Book Explains Diabetes in Practical and Lighthearted Style

You may not be a dummy, but chances are you are overwhelmed by all the diabetes information you are bombarded with, information that can be highly complex, technical and fast-changing. Information about diabetes can be difficult to incorporate into a healthy life.

If this is your problem, “Diabetes For Dummies” is clearly on target for you. This wide-ranging and witty, pack-it-all-in guide provides you with information on the latest medications, insulin delivery systems, food facts and fads, and exercise tips. It tells you strategies other books don’t mention, such as how to choose the best treatment, physician and insurance plan. It explains how to prevent, reverse and manage diabetes using solid research and professional experience, spiced with cartoons and humorous icons for tips, anecdotes, warnings and jargon alerts. The style is lighthearted, down-to-earth and practical.

The author, Dr. Alan Rubin, a member of the American Diabetes Association, has been a practicing specialist in diabetes and thyroid disease for over 25 years. He has spoken to professional and patient audiences around the world and consulted for many pharmaceutical companies that make diabetes-related products. Dr. Rubin was one of the first specialists in the field to recognize the importance of patient self-testing for blood glucose, the most significant advance in diabetes care since insulin was discovered in the 1920s.

Along with all these professional credits, Dr. Rubin is refreshingly frank. For example, after explaining all the new type 2 medications and how they work, he goes the next step. He tells you how he would treat you if you were a patient of his with type 2 diabetes, when he would use diet and exercise alone, and which medications he would use and the sequence in which he would use them. When have you ever seen a physician-author this straightforward and revealing?

You can tell how current Dr. Rubin’s approach is by his inclusion of the latest trends, developments and discoveries. He gives you the skinny on fat, the glycemic index, chromium, and high-protein or low-carb diets. The chapter, “What’s New In Diabetes Care,” covers new monitoring devices, oral agents, insulin delivery systems, forms of insulin, methods of testing, and approaches to transplanting pancreas and beta cells.

He also debunks 10 common myths about diabetes. His myth list is very insightful, but it’s even more revealing if you believe in any of them.

A mini-cookbook offers more than 40 delicious “diabetes-friendly” recipes from famous restaurants in San Francisco, where Dr. Rubin lives, and other cities of the world. Celebrity chefs have included recipes for dishes such as Miso-Marinated Seabass, Chicken Tikka Kabob, Risotto Ai Vegetali (Italian Rice with Vegetables) and Rhubarb-Strawberry Cobbler. At the end of each recipe, there is a complete nutritive analysis. The appendixes of the book also include exchange lists, an extensive list of Web sites pertaining to diabetes, and a glossary of diabetes terms.

If there are any problems to the book, it errs on the side of being too inclusive. Covering so many areas leaves little room to cover them in depth. At times the author gives great value, as in the specific advice he gives on treating type 2 diabetes. At other times, however, his coverage is thin, as for example, the chapter on new treatments which moves too fast to include much detail. This serves as a great introduction to the range of information that is out there, but it leaves you wanting more. Of course, that feeling can help in driving you on to even more research and learning.

All in all, Dr. Rubin has provided a terrific resource for anyone serious about, or even marginally interested, in diabetes. His entertaining writing style acts as a door-opener to detailed diabetes information.

“Diabetes For Dummies” by Alan Rubin, MD, retails for $19.95, and is available for $15.95 plus shipping from The Diabetes Mall at 800-988-4772 and at

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