A no-nonsense book for anyone who is a diabetic, knows one, or is intrigued by the growing number of news stories about the disorder. Diabetes is on the increase throughout the world. Susceptibility appears to involve a strong genetic component, but it may also be associated with a virus. The failure to metabolize carbohydrates properly is not just the result of insulin deficiency but probably involves other hormones or blood factors, cell receptor sites, and so on. The authors, one a doctor, the other public relations chief of a major medical center, strive for a note of balanced optimism. Occasionally they overdo their praise of the profession; occasionally they slip into jargon not explained in the back-of-the-book glossary. (Does the average reader know what mg% means? what is a radioimmunoassay?) On the whole they do a commendable job of reassuring the reader that management of diabetes is possible with diet, drugs, or insulin, in spite of large gaps in medical understanding of the basic causes. They summarize current research on biochemical factors and pancreatic tissue transplants, along with work on artificial devices that would monitor blood sugar and release appropriate amounts of insulin accordingly. They describe diabetic coma and insulin shock as well as the many complications that can arise in longstanding diabetes. Chapters on living a normal life and on the psychological factors that can compound the disease, especially in juvenile-onset diabetes, round out the clinical picture.