This book is meant to be read and understood by the non-physician. Therefore, I try to keep scientific terminology to a minimum. Where I must use it, I explain it clearly, and you can also look it up in the glossary at the end of the book. I can't avoid the terminology completely because I want you and your doctor to speak the same language. You should clearly understand the reasons behind everything he recommends, so don't hesitate to ask questions and quote chapter and verse from this book.
In order to save keystrokes, I use some abbreviations throughout the book. The main ones are "T1DM" for "type 1 diabetes mellitus" and "T2DM" for "type 2 diabetes mellitus." You can find these and any others in the book in the glossary. How did these names come about? Good question! People used to refer to diabetes in young people as "juvenile diabetes." In the past, "juvenile diabetes" was understood to mean diabetes due to a lack of insulin, but several years ago, the American Diabetes Association recognized that one result of the epidemic of obesity is the occurrence of T2DM in many juveniles. In addition, a lack of insulin often occurs in adults. Therefore, they changed the name from "juvenile diabetes" to "type 1 diabetes mellitus." T1DM refers to the condition of any patient whose diabetes is due to insulin lack at the very beginning.
Because many T1DM patients are children and young adults, I've geared this book toward parents and caretakers; for the most part, when I say "you," I'm speaking to someone who's caring for a patient. However, adults with T1DM can still apply the information in this book to their own lives; in fact, several topics throughout the book are directed specifically toward adult patients (such as the work and driving information in Chapter 14).
Here are a few more conventions to guide you through this book:
i Italic points out defined terms and emphasizes certain words.
i Boldface highlights key words in bulleted lists and actions to take in numbered steps.
i Monofont indicates Web addresses.
When this book was printed, it may have been necessary to break some Web addresses across two lines of text. If that happened, rest assured that I haven't put in any extra characters (such as hyphens) to indicate the break. So, when using one of these Web addresses, just type exactly what you see in this book, pretending that the line break doesn't exist.
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All you need is a proper diet of fresh fruits and vegetables and get plenty of exercise and you'll be fine. Ever heard those words from your doctor? If that's all heshe recommends then you're missing out an important ingredient for health that he's not telling you. Fact is that you can adhere to the strictest diet, watch everything you eat and get the exercise of amarathon runner and still come down with diabetic complications. Diet, exercise and standard drug treatments simply aren't enough to help keep your diabetes under control.