When fellow advocate and co-founder of the DiabetesDaily community site David Edelman asked me to look at a new book he was coauthoring with a well-known endocrinologist, I wasn't sure what to expect. Another overview of treatment options? More diabetes myth-busting? Inspirational patient stories packaged in some new way?

What I discovered was something much more unique and far more practical, IMHO. Here's the blurb I sent him back:

Thriving with Diabetes book

“At last, a book that talks about managing diabetes in real life – where traffic stress, shopping ‘exercise’ and poor sleep happen. 'Thriving with Diabetes' takes a refreshing ‘life hack’ approach to keeping blood sugar levels in range.”

And after spending even a bit more time with the book, I stand by that assessment. It's one of those head-slapping moments where you think, 'Why hasn't anyone done this before?"

Yes, this new book officially coming out on July 15, 2015, with the full title "Thriving with Diabetes: Learn How to Take Charge of Your Body to Balance Your Sugars and Improve Your Lifelong Health," actually attempts to synthesize the 'best practices' of patients out in the real world: What have they done to succeed and how can they do more of it?

The book is the culmination of the 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.

In the intro, Dr. Rosman (pictured below) notes that over recent years, "Step by step, I took what I knew about diabetes apart and put it back together again. Slowly, I uncovered the critical behaviors that separated those who were Dr. Paul Rossmansucceeding from those who were failing. Then I started teaching those behaviors to others."

Love, love, love this approach -- which finally taps into the fact that what patients feel, experience, and actually do out in the real world is the No. 1 determinant of success. This is not a matter of "compliance" vs. "non-compliance," but a holistic view of how diabetes affects life, with all the stress, social issues and general messiness it entails. And how wonderful that that a renowned physician and a grassroots patient advocate collaborated on this effort!

Right from the start, the book states: “We want you to look at your day—your trip to the gym, dinner with friends, or your lazy afternoon at the pool—and know how each of these moments impact your sugars, and what you can do to keep them where you want them.” 

The core message of this book is that the key to empowerment is making diabetes predictable. 

The authors state: "If your sugars have been a chaotic mess for a long time, then 'predictable diabetes' may sound like an oxymoron. In these pages, we will help you carve your days into simpler, manageable periods, and make them predictable, one at a time."

They purport Four Steps to Great Blood Sugars

Step 1 – Lower the Highs

Step 2 – Limit the Lows

Step 3 – Use Your Best to Fix the Rest
David Edelman

Step 4 – Play with Your Diabetes

In addition to these core principles, the book addresses, in 12 chapters: letting go of “control” and going with the flow (love it!), pumping up on knowledge, creating a Diabetes Action Plan and putting it into action, how to interact with your healthcare team, how to start changing your habits, managing your emotions, banishing stress and burnout, and building your support network.

I know that David Edelman (shown right) has been really excited about gathering short patient case studies to sprinkle throughout the book, that focus on real-world things that change up our diabetes care, for example:

“What am I doing wrong?” Joan asked her doctor, as he reviewed her blood sugar diary. He saw that many of the readings were taken in the middle of the night, and asked her why. It turned out that Joan’s mother-­in-law, Susan, had come to live with Joan and her family for three months... Joan disliked her mother-in-law almost as much as she disliked her diabetes. Living with this woman was stressful. Joan had even increased her hours at work to avoid spending time with her mother-­in-­law. It all added up to a major disruption in Joan’s carefully arranged routine of caring for her family.

I love the mother-in-law quip (!), and many more of the situations explored. Seriously, how many books on diabetes management take into account things like the stress of sitting in a traffic jam, or the “exercise” factor of trying on clothes (hey, we can get pretty sweaty doing that -- and anything that makes you sweat affects your BG level!)

There are also alert boxes peppered in, with practical tips for PWDs on things like how not to “overshoot” insulin when attempting to lower your highs. These are super-brief explanations and advice. Literally, like 2-6 paragraphs each. Easy to digest and remember.

And that's the point. "You can learn how many carbohydrates your medications, especially insulin, can handle. People with success find a sweet spot where, if they avoid eating more carbohydrates than that, their diabetes is easier to manage," the authors write.

Even the encouragement is highly practical, for example: "Consistency matters. If you do a little bit of exercise every day, even just 20 minutes of brisk walking, it has benefits that last."

Now don't get me wrong. There's still a TON of important sound medical information in this book, including charts and graphs on things like duration of insulin action, and explanations of various treatment options, complications, and the danger of diabetic ketoacidosis (DKA), etc. It's just all presented in a very real and relatable manner, written concisely enough to keep you awake. 

I like that in Chapter 3 ("Take Charge with Knowledge"), the authors talk about the problem with the so-called "health care" we receive:

"The frustrating thing about health care, in America and many other countries, is that it will only pay to solve a crisis. Are your blood sugars so high you need to be hospitalized? The system will pay. Do you have an infection? The system will pay. Are you waking up feeling lousy every morning? Sorry. The health care system isn’t designed to make you feel good, it’s designed to avoid expensive catastrophes. It is designed to fix things using drugs and surgery."

Right. This book is all about what YOU can do about it if you feel lousy -- learning from others who have been through the same things. It's about how you can FIX your diabetes care, using tactics other than drugs and surgery. Good stuff!

{Fair Winds Press, July 15, 2015; available for pre-order on Amazon for $17.81}

Now here's your change to win an advance copy...


A DMBooks GiveawayDiabetesMine.com logo

Interested in winning a free copy of the brand new "Thriving with Diabetes: Learn How to Take Charge of Your Body to Balance Your Sugars and Improve Your Lifelong Health" by Dr. Paul Rosman and David Edelman? Here's how to enter: 

1. Post your comment* below including the codeword “DMBooks” to let us know that you’d like to be entered in the giveaway.

*NOTE: Our new comment system at Healthline.com does require logging in via Facebook or one of a few email platforms. You can also enter this giveaway by emailing us at info@diabetesmine.com with the subject header "Thrive Book," if you prefer.

2. You have until Friday, May 22, 2015, at 5pm PST to enter. A valid Facebook presence or email address is required to win.

3. The winner will be chosen using Random.org, and will be announced on Facebook and Twitter on Monday, May 25, 2015, so make sure you’re following us!

We’ll update this post with the winner’s name once chosen. Good luck to all!

This contest is now closed. Congrats to Christie Jensen, who emailed in a DMBooks comment and was chosen by Random.org as our winner!

Disclaimer: Content created by the Diabetes Mine team. For more details click here.


This content is created for Diabetes Mine, a consumer health blog focused on the diabetes community. The content is not medically reviewed and doesn't adhere to Healthline's editorial guidelines. For more information about Healthline's partnership with Diabetes Mine, please click here.