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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 17 July 2012
I was diagnosed with Type 2 Diabetes last week and thought this would be a good book to start with. It is written in an easy to read style with lots of detail. I have almost finished it already. I'm not sure it is really that helpful as most of the information is already on the internet. I didn't really want to know the technical details. I just really needed some basic guidance on how to look after myself and what I should be asking at my medical reviews as the NHS moves very slowly.
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on 30 July 2017
good book
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on 7 November 2017
Great book. Helps you through the emotional and medical elements of being diagnosed.
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on 27 August 2017
Good informative book
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on 18 March 2017
Has some very handy knowledge for people suffering with diabetes
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HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWERon 18 May 2007
******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...
8/10
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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 8 November 2001
As a long standing DMer (Type 2 going on weird) who has done lots of research and reading on this disease in both clinical and popular health books and the web, I am very impressed with this book.
Gretchen Becker's Book has brought together so much solid information and has achieved the near impossible, of presenting it in a very readable style.
The book is well laid out so that if still reeling from the shock of the diagnosis, (and who doesn't react like that?), the basics are there right from the start. At your own pace you can add in and read more depth and scientific facts to help you live and manage the disease. This is important as we, the people with diabetes, are the ones who live with it rather than the doctors, nurses and dietitians who help us. We need to be as informed as possible to manage a disease which can have devastating complications if uncontrolled.
Thankfully, Gretchen also leavens this mixture with her dry sense of humour - vital to coping with any chronic disease. She shows us that there is life after diagnosis and it can be fun. As a scientist, sheep farmer and science editor Gretchen knows the disease from the inside as she has type 2.
I would strongly recommend this to any person with DM whether Type 1 or 2, Diabetic Clinic staff, GP, nurse or family member... After 23 years of living with disease, I learned much by reading this book. Thank you, Gretchen.
I will certainly be recommending it to my local Diabetes Clinic and GP practice.
The only figure you need to know is how to translate the mg/dl measures (used for blood glucose readings in the USA) to mmol/l (used for blood glucose readings in the UK). To do this divide the mg/dl number by 18 (well 18.02 if you want to be pedantic!) and in reverse multiply mmol/l number by 18 to get mg/dl.
Go buy it and get a better handle on your DM!
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