Tuesday, May 23, 2006

Title: Hypoglycemia The Other Sugar Disease
Author: Anita Flegg (Foreword by Dr. Ron Rosedale, MD)
Publisher: Book Coach Press (September 30, 2004)
ISBN: 0968034748
Genre: Non-Fiction/Medical/Diet/Self-Help
No. of Pages: 237

Having read "Overcoming Runaway Blood Sugar" by Dennis Pollock, I was wondering whether I should take up yet one more book on blood sugar problems, especially hypocglycemia (Dennis's book is also dealing with the same problem) , but then I took it up to see the difference in treatment of the same subject by a different author, who, incidentally shares with Dennis the unfortunate similarity of being a sufferer.

Anita's book under review treats the subject very comprehensively and gives the various forms of hypoglycemia and the causes for them. The treatment protocol is more or less similar and is largely based on elimination of refined carbohydrates and sugar (in all its forms like cane sugar, glucose, fructose, honey, etc.). A diet largely based on complex carbohydrates, fats of the right kind, proteins and fiber (very important) has been found to minimise the spikes in blood sugar and thus minimise the incidence of hypoglycemia and thus help minimise the onset of adult diabetes, which is caused by insulin resistance.

The book under review provides a good discussion of the various popular diets such as the no-fat diet, Atkins Diet, South Beach Diet, The Zone Diet, etc. and suggests a diet aimed at hypoglycemics, which incidentally also helped many of them lose weight and which eliminated the mood swings etc.

The author gives the life stories of other sufferers in their own words at the beginning of each chapter and follows up their stories with a good analysis. This feature has added a lot of authenticity to the book. She discusses various problems like fatigue, fibromyalgia etc., associated with hypoglycemia, in Chapter 9, with the notable exception of hypochlorhydria (the symptoms of which were described by Michel in Chapter 4).

The work book at the end adds value to an already good book and Anita provides the reader with two or iterations (cycles) to check how they are doing. If the workbook is photocopied before being written up, the same can be used in the unlikely event of the reader not being able to reach the desired state of health in the first few cycles.

All in all, I found the book a good read with a good style and very good editing.

Title: Mayday A Physician as Patient
Author: Allan Lohaus, M.D.
Publisher: Synergy Books
ISBN: 978-0-9755922-9-8
Genre: Autobiography/Medical/Self-help
Presentation: Hard Bound with dust jacket
No. of Pages: 114

About the Book (From the inner flap) - Mayday! is a medical odyssey journal revealing the thought, feelings, humor and spirituality of an American physician during months of hopitalization. Rising on swells of optimism and tugged down by pain, infections, operations and adverse outcomes, he drifts through waters too deep to stand in and too dark for him to see hidden dangers. The illness ends in New Zealand, two years later. This body, mind, and spirit experience of dying and returningto health is a personal and universal journey.
A little more about the book (as I understood after reading) - It is a good indepth account of the doctor's struggles with illness, fortunately for him, an acute problem and not chronic illness. He was operated for removal of some intestinal polyps and the post-operative infections and the resultant complications required three more surgeries to restore his body to a semblance of normalcy.

What I liked about the book - The intensely personal narrative and the good style. Since it is a relatively short book, it could be read in a day. Since I always had an abiding interest in medical matters (though I became a metallurigst), I enjoyed reading the details of the treatment and the operative procedures, his emotions as he was struggling with pain and a very real chance of prolonged illness or death!

What did not appeal to me - None.

What else I would have liked to see - A fuller account of his younger days, and his own mom's struggle with Hodgkin's disease etc. His estrangement from his biological father probably pushed him to mature spiritually since he searched and found his father first in senior friends and later in God through Christ. I would also have liked to read a more detailed account of his treatment.