish owning her volume was the "cure" instead of just the road map to minimizing devastation. But a guide to reducing the ravages of this genetic/lifestyle affliction is the best we can hope for at this time. If you are on the edge of a diagnosis, as I am, buy the book and read it slowly. You will be sorry you need to, but glad you did....more info
  • Just What I Needed!
    Just a few weeks after being diagnosed with Type 2 Diabetes I discovered this book. As I was reading it I felt as though I had a friend helping me through the process of dealing with Type 2 Diabetes. It is a good resource that is easy to read. I feel more comfortable now after finishing Gretchen Becker's book. Thank you Gretchen for getting me on the right track. ...more info
  • Library Material
    I have just start reading it, it is helpful to me to understand diabetes
    and how with proper diet and exercise (which I hate) I can beat this.
    Would recommend it for a person just starting out with this disease....more info
  • Read this book first if you have Type 2 Diabetes
    The diagnosis of my Diabetes Type 2 came less than four months ago. It came just 3 days after my dad entered the hospital. He suffered a heart attack; the next day, my diagnosis was confirmed, 5 days later, my dad passed away.

    The urgency of my doctor, calling me at 6:30pm on Friday evening, as she was reviewing test results for several patients, struck me like a ton of bricks. I was in a hospital lobby, just having finished visiting my dad's bedside.

    I sat down and explained my situation (as it had evolved since my office visit), and added that my girlfriend's dad was also in the hospital, having suffered a major heart attack. He would pass away 3 weeks later.

    My Monday doctor's appointment would confirm the diagnosis. I had a fasting glucose level of 282. An in-office test (much like I now perform several times a day) showed a level of 410. These numbers were so high, that a cholesterol reading was impossible.

    The education process had begun over the weekend on the web site. I'd also purchased Diabetes for Dummies.

    As many reviewers describe, the wealth of information and professional opinion is overwhelming and often, in conflict. It seemed to me that treating and coping with Diabetes is much like dieting. First, what works for me, may not work for you. Second, in dieting, if you're 50 pounds overweight (for example), losing the first 20 pounds is usually a snap. Losing the rest is not a snap, and keeping it off is tough.

    This book comes from a solid perspective. It acknowledges the complexity, and reduces it to lay terms, as much as humanly possible.

    When describing what internal emotions a newly diagnosed Diabetic might be feeling, it resonated with me. For example, I like my doctor's style. She listens. She looks me in the eye. We are able to have a discussion. She talks about the possibilities, and the different paths my treatment may take.

    I asked her, flat out, 'Are you qualified to treat me, or should I being seeing a specialist?' Rather than be threatened, she clearly outlined where her expertise began and ended, and let me know under what circumstances she would recommend a specialist. This gave me great confidence.

    Then, when reading the book, it was refreshing to see that my instincts were confirmed - seeing a personal physician that knows you can often be better than seeking a perfect answer from the ultimate specialist.

    No matter how smart one is, the deeper you investigate the complexity of Diabetes Type 2, the more confusing it can become.

    I found that this volume has a distinct advantage by focusing only on Type 2. For me, it has begun to clarify and help me understand what will be a lifelong challenge.

    Needless to say, I highly recommend it....more info