Book Review of
"The Challenge of Childhood Diabetes"

Reviewed by Lindsey Lawton, Doctor of Pharmacy Candidate University of Florida College of Pharmacy in

"The Challenge of Childhood Diabetes: Family Strategies for Raising a Healthy Child" is a book written from the journal entries of Laura Plunkett with the help of her mother, a former writer for The Boston Globe.

This book was written by a mother trying to deal with the life-changing circumstances of a newly diagnosed child with Type I diabetes. After her son Danny was diagnosed with Type I diabetes at the age of seven, Laura felt alone while dealing with the many questions she was left to face regarding Danny's new disease. Laura wrote this book to help other families dealing with newly diagnosed children.

I feel this is an excellent book to recommend to families with newly diagnosed children because it highlights the many complicated issues a parent must face such as diet, exercise, insulin shots, alternative therapy, complications, and maintaining a normal family life.

I think this book would help relieve parents' anxiety and stress, by making them realize that there are other families dealing with the same problems. The author relays her vision of coping which might help others figure out the best way for them.

Through research, Laura believes that a low carbohydrate, whole food diet greatly reduced her son's need for high doses of insulin despite indifferent opinions from their medical team. Danny's medical team stressed the importance of keeping the child happy by letting him eat what ever he wanted. Although Danny was a picky eater, Laura found ways to incorporate low carbohydrate meals and snacks. I was impressed by Laura's persistence in not giving in to her son's cravings for sugar filled cereal and pizza byincorporating the whole family in these changes.

Early on Laura realized the importance of daily exercise in keeping Danny's numbers low. Her and her husband dedicated themselves to helping Danny with creative physical activities, such as wrestling in the basement, and other made up games. It would have been easy for Danny's parents to let him watch TV and play video games after school, but they made the extra effort to keep their son healthy.

I was also amazed by Laura's tenacity in seeking alternative therapies to help her child with his various complaints as well as extending his honeymoon phase. Hours were spent driving to acupuncture treatments, and receiving foot reflexology, as well as receiving treatments from Roland, who was able to heal using his hands. Danny also took herbal supplements and vitamins recommend by his acupuncturist.

A final great feature in this book is the survival guide for parents that Laura included at the end. I thought it could be very helpful for anyone who helps care for a diabetic child. The guide offers tips on supplies to always carry, a sample medical information sheet, and other important resources.

"The Challenge of Childhood Diabetes is a book that should not only be read by parents of a diabetic child but is also a great learning source for friends, teachers, and family members. "