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I Have Diabetes!! Now What?

Oct 22, 2009

By Dr. Andrew S. Rhinehart

Reviewed by Carla Leto, University of Florida College of Pharmacy Doctoral Candidate

Dr. Rhinehart states at the beginning that his goal is to write a concise but informative book designed for newly diagnosed diabetics. With only 65 total pages, he achieved his goal. The principal of this book is to provide basic information about diabetes and its management for the patient, not give in-depth treatment details.

There is also an emphasis on the patient assembling an interdisciplinary healthcare team to assist in managing their diabetes. For example, instead of trying to spell out everything the patient could possibly need to know about nutrition Dr. Rhinehart encourages patients to consult with a nutritionist for individualized diet counseling. This is a more realistic approach to helping patients control diabetes than including an overwhelming amount of information.

Dr. Rhinehart also emphasizes the fact that a diabetic patient has to take an active role in their own disease management. Unlike most other disease states, diabetes cannot be controlled by simply taking a pill. The daily management is left up to the patient with tasks like blood glucose monitoring, exercise, diet, foot care, and monitoring for hypoglycemia or other health complications.

The author does a very good job of defining general glucose goals and basic terminology such as A1c. However, it is stressed that personalized goals should be established by members of the healthcare team. A helpful analogy that is used throughout the book is that of a runner running a race: treatment goals are like the finish line. A runner would not stop before reaching the finish line, and patients with diabetes should not be satisfied in stopping until their actual goals are met.

The book also discusses complications that can result from poorly controlled diabetes. This helps patients understand up-front that improper management of diabetes can lead to other serious health problems down the road and the best way to prevent this is to get a handle on diabetes from the very beginning.

One of the best features of this book is a “quick diabetes checklist” in a chart at the back of the book. The chart lists items that should be checked or monitored in a diabetic patient such as A1c, foot exam, and blood pressure as well as how frequently they should be monitored and the target range or benefit. Overall, Dr. Rhinehart does a very good job of presenting the basics regarding diabetes. This book is a good starting place for patients that have gone into a doctor’s office for a routine exam and walked out with the shock of a diabetes diagnosis.   Diabetes can be a very overwhelming diagnosis, and this book does a great job of informing the patient as to what is involved in managing their diabetes and the importance of an interdisciplinary healthcare team for monitoring, goal setting, and guidance.

For more information and to purchase I Have Diabetes, Now What? by Dr. Andrew S. Rhinehart, please click here.alt