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Diabetes Head to Toe

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’The readers most likely to benefit from this book would be student nurses.’

Title: Diabetes Head to Toe

Author: Rita R Kalyani, Mark D Corriere, Thomas W Donner & Michael W Quartuccio

Publisher: John Hopkins University Press

Reviewer: Laura Payne, student nurse

What was it like?

Pitched at the lay person with a diagnosis of diabetes and their carers/families, but never patronising, the book would be useful for anyone who wants a basic, broad outline of pretty much anything to do with diabetes or their diabetic patients. Covering everything from diabetes in children and gestational diabetes, diabetes among those with HIV, to how to prepare for Ramadan and cystic-fibrosis-related diabetes, the book explores everything; diagnosis, dietary and exercise advice, landmark studies, and even the technology used in insulin pumps and glucose meters.

Each chapter or topic begins with a brief ‘What You Need To Know’ and ends with a ‘What Does It All Mean’ section. Any medical language is clearly explained making it easy to think about how this information can be conveyed and best understood in clinical practice.

Strengths & weaknesses:


• Chapter 7 gives the book its name and backbone by going through from head-to-toe, the many different parts of the body diabetes can affect, and it’s particularly informative, especially if you would be in a position to have to explain these effects to a patient.

• Emphasis on the things that can be done to prevent complications, even small steps, is strong, some of which are transferable to the nurses role.


• Some of the terms used are Americanised, and the list of available drugs only covers the US. This may also be true for some of the information regarding policies and procedures but it does not detract from the readability or usefulness of the book as a whole.

• The tables were useful, but the pictures/drawings don’t add much, particularly for the clinical reader.

Who should read it?

Given that no two diabetic patients are the same, something the book consistently points out, this would be particularly valuable for the ward-based bedside nurse at the forefront of patient care looking to comprehend this variety as quickly and easily as possible and incorporate it into their practice.

Also the other readers most likely to benefit from this book would be student nurses. The book is pitched for patients themselves and as such would be useful for first or second year students who may have limited teaching about diabetes, or who feel concern about having to talk to patients about any aspect of their diabetes. This book would equip you in a gentle but knowledgeable way. (Also may be useful as a starting point for any ‘long-term conditions’ or ‘care of clients with…’ essays or exams!).

As there are sections of the book explaining dietary requirements, diets proposed for diabetes management, carbohydrates and sugar in the diet and on exercise and movement issues in long-term complications aspects of the book may be useful for dieticians and physios too.

diabetes head to toe

diabetes head to toe



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