Diabetic Book Review – The Savvy Diabetic – are you as savvy?

So lets start with the inevitable disclosures. I received the book free from the author and was asked to review it. I do not know the author Joanne Milo personally, but she did use some of the material on my website in the book. I did inform her that my review would be honest, so lets hope when you read this, it comes across this way.

So shine the spotlight, draw the curtains as we discuss the book

The Savvy Diabetic, a survival guide.

This book deserves serious consideration if not for one fact. It is written by one of us. Any time someone from our “club”, shall we call it, takes the time and effort to share their knowledge gleaned from years of living with type 1, I feel it’s worth supporting them. Further more, getting published is by no means an easy task and for that feat alone, Joanne’s book deserves serious consideration to be added to anyones book list.

Like any book, there are the inevitable highs and lows (excuse the pun I couldn’t resist).

HIGHS (in this context consider it good):

The book is frank and written in easy to understand language. You feel whilst reading it, that Joanne is talking to your personally and sharing her wealth of knowledge. Depending on where you are in your journey, this can seem a little wordy at times, but I think to be fair, it is her writing style, so keeping this in mind while reading it, will make it more enjoyable.

Having lived with diabetes myself, for over 38 years, it isn’t often that someone gets me thinking about my disease in a new light, but Joanne certainly achieved this. Her practical tips on hospital management, health record keeping (I never knew microsoft had an online med record keeper, did you?), and general things to think about, certainly gave me pause for thought and a willingness to try something different (can anyone say “emergency kit”).

I also liked her many links to resources that were interspersed throughout the book which would give people new to the disease, great access points to become more familiar with type 1 diabetes with just the click of the mouse.

Further more, this book would be a good reference for any “significant others” should they have an interest in learning about diabetes as she certainly lays it out in black and white. Joanne leaves the reader with the opportunity to consider what would work best to certain problems they may face (this also could be a potential limitation of the book but more on that later). A nice touch, is that she does not lecture the reader on what one should or shouldn’t do, or create complex algorithms for how best to get “control”. As a result, by the end of the book, I feel the absolute essentials of diabetes management have been addressed, and the “individualization” left to the reader to discover.

Finally, throughout the book are a couple of anecdotes from diabetics who have lived with the disease for some time and quotes which made me laugh out loud (not the best when you are at a swim meet next to other parents), which made the book more enjoyable to read.

As with everything related to diabetes however, there are always the inevitable


The book is very honest, maybe a little too honest, in that it paints a rather complex picture. Depending on how you are feeling when you read it, will determine the value you get from it. My biggest complaint (and it is also an advantage – see above), is that it lists very effectively all the complexities of being diabetic (which everyone should know and address), but is limited in certain sections, on how best to address these. If it is one tip I would have for the author, it would be to address how she personally manages things like getting control and juggling these complexities.

If not careful, the reader might be left feeling that diabetes is complex and hard, I am sure this is not the intent of the author, but rather, to inform so that everything is on the table, but one should be aware of this when reading the book. Towards the end, and perhaps where the true value lies, Joanne makes some recommendations of dealing with the downside of this chronic condition which depending on where you are in your philosophical journey, could be very relatable, or not at all. These lows however are quite minor given the overall skills that Joanne shares.


So if you are wondering if this book is worth the investment, I personally think it is.

For starters, I learnt a couple of tricks, and trust me, I thought I knew most of them. If nothing else, it will remind you of what you could be doing to take control of your life and your diabetes.

While it is written from the perspective the American Marketplace, the tips and tricks are applicable around the world. They are practical and realistic and I found her advice in line with what we here subscribe to. Empowering oneself to take charge!

I also like that it is written by someone who has clearly “been there, done that” and “walked a mile in our shoes” (I like cliches what can I say). This results in a read that at the end of the day, would benefit anyone living with diabetes, or supporting someone with diabetes.

Bottom line. If you are going to buy any books about Type 1 diabetes, this is a must have. Especially if your goal is to be Savvy 😉

If after reading this review, you are still not convinced, then don’t take my word for it, look at what amazon readers had to say. It is not often you see a 5 out of 5

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