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on 25 May 2015
A most wonderful book for all newly diagnosed type 2 diabetics. Gives a very positive and full account of the nature of the illness and the various methods you can use to control it; and basically "get your life back on track"!! It helped me to feel more positive about my condition and got me out of the very dark place in which I found myself immediately after I had been diagnosed.
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on 18 March 2017
Has some very handy knowledge for people suffering with diabetes
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on 10 June 2013
Just diagnosed, plenty of useful information but this book made me feel that I will be dead before I finish it.
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******updated review in 2014******

We bought this and 'Diabetes for Dummies' when my husband was diagnosed with Type 2. Between the pair of them, these books have been utterly invaluable in educating us about how to cope with the condition, and how reduce the damage caused by diabetes.

From near hospitalisation at his diagnosis, following the medical advice and leaning heavily on Gretchen's understandings and knowledge, my husband has reduced and kept his BG levels under control. His level of risk has dropped dramatically, and he's now been off medication for over five years. So it works - long term.
Gretchen's approach is to give you bites of information in chunks that you can absorb and understand -- a little on each area to start with, becoming more in depth as you become familiar with the terms and how your condition affects you.
It's a very different approach to the textbook style, and it means you don't get overloaded with technical info too early on.
She's very good at giving real life examples, and it helps to know that the author herself has written the book from her own personal experience. Many doctors and nurses have theoretical knowledge -- but Gretchen's viewpoint is from a fellow diabetic, and it is very insightful.
Where you may find it tricky is that you can feel a bit lectured now and then. There's also quite a lot of time spent discussing depression, foods you can't eat, and so on -- this may be helpful for you but for us it was overkill at times! (Does anyone really test 20 times a day, or get up at 2am to test?!)

Overall, however, The First Year gave us masses of information and plenty of encouragement. It dismisses many myths and expensive options which are dead-ends, and targetted our efforts towards diet, exercise and understanding.
If you've just been diagnosed then this is a must-have for your shelf.

It falls just short of the five-star category -- there are sections which you won't find useful or which may actually discourage you! -- but it is generally easy to read, written by a real person and applicable to real people.
A diagnosis is only a beginning, and this book will certainly help you with the journey...
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on 23 February 2005
This book is really amazing clear concise and it leads you gently from page to page and chapter to chapter. You are lead from a simple level of information at the beginning and pointed to other areas of the book for more indepth information.
You can take whatever level of information is suitable for you at any one time then come back for deeper understanding of what is happening to you and your body when your ready for it.
This is a book I will consult again and again during this my first year as a diabetic - Thank you Gretchen.
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on 16 March 2004
Gretchen Becker writes from experience and also considerable knowledge in a very clear way. The chapters are short, clear and concise. They can be read in sequence or stand alone.
After diagnosis, many of us, find it hard to take on board what we are told at the clinic as often there is shock and denial present after what feels like intimations of our own mortality.
This book can help you review and learn at your own pace in your own home as and when you are ready. The format is set out to take you step by step through the first year after your diagnosis. It's a bit like someone walking alongside you and is very helpful and non-threatening.
Gretchen Becker also tackles the thorny issue of diet or way of eating and gives a comprehensive review of the various options.
There are good references, glossary and for this version she asked me to include information on resources available to us Type 2 Dmers (people with Type 2 diabetes) here in the UK.
Other than a flat fee for writing the chapter (already received), I have no financial interest in recommending this book.
I first read the US version and learned a lot despite 23 years of living with this darn disease. 26 years on after diagnosis and I am still learning. I would highly recommend anyone with Type 2 diabetes, (or their family) or even medics or DSN's (Diabetes Specialist Nurses) to read and have this as a reference and even better a loan copy for newly diagnosed people with Type 2 diabetes.
If you want to learn about your newly diagnosed disease and how best to manage it so you live with it and not be managed by it, then buy a copy, read, take on board the info in the book, and you'll be empowered to live a full and healthy life even with Type 2 diabetes.
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on 10 July 2010
This was the first book I read when diagnosed as having type 2 diabetes in February 2010 and I cannot recommend it highly enough. It is an excellent book that explains, simply, the disease, it's possible effects on you and what you can do to avoid them. I have since read other books (Blood Sugar 101, Diabetes for Dummies and Dr Bernstein's Diabetes Solution), all of which give additional information and in some cases differing advice about diet, but this book is still the best. It explains everything from the time you are first diagnosed to the end of the first year and one of it's key messages is that diabetes affects each person differently and the control over it is in your own hands, no one else's. Importantly too, although Gretchen Becker is American (and diabetic herself), the book is tailored to the UK market and has a chapter on the NHS. It has been said before, but if you only buy one book on type 2 diabetes, buy this one.
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on 23 October 2011
This book is brilliant for diabetics type 2. I bought it for my partner who has recently been diagnosed type 2. He is not a big reader (looses interest quickly) so I read the book highlighted main things that are relevant to us. So its an all round no nonsense book, with a little humor, you would find it really helpful no matter how far along you are after diagnosis. Would highly recommend it.
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on 7 February 2014
Possibly the best diabetes book on the market.explains everything you need to know and more.from eye problems to blood sugar readings.I've been diabetic now about 5 years and found lots of information in this book I did not know about.wrote in simple terms so easy to understand.
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on 20 March 2009
I was initially quite put off this book by the author's exaggerated (to me)scare tactics.However once you get past this she actually has some very valuable information and advice. It's all a bit too american-centric as are the websites she directs you to.But it is a very comprehensive tome and there is a lot of valuable wheat among all the chaff.
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