Bibliotherapy: Your Prescription for Good Control, Good Health, and a Good Life

The future of health care in America is going to involve more personal responsibility for self-care and preventive maintenance. We’re going to have to learn to analyze and handle many of our own health problems, and one of the most effective ways to do this is through bibliotherapy.

June Biermann and Barbara Toohey’s series “Bibliotherapy” explores some of the most common questions and problems people with diabetes face. They offer their “prescriptions” for each: books which contain valuable information.


“When I go to the market I feel as if I’m walking through a mine field. Every package could contain things that are bad for my diabetes and for me. I don’t have time to examine everything before I buy it and I don’t have time to cook everything from scratch.”

Bibliotherapy Prescription:

Diabetic’s Brand Name Food Exchange Handbook by Clara G. Schneider, RD (2nd ed. 1991), 192 p., $14.96.

An essential guide to supermarket shopping and fast food dining in nine different chains. Gives exchange, calorie counts, and sodium values for nearly 4000 brand name foods, including frozen dinners, lunch meats, and sugarfree snacks.

Convenience Food Facts by Arlene Monk, RD (Rev. ed. 1991), 456 p., $10.95.

Tells all you need to know about 1,500 grocery cart items, carbohydrate, fat, cholesterol, sodium, and exchanges. Includes some dia-betically oriented manufacturers (Estee, Health Valley, Featherweight, Weight Watchers, etc.)


“I can accept everything about diabetes except having to avoid sweets. I don’t just have a sweet tooth, I think I have 32 of them! And on top of everything else, I think I’m a chocoholic. I don’t want to ruin my health but if controlling my diabetes means giving up the desserts I love, I’m afraid I’m not going to be able to cope.”

Bibliotherapy Prescription:

Sugar Free Goodies by Judith Majors (1989), 159 p., $7.95.

Simple and quick recipes for pies, cookies, jams, ice creams, etc. All sweetened with fruit and fruit juices-no sugar or artificial sweeteners. Exchanges given.

Diabetic Chocolate Cookbook by Mary Jane Finsand (1984), 160 p., $9.95.

The chocoholic’s revenge! All the luxury of chocolate in candies, cookies, cakes, pies, and puddings made possible for diabetics. Exchanges and calories given.

Free and Equal Dessert Cookbook by Carole Kruppa (1992), 167 p., $9.95.

150 quick and delicious low-calorie desserts and sweet treats all using the sweetener Equal (NutraSweet). Recipes are also low-salt and low-cholesterol. Exchanges and calories given.


“My little boy has diabetes. He actually seems to be handling it better than I do. I’m always worried about his blood sugar and I think I’m beginning to transfer my anxiety to him. I just don’t know how much care and attention is enough-and how much is too much.”

Bibliotherapy Prescriptions:

Managing Your Child’s Diabetes by Robert Wood Johnson, IV, Sale Johnson, Casey Johnson & Susan Kleinman, foreword by Mary Tyler Moore (1992), 199 p., $10.95.

A book written by the Johnsons-rather, mother and diabetic daughter. The first chapter, written by 12-year-old Casey, is a little masterpiece of advice to all parents. Detailed information on blood sugar control as well as how to deal with doctors, hospitals, teachers and schools, and the rest of the diabetic child’s family.

Parenting a Diabetic Child by Gloria Loring (1991), 175 p., $12.95.

TV star Gloria Loring has parented her diabetic son for 14 years. This is a complex job, which requires expert technical information, psychological insight, and emotional support. Gloria provides all three leading you through the ordeal gently and authoritatively.


“My ten year old daughter was recently diagnosed with diabetes. She doesn’t seem to want to learn about diabetes and how to take care of herself. I think she’s embarrassed and afraid to be different from her friends. I know I won’t always be around to help her, but I don’t know how to get her interested and involved.”

Bibliotherapy Prescription:

Sugar Isn’t Everything by Willo Davis Roberts (1987), 190 p., $4.95.

A factually sound, entertaining, and therapeutically up-to-date novel with an 11-year-old girl as its heroine. Shows how one little girl develops diabetes, struggles with it, learns how to handle and accept it.

It’s Time to Learn About Diabetes by Jean Betschart, MN, RN, CDE (1991), 107 p., $9.95.

This workbook on diabetes for children ages 8 to 10 years is written by a Certified Diabetes Educator of the Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh. Will truly help your child (and you, too) learn good self-care. Invaluable for the newly-diagnosed child.


“I’m really serious about controlling my diabetes and always have been. I’ve constantly read diabetes books and magazines and have a solid background in the subject. Most of the books on diabetes I see in book stores are too basic for me. I want something more scholarly and scientific.”

Bibliotherapy Prescription:

Joslin Diabetes Manual by Leo P. Krall, MD & Richard S. Beaser, MD (12th ed. 1989), 406 p., $19.95.

Universally considered the major reference book on diabetes. All 406 pages are packaged with scientific data on every fact of diabetes. The Joslin Clinic has had experience with 160,000 patients.

Diabetes; Type 2 by Richard K. Bernstein, MD (1990), 359 p., $21.95.

Dr. Bernstein, a Type 1 diabetic for 46 years, has worked out a very special regimen to help diabetics maintain meticulous control of their blood sugar. Despite the title, this book covers programs for Type 1’s and Type 2’s. Not an easy regime, since it favors protein rather than carbohydrate foods, but the system, which is very scientific, does work.


“I was just diagnosed diabetic and I don’t know which end is up. My doctor gave me a diet sheet and told me to exercise and lose some weight and avoid sweets. I think he said it was type 2, whatever that means.”

Bibliotherapy Prescription:

The Diabetic’s Book; All Your Questions Answered by June Biermann and Barbara Toohey (1990), 244 p., $10.95.

Everything a newly diagnosed diabetic needs to know to emerge from the initial fog and confusion. Truly makes you feel you can do it and then tells you how. Up-to-date and upbeat.

Managing Type 2 Diabetes by Arlene Monk, RD, CDE, and others (1988), 148 p., $9.95.

30 chapters written by 24 prominent health care experts of the International Diabetes Center in Minneapolis. Tells the steps to take to handle Type 2 diabetes.

UCSD Healthy Diet for Diabetes; a Comprehensive Nutritional Guide and Cookbook by Susan Alger, MS, RD, Barbara Grass, RD, CDE, and Annie Durning, MS, RD (1990), 373 p., $12.95.

UCSD is the University of California at San Diego, which has a nationally respected Diabetes Center. Valuable, up-to-date information on diet, weight loss, adapting your own recipes, exercise, and blood sugar monitoring. Also loaded with terrific recipes.

The New Fit or Fat by Covert Bailey (Rev. ed. 1991), 167 p., $7.95.

Explains that overweight people need to lose body fat, not just pounds, and to build up muscle. Says fat people often eat less than skinny people and the only way they can lose body fat is through exercise that changes their metabolism. Exercise program to reset all the body mechanisms to lower body fat.

If your local public library or friendly neighborhood bookstore can’t fill your bibliotherapy prescriptions, contact us for a complimentary copy of The Diabetic Reader. This is a combination newsletter and mail-order catalog of the best and brightest books on diabetes. Call 1-800-735-7726 or write to: June and Barbara Ink, 5623 Matilija Ave., Van Nuys, CA, 91401.

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