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Sunday
, August 18, 2002
Books

Understanding disease helps in tackling it better
Uma Vasudeva

Mediscene
by Dr Dannyl L. Travasso, Minerva Press India. Pages 229. Rs 240.

TO treat human beings or animals is serious business. It takes five to eight years for a doctor to become proficient in his profession. With medical science growing by leaps and bounds, it may take 10 years for a doctor to specialise in a particular field of medicine.

The author in this book has tried to make the text pertaining to various diseases a whole lot more digestible than difficult medical terms for a layman. Each topic like AIDS, alcoholism, allergies, antibiotics, backaches, constipation, cough, diarrhoea, gout, measles, ulcers, snoring, vitamins, or worm infections runs like a story, built to sustain oneís interest through the pages. A bit of humour is added to make the difficult text interesting. There are no drab dissertations or baffling terms to overload the circuit.

The book deals with bare essentials, what a layman needs to know. It is neither a do-it-yourself text nor is it intended to encourage patients into self-diagnosis or self-therapy, because these can have disastrous results. It is a medical manual as well as an advisory note for patients to adhere to nature rather than be dependent on medicines.

The book has been written in a simple language and form. For example, on AIDS the author says in a section on sexual transmission: "currently, most cases of documented spread are by this route. Transmission is equal both ways: male to female and vice versa...."

The author believes that prevention is better than cure.

It is a handy book for anyone who desires to live a healthy life free from disease and infection.

 


"You and your diabetes"
by Dr A.K. Jhingan. Concept Publishing Company, New Delhi. Page 146. Price 50.

In India a large number of people are suffering from diabetes, mainly because of their erratic food habits. It is, therefore, essential for every individual to learn and understand diabetes, which is curable, and with precautions one can live a complete life. This volume clarifies most of the doubts that may arise in the minds of diabetics. Diabetes is a disease that can be controlled and one can lead a normal life. Complications of diabetes can make the life of diabetics miserable due to blindness, kidney failure, neuritis or paralysis. The author has given the details of a study that was carried out on insulin-dependent diabetes patients. According to the study, if such patients can keep their blood sugar under control then blindness can be prevented in 76 per cent of such patients, kidney failure in 35 to 56 per cent and neuritis nerve involvement in 60 per cent of such patients. Intensive control of diabetes mellitus decreases the rate of complications, improves the patientís quality of life, and decreases the total cost of care associated with both type I and type II diabetes.

The author has explained in detail the symptoms of diabetes, life cycle, exercises for prevention, the role of yoga, diabetic coma, emergency, as well as foods that can be used freely.

Figures, diagrames and caricatures are given to make understanding easier. It is an essential book for all those suffering from diabetes and those who may be prone to this disease, though it is not meant for doctors.