Daryl Wein, a physician assistant, writes with personal insight and medical authenticity on the subject of type 2 diabetes, in his book Type 2 Diabetes: the Owner’s Manual.
While I’m not a diabetic myself, I have a family member who is, and found this book very helpful. Wein starts the book off by redefining the word “diabetes” for those with type 2. A better word, he says, is “carbosis,” because the word simply means “Problem with carbohydrates.”
Unlike type 1 diabetes, where the body’s immune system turns against itself, “carbosis” is the person’s inability to handle carbohydrates. Wein gives a clear definition of the difference of the two, and then in turn another excellent description of how the body works (or doesn’t) with carbosis. A type 1 diabetic doesn’t produce enough insulin, but carbotics (or type 2 diabetics), Wein says, “produce plenty of insulin in most cases… The root of the problem is that our cells, primarily our muscle cells, have become resistant to our own insulin.” That helped me to really understand what is going on when we’re told we have type 2 diabetes.
At the end of each chapter and throughout, Wein repeats the sentence: The single most important thing to do to manage carbosis is to avoid eating carbohydrates.
Sounds easy, right?
While a low carbohydrate diet isn’t the most fun you could ever have, ignoring your symptoms can lead to severe medical problems and even death. In the book, Wein has a pencil drawing of “Blood Sugar Blanche,” which, while disturbing, brings home the stark picture of how you could wind up if you don’t take this disease seriously.
But he doesn’t leave you stranded. He tells you how to take care of yourself, how to say goodbye to daily finger pricks, lose weight, and he even lists pages of foods with their carb counts.
Although Wein recommends medication as the last resort in controlling your carbosis, he admits that sometimes it’s necessary. His chapter on medications gives a clear understanding on what he feels are the best medicines, along with side effects and benefits of each.
One of my favorite sections in this book was reading the personal stories of real patients. Although there is a lot of information packed into this book, it’s very short and easy to read.
This “Owner’s Manual” is an easy, step-by-step user’s guide for either the newly diagnosed or the person who has been living with type 2 diabetes for years. It would also be a helpful resource for medical professionals, and someone who knows a person with type 2 diabetes. I am thankful I read it, and now feel more knowledgeable to help my family member who is a type 2 diabetic. This book has even given me ideas of how to live and eat healthier myself.