There are loads of diabetes books on the market — albeit many of them are cookbooks, that are simple to choose by your own pallet and patience in the kitchen.
But if you’re trying to obtain a realistic understanding of this disease, what you have to have in order to keep yourself healthy, and how to deal with the many social and mental difficulties of diabetes, then it might not be so obvious which books are right for you.
At DiabetesMine, we have been publishing diabetes book reviews for 10 whole years (and we do a giveaway each time we post a new review!)
People often inquire about the best books for type 1 diabetes and also the very best books for type 2 diabetes… but our opinion is that there’s sufficient commonality that many books apply well to both.
We’ve compiled this list of favorites and staples to get you started on your “best-of” diabetes reading.
Best Diabetes Books for the Newly Diagnosed
A few well-known names which are extremely useful once you’re new to diabetes include: the “Diabetes for Dummies” book with that series; “Think Like a Pancreas,” by award-winning Certified Diabetes Educator Gary Scheiner, aimed mostly in type 1 diabetes and Gretchen Becker’s “The First Year with Type 2 Diabetes: An Essential Guide for the Newly Diagnosed.”
Beyond those, we recommend:
Taming the Tiger: Your First Year with Diabetes – connection to our book review
From William Lee Dubois
Written by DiabetesMine’s very own Q&A columnist and correspondent Wil Dubois, this slender little volume of just over 100 pages plans to give just diagnosed folks “the bare-bones information you need to get started” on the “lifelong travel which will be simpler than you can possibly imagine now.”
Know Your Numbers, Outlive Your Diabetes – connection to our book review
From Amy Tenderich and Dr. Richard Jackson
DiabetesMine Editor Amy Tenderich and Joslin Diabetes Center endocrinologist Dr. Richard Jackson collaborated on this do-it-yourself guide to overall good health and long life with diabetes. The book explains the five essential health tests which you will need to know and monitor on your lifetime: the 5 essential health tests: A1c, lipids, blood pressure, microalbumin, and eye examination — plus step-by-step instructions about how to improve if your results are from range.
Cheating Fantasy: Living with Diabetes, America’s Biggest Epidemic – connection to our book review
From James Hirsch
Journalist James Hirsch (who lives with type 1 diabetes) somehow managed to reverse loads of statistics and individual testimonials about suffering from an unpleasant disease to a book so compelling it is difficult to put down. He’s cleverly woven together everything in the carnivalistic commercialism of the annual ADA Expo into the lifetime of “insulin poster girl” Elizabeth Evans Hughes into the samples of the country’s major bronchial biologist. This book provides you a “Big Picture” of diabetes in America.
Pumping Insulin – connection to our book review
From John Walsh and Ruth Roberts
You will need this book if you are at all interested about the benefits of using an insulin pump.
Seriously, it’s considered by many people to be “the Bible” on insulin pumps. It is composed by a husband-wife group of medical specialists, and John (the husband) was wearing an insulin pump himself for more than 30 years (!)
The Book of Better – connection to our book review
From Chuck Eichten
This colorful volume about the advantages of insulin draining (it is better!) Resembles a comic book, or rather a work of art, with every page containing some sort of graphic or layout component. Nonetheless, it’s still well-written and informative, describing how insulin users can live better with their diabetes with an insulin pump in their hip.
Best Diabetes Books for Parents of Children with Type 1 Diabetes
Kids First, Diabetes Second: Tips for Parenting a Child with Type 1 Diabetes – connection to our book review
From Leighann Calentine
Written by Leighann Calentine, author of D-Mom Blog and mother to Quinn, a school-age PWD diagnosed with type 1 in 2008, this book covers a fantastic balance of practical tactics and ideas for managing diabetes, and how to manage the psychological burden of raising a child with this disease. Note that the book focuses primarily on Leighann’s own personal experiences, so none of the information ought to be taken as prescriptive.
Diabetes and Me: An Essential Guide for Kids and Parents – connection to our book review
From Kim Chaloner and Nick Bertozzi
A husband and wife team in New York have found a way to spice up diabetes learning for this “graphic novel” for kids and adults that teaches you about diabetes self-care, Cathy-style (for those who remember that comic strip). The book is packed full of Diabetes 101 info, broken into six chapters which talk disease principles, health care group, blood sugar nuances, meal and workout aspects, and also the crucial support aspects of living with diabetes.
Life is Brief, Laundry is Eternal – connection to our book review
From Scott Benner
Scott Benner is the Diabetes Dad from New Jersey behind the site, Arden’s Day, known for his daughter Arden who has been living with type 1 since age 2 in 2006. This 228-page paperback is enormously entertaining. It is a man sharing his own experiences as a stay-at-home dad — the good, bad and the ugly. Diabetes doesn’t take centre stage, but he can clarify the feelings around his daughter’s diagnosis. And he provides a peek into his day-to-day pursuits and how diabetes along with other responsibilities, like doing those dreaded loads of laundry, all fit together.
