The Book of Better by Chuck Eichten


When you have diabetes, you may get stuck in a rut while trying to stay healthy.  That’s what happened to Chuck Eichten, who was convinced that his life was perfect.  His hemoglobin A1C, the test that shows your average blood sugar over the last three months, was 4.5; that’s what someone WITHOUT diabetes should have.  But to achieve that number, he was working out twice daily and getting severely low blood sugars.  After his fifth seizure-inducing low, he decided it was time for a change.  And that’s when he discovered that doing something better, even if it improved his life by just a little bit, is still better.  So he wrote The Book of Better to impart his wisdom to other people with diabetes in the hopes that they will avoid some of the mistakes he has made over his twenty-five years with Type 1.  He is not and never professes to be a medical professional; he just wants to make life easier for everyone with the disease, regardless of whether they have Type 1 or Type 2.

One thing I really liked about reading The Book of Better was that Eichten has Type 1 Diabetes.  The vast majority of books seem to be written about Type 2 diabetes because most people with diabetes have Type 2.  So it was awesome reading a book by someone who gets what I live with.

Eichten also has lots of funny little anecdotes and goofy comparisons through the book, making The Book of Better a really fun and quick read.

The one issue I had while reading The Book of Better was that it is American and uses mg/dL to talk about blood sugars rather than the mmol/L we use here in Canada.  If you’re used to mmol/L like I am, here’s a quick conversion to keep in mind while reading it (or any other American book on diabetes): 100 mg/dL equates to about 5.5 mmol/L, 70 is 3.8, 180 is 9.9, and 400 is 22.2.

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