'The First Year: Type 2 Diabetes, An Essential Guide for the Newly Diagnosed' by Gretchen Becker (DaCapo Press/Lifelong Books)

Written by Nancy Sayles Kaneshiro

The day I was diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes, I just sat in the doctor’s office and sobbed. I failed. I stayed too overweight for too long and now look what I've done. 

Well, I thought, I’ll just have to give up sugar. How hard could that be? I then found out that I would have to learn a whole new way of dealing with food, exercise, and several basic lifestyle choices.

I wish I’d had Gretchen Becker’s book, The First Year: Type 2 Diabetes (DaCapo Press/Lifelong Books, 374 pages, $17.99 paperback) back then. Subtitled “An Essential Guide for the Newly Diagnosed,” the book (now in its Third Edition, completely revised and updated) is exactly that—more than 350 pages of information that will change your life, improve it and, perhaps, even save it.

Patient-expert Becker was, herself, diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes about twenty years ago. A freelance editor specializing in science and medicine, she set out to gather as much information as possible by reading medical texts and journals, talking with doctors and corresponding with other patients. She managed to compile what she learned into one indispensable book, covering such issues as coming to terms with your diagnosis, choosing the right diet and exercise programs for you, daily blood glucose testing routines, how, where and why to get support.

Taking you from your first days and weeks into separate sections for each month of your first year, you learn what the disease actually is, the variety of ways in which it is treated, and what you can expect in the long term. Everything you need to know is here—way more than I ever knew myself, even after fifteen years.

An especially helpful feature in this book is a recap of what you’ve just read in a short piece called “In a Sentence,” found at the end of each chapter. The First Year: Type 2 Diabetes will be of significant help to anyone with this disease, no matter where they are on their journey.

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