Newly Diagnosed Reading List

Speaking to an audience of First Timers at Friends for Life 2015 Diabetes Dad, Tom Karlya, said “Diabetes is an unfair and tough disease, but knowledge is the equalizer in diabetes.” Knowledge is the equalizer in diabetes. Between blood glucose checks every two hours, being a parent, and teaching, it took me a few months to get through these books, but the history, research, and practical advice helped me cope with our son’s diagnosis and more importantly, find good avenues of care for him.

Diabetes Rising by Dan Hurley

After I meet with another parent whose child has diabetes, one of the first pieces of advice she gave me was to order Diabetes Rising. This book is an advanced primer on the history and current research as it pertains to T1D. Divided into three main sections, the first section chronicles the history of diabetes mellitus and focuses on the alarming rate at which both type 1 and type 2 is rising. The middle section covers hypotheses about the etiology of type 1 and the last section covers various treatments and research for a cure. The author, Dan Hurley, is a reporter, and a person living with T1D. This is the book I pass along to family and friends who want to learn more about diabetes.

Breakthrough: Elizabeth Hughes, the Discovery of Insulin, and the Making of a Medical Miracle by Thea Cooper and Arthur Ainsberg

The book swiftly moves through the history of diabetes and its lack of treatment before the modern era. I think this book is one part biography of William Banting and one part case study of Elizabeth Hughes, one of the first American patients to be given insulin after its discovery in 1921. The book covers the early experiments of Banting and Best and follows the story of insulin to the Lilly Corporation and then the Noble Prize.

Cheating Destiny: Living With America’s Biggest Epidemic by James S. Hirsch

Like Diabetes Rising, this book looks at the history of diabetes, hypotheses, and current (published in 2009) research. What makes this book differently is the deeply empathetic voice of the author, James S. Hirsch, who is a person living with T1D. The book opens with the author’s three-year-old son’s diagnosis of T1D.

Think Like a Pancreas by Gary Scheiner

Thankfully, the author, Gary Scheiner, a CDE and person living with T1D, acknowledges no one can really think like a pancreas. However, if it’s possible to even replicate one iota of what a pancreas does, it would be with the help of this book. This book covers how to establish and test basal programs, a wealth of information for counting carbs and covering with boluses, detailed nutrition information, and other elements that affect blood sugars. Sitting down with this book is like sitting down with a nutritionist and CDE for a very advanced lesson on artificial metabolism.

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