Diabetes Head to Toe: Q&A with the Authors

Why did you decide to write Diabetes Head to Toe?

Diabetes is not a one-size-fits-all disease. There are different types of diabetes and a wide range of complications—head to toe—that may develop. Not everyone benefits from the same treatments. Health care providers may be limited, for a variety of reasons, to relay all the critical information needed for people with diabetes to confidently self-manage their disease at home. In this book, we provide up-to-date information based on the latest evidence in an easily accessible format. The goal of the content we write is to educate people with diabetes and their caregivers about recognizing the early warning signs—before they develop—so that diabetes-related difficulties can be prevented in the future.

What were some of the most surprising things you learned while writing and researching the book?

We were surprised at how little information is currently available for patients on other conditions that commonly occur in people with diabetes—such as liver disease, bone disease, skin conditions, and sexual problems—but is undoubtedly important to the day-to-day life of a person with diabetes. We were also surprised at how many new technologies are now available for diabetes and, yet, a reliable information source for patients was not widely available to educate them on the appropriate use of these devices.

What is new about your book that sets it apart from other books in the field?

We go beyond the traditional complications of diabetes that while undoubtedly important, do not fully encapsulate the medical conditions that occur more commonly among people with diabetes. The information is offered in a quick, easy-to-access format that is concise yet comprehensive and distills the key points and action steps that readers can take today to prevent complications in the future in a section titled “What does it all mean” for each of the 130 topics included in the book.

Did you encounter any eye-opening statistics while writing your book?

Yes, diabetes currently affects more than 400 million people in the world and many don’t know they even have the disease. It also affects people of minority groups disproportionately and is a rising problem all over the world.

Does your book debunk any longstanding myths?

Yes – it debunks the idea that everyone with diabetes is affected by the disease in the same way. There are wide-ranging complications of diabetes that do not affect everyone in the same way and many new medications to treat the disease.

What is the single most important fact revealed in your book and why is it significant?

The more you know about diabetes, the better equipped you will be to prevent diabetes-related complications in the future. This is significant because the book offers readers a guide—written by experts in the field—on what they can do today to prevent problems in the future.

How do you envision the lasting impact of your book?

Our book will expand the scope for what people with diabetes need to be aware of in order to best prevent complications in the future and manage their disease. It is the first book to go beyond describing the traditional complications of diabetes (heart disease, eye disease, nerve problems, kidney disease) and emphasize the wide-ranging impact of the disease on the body and the new medications and technologies that can be used to treat the disease.

What do you hope people will take away from reading Diabetes Head to Toe?

There are many different conditions that commonly occur in people with diabetes and action steps that can be taken today to prevent these complications from developing in the future. The more you know, the better equipped you will be to prevent difficulties in the future, which will ensure a long, healthy life with diabetes. 

Rita R. Kalyani, MD, MHS, is an associate professor of medicine and a diabetes specialist at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. She is the past chair of the American Diabetes Association’s committee that establishes the standards of medical care for all people with diabetes. Mark D. Corriere, MD, is an adjunct assistant professor of medicine at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine and a clinical endocrinologist at Maryland Endocrine. Thomas W. Donner, MD, is an associate professor of medicine at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine and the director of the Johns Hopkins Comprehensive Diabetes Center. Michael W. Quartuccio, MD, is an adjunct assistant professor of medicine at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine and a clinical endocrinologist in the Rochester Regional Health System. Together, they are the authors of Diabetes Head to Toe: Everything You Need to Know about Diagnosis, Treatment, and Living with Diabetes. 

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