Raising Teens with Diabetes: A Survival Guide for Parents – connection to our book review
From Moira McCarthy Stanford
Written by passionate D-Mom and urge Moira McCarthy Stanford (who blogs over in Despite Diabetes), we called this book “the most valuable volume to some family that comes with a teen with diabetes.” All the articles stems from Moira’s firsthand experience raising her now 20-something daughter Lauren, who had been diagnosed at the age of six in 1997. The book sheds light on the point of view of both the adolescent living with it, and also the parents trying to, well, parent…
Finest Diabetes Books for Kids
Lara Takes Charge – connection to our book review
From Rocky Lang
How do you explain to a young child with diabetes her parents are hurting her with finger pricks and insulin shots daily? Hollywood producer Rocky Lang is one daddy who fought with this particular dilemma. Back in 2001, his ten-year-old daughter, Nikki, was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes.
“Lara was young and had no idea of what was occurring,” Rocky says. “It had been gut-wrenching. So I wrote a book for her.” That book ended up selling over 15,000 copies. It tells the story of a woman, Lara, who plays and lives all while managing her diabetes along with her glucose meter and insulin pump.
Coco’s First Sleepover (along with other Coco the Monkey with Diabetes books) – connection to our book review
Here is actually the third book in a series by Disney Publishing and Lilly Diabetes featuring the personality Coco the Monkey with Diabetes. At 24 pages with four question/answer webpages, it is written to help children and their families prepare for the child’s very first night away from home after being diagnosed with type 1.
Covering the Bases – connection to our book review
From Leigh Olsen
At 133 pages and partly sponsored by ESPN, this book is about a boy called Phillip Mitchell who can not wait to go to baseball camp. He’s been looking forward to it for months, and it is finally here! There is only one problem: he hasn’t spent a lot of nights away from home since he had been diagnosed with type 1 diabetes, and he’s stressed. What if something goes wrong and there’s no one around who will help him? Will Phillip have the ability to enjoy his first time in baseball camp, or will his nerves get the best of him?
Superstar Dreams – connection to our book review
From Leigh Olsen
Here is the story of Morgan Carlyle, who is new to the city and hasn’t made any friends yet. Then she and Lizzie meet and it seems her luck is changing. Lizzie is fantastic, along with her friend Naomi also shares the same interests as Morgan. However, Naomi doesn’t want to be Morgan’s friend. She seems to view her. Then Lizzie invites Morgan into a sleepover. Morgan is excited, but she nervous. Because she had been diagnosed with type 1 diabetes she hasn’t slept away from home. And to make matters worse, Naomi is there! Can Morgan conquer her worries and find a way for her and Naomi to both be superstars?
Ballerina Dreams – connection to our book review
From Zippora Karz
The diabetes community’s favourite prima ballerina, Zippora Karz, included “children’s author” to her resume when she recently released a totally charming book about a school-age woman with a passion for ballet who gets diagnosed with type 1 diabetes right ahead of the largest performance of her little life.
Parents of little girls will find this book reminiscent of the “Nina Nina Ballerina” series, but with a complicated diabetes spin. And Zippora does not “slow down” this disease at all, but instead introduces it in very clear and honest conditions.
The Babysitter’s Club: The Truth About Stacey – connection to our book review
From Ann M. Martin
The beloved Babysitter’s Club book series about four friends who form a babysitter’s club within their small, fictional town in Connecticut spanned 217 books between 1986 and 2000, and there was also a 1995 film and a short lived Disney series. Even though the series is now a quarter-century older and much of the diabetes resources and technology have transformed, this book about 13-year-old Stacey’s struggle revealing her diabetes to her friends still rings true.
Finest Diabetes Books for Women
The Smart Woman’s Guide to Diabetes – connection to our book review
From Amy Stockwell Mercer
We can not think of a better researched guide into the monogamous life of a girl with diabetes compared to that.
With 25 years of diabetes life encounter herself, Amy produced a comprehensive guide to the various unique aspects of living with diabetes as a woman. She rolls on everything from handling emotions at diagnosis, to eating and exercise, to relationship, sex and motherhood. She includes personal stories from more than 20 girls with diabetes, such as DiabetesMine editor Amy Tenderich. The author also includes Q&Aso with endocrinologists and other medical specialists.
Balancing Pregnancy together with Pre-Existing Diabetes: Healthy Mom, Healthy Baby – connection to our book review
From Cheryl Alkon
Author Cheryl Alkon writes: “(When) I started blogging about my attempts to get and stay pregnant, while managing my type 1 diabetes. I enjoyed the support I received from commenters. Additionally, I wanted to connect with others who were pregnant, had given birth, or who were trying to conceive… At precisely the same time I found that there were not any insider’s guides to pregnancy with pre-existing diabetes which were told from an actual woman with diabetes’ standpoint” This was Cheryl’s impetus to compile this book, which provides the insider details of maternity and type 1 or type 2 diabetes, according to either her personal experiences and insights from dozens of other girls who’ve been there.
