3 great books to pick up for diabetes control

Diabetes is not a fatal condition, but it can be dangerous if you do not take it seriously.

As such, if you are a diabetic, it may be advisable to pick up some tips on the best lifestyle choices, dietary requirements and health precautions to live a long and fulfilling life.

Here are three great books to get you started on it:

Title: Diabetes : Are You at Risk?  
Author: Morrone, Lisa 
Publisher: Eugene, Or. : Harvest House Publishers, c2010 
Call Number: English 616.462 MOR - [HEA]

Complete with a self-administered quiz, author and physical therapist Lisa Morrone starts off the book "Diabetes: Are You at Risk?" by explaining clearly in simple terms how the human body regulates its sugar levels and what is the 'road to diabetes'.

These are basically the conditions that are precursors to diabetes, for example, insulin resistance, metabolic syndrome and pre-diabetes.

Concise explanations are also provided on the five types of blood tests that may be used to test for diabetes and one's potential risks of developing it.

Besides the usual measures of health status such as the Body Mass Index (BMI) and blood pressure, the author also shares about the Waist-to-Hip Ratio that may suggest increased serious health risks, including diabetes.

Waist circumference of 40 inches or more for men, and 35 inches or more for women, are considered high risk factors.

The Waist-to-Hip Ratio is simply the waist circumference divided by the hip circumference. A resultant number of 1.0 or more for men or 0.85 or more for women would be considered high in health risk.

If you are looking for food suggestions and advice on the kind of exercise regime to undertake, this book is for you.

She advises that better meal decisions could help to improve the body's ability to metabolise sugar, and in doing so avoid frequent excessive sugar spikes which may lead to insulin resistance and increased risk of diabetes.

Take not though that the suggestions for food choice highlight hidden dangers in one's diet, which can be avoided, but the suggestions are not meant to be a complete dietary guide.

This book is suitable for those who want to know what they can do to prevent and minimise the risk of developing diabetes, or for those who want to understand the relationship between sugar intake, diet and diabetes.

Title: Diabetes: I've Got Diabetes, Now What?
Author: Okeke, Eyiuche
Publisher: Sudbury, MA : Jones & Bartlett Learning, c2011  
Call Number: English 616.462 OKE - [HEA]

Written by Dr. Eyiuche Okeke, endocrinologist from the pre-eminent Joslin Diabetes Center in Boston, "I've Got Diabetes, Now What?" is a concise book that explains the symptoms, diagnosis, management and treatment of diabetes, including medications.

With a different focus from the first title, this book gives additional information about potential complications that can occur when one has diabetes, such as cardiovascular disease, retinopathy (diabetes-related eye disease) and renal disease.

The book comes with a simple message: "Don't give up on feeling healthy just because you have diabetes!" and "Get enough rest, exercise daily, drink plenty of water and eat a healthy, balanced diet."

At 44 pages long, this slim volume contains full colour pictures and illustrations, gives clear professional answers, and comes with a set of online resources and a glossary for more details.

Title: Diabetes: The Smart Woman's Guide to Diabetes : Authentic Advice on Everything from Eating to Dating and Motherhood 
Author: Mercer, Amy
Publisher: New York : Demos Health, c2012 
Call Number: English 616.4620082 MER - [HEA]

"The Smart Woman's Guide to Diabetes" by Amy Mercer offers a good mix of professional opinions and first-hand advice by women with diabetes themselves.

This title focuses on women who have Type 1 diabetes that may occur from a very young age, as compared to Type 2 diabetes, which usually develops later in life.

One may question whether the experience of illness differs between genders.

The book suggests that women with diabetes go through unique challenges as to food choices, sugar intake and the various life stages - the effects of diabetes on the body and the baby during pregnancy and motherhood, and for the older women, during menopause.

Described in different chapters of the book, for example, under 'Diagnosis', 'Diet', 'Eating disorders and body image', or 'Working girl: Diabetes at work and school', each woman's narrative of her experience may appear divided.

Nevertheless, while the interjections of multiple voices and recurring names throughout the book may be distracting to some readers, this book certainly succeeds in giving hope and support to women with diabetes, for that they are not alone in their experiences of dealing with diabetes.

Above reviews contributed by Felix Ser, Associate Librarian, National Library Board.

Availability of the above titles can be checked via NLB’s online catalogue at www.pl.sg. The book covers are the copyright of the respective publishing companies.

[Disclaimer: Please note that professional medical advice should be sought for any health condition, and that these books are not intended to take the place of sound professional medical advice.]