A Woman’s Guide to Diabetes: A Path to Wellness – connection to our book review
From Dr. Nat Strand and Brandy Barnes
This newest title for girls is succinct, clearly and frankly written, and besides some very good diabetes basics, it features a whole lot of great one of a kind information and prompts that you won’t find anywhere else. After all, when was the last time you started a diabetes book to find entire sections on hormones, puberty, conception, menopause, mood changes, relationships, guilt feelings, coping mechanisms, soul-searching and spirituality? All stereotypically female subjects, but also sorely failed in the diabetes literature to date.
The Sisterhood of Diabetes – connection to our book review
From Judith Jones-Ambrosini
Thirty-eight female athletes who have done amazing things despite their diabetes are profiled in this volume. The author manages to deftly inform every one of their stories, in succinct segments of about 10 pages each, along with informative little break-out segments on diabetes, diabetes camps, as well as the sports these girls do. Like did you know that Dragon Boat Racing dates back to early folk festivals around 2000 years back? Today, Nicole Marcelin, diagnosed with type 1 diabetes before her 5th birthday, is an aggressive dragon boat racer, and recently had a wholesome baby girl!
Best Diabetes Books for Men
Regrettably there are not many books that focus especially on issues of concern to men who have diabetes. Hopefully this new one will Begin a trend:
My Sweet Life: Powerful Men with Diabetes – connection to our book review
From Beverly S. Adler
Even men with diabetes need support sometimes, and this 259-page book is the first of its kind: stories of victory for men with diabetes, composed by those successful men with diabetes, compiled by Dr. Bev Adler. The book contains many well-known men in the diabetes community, athletes, medical pros and TV personalities — all speaking in their lives and struggles with diabetes, and also how they’ve managed to be successful regardless of (or alongside) this disease.
Best Diabetes Books on Social and Emotional Topics
The most famous title in this class is “Diabetes Burnout: What to Do When You Can Not Take It Anymore” by diabetes psychologist William Polonsky, initially released in 1999.
Fortunately, many newer books today also address this topic from a variety of angles:
Dealing with Diabetes Burnout – connection to our book review
From Ginger Vieira
It is about those times in our diabetes lifetimes when we feel the pressure of our busted pancreas weighing on us… when we reach the end of our ropes so to speak and only feel like we can not go on doing what we know we need to do.
Fellow type 1, life coach and accomplished writer Ginger Vieira covers everything from bumps in the road re: food, exercise, blood sugar checks, physician relationships, and communication with others about diabetes. But Ginger’s unique and refreshing approach to addressing these topics actually manages to make reading about diabetes burnout fun.
Balancing Diabetes: Conversations About Finding Happiness and Living Well – connection to our book review
From Kerri Sparling
During this first book by beloved blogger Kerri Sparling in Six Until Me, she compiles plans used by people with diabetes and their caregivers to bring that elusive balance in their lives. Whether kid, type 1 or type 2, spouse or caregiver, female or male, people in the diabetes world will find themselves in this book and be motivated by the commonality of that continuing search for balance.
Thriving with Diabetes – connection to our book review
From David Edelman and Dr. Paul Rosman
This new book is the culmination of this Thriving with Diabetes online workshop series conducted by David Edelman and lead author Dr. Paul Rosman, an accomplished New York endocrinologist who also did a stint as Senior Medical Advisor to Eli Lilly & Company. It actually attempts to synthesize the ‘best practices’ of patients out from the real world: What do they do to succeed and how do they do much more of it? We adored this refreshing “life hack” approach to maintaining blood sugar levels in range.”
Too Sweet: The Not-So-Serious Side to Diabetes – connection to our book review
From Laura Kronen
In this self-published book, design and fashion enthusiast and fellow kind 1 Laura Kronen offers a light-hearted look in the struggles of diabetes. The book is supposed to entertain, not alter the way you, or anybody you know, does business with diabetes. The author includes funny and heart-tugging stories about her own life with T1D, and from quite a few other folks as well. It is these anecdotes which make this a fantastic read for anybody from the diabetes community.
If I Kiss You, Will I Get Diabetes? – connection to our book review
From Quinn Nystrom
DiabetesMine Managing Editor Mike Hoskins writes: “I might not be a 13-year-old woman, but I’ll confess: it might have appeared that way in the event that you watched the selection of emotions that came over me while reading a new diabetes book by a young type 1 from Minnesota.” He found himself “laughing to crying… all over the place” reading Quinn Nystrom’s story of growing up diabetic. The book title comes from an actual question that youthful teenage Quinn (now in her late 20’s) got asked back into her high school days just a couple of years after being diagnosed in March 1999.
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