REVIEW: Overcoming Runaway Bloodsugar By: Dennis Pollock Review by: Lisa Copen
As the director of a Christian ministry for those who live with chronic illness or pain, I was interested in reviewing this book to see if I would find it a practical tool to refer it to the people we serve. It's rare to find a book on blood sugar published by a Christian publishing company. But I also had a personal interest. I have lived with rheumatoid arthritis for 13 years, (since age 24). I gained over 80 pounds over about 6 years of heavy doses of prednisone and other medications. In March 2003 I went lo-carb. 20 carbs a day, to get my blood sugar under control. My weight gain, the diagnosis of my mom with diabetes, and becoming a mom myself (through adoption) was motivation for me to go "cold turkey" and stick to a diet of no white flour or sugar. I lost 80 pounds in 2 years. I didn't eat a single french fry or bite of ice cream that contained sugar.
I found this book to be personable and easy reading (I read it in 2 hours while my son played at a kid's village and I watched him from the table.) And it reflected my attitude and choices that I made in changing my diet and lifestyle (not dieting, but a lifestyle change). So often people would hear I was "lo-carbing it" and give me a lecture on the health risks. But I made wise choices and Dennis Pollock's advice was nearly word-for-word what I told people --it was a series of smart decisions each day that got my blood sugar under control, and thereby helped me lose the weight. Like reaching for a cheese stick instead of a breadstick, eating shaved ice instead of ice cream, having sugar-free syrup in my coffee at Starbucks instead of the regular vanilla. And perhaps that's why I liked this book so much. I had seen nutritionists, dieticians and many others who had no answers for me other than "get off the prednisone." Easier said than done, at the time I wouldn't have been able to walk without it. Lower blood sugar led to weight loss over time, which in turn, reduced some of the flaring of the disease, and I was able to lower the dosages of prednisone little by litte.
Dennis doesn't pretend to be an expert or a doctor. He is "your average guy" who had blood sugar problems, recognized he needed to do something about them, and became a great advocate for himself. He tells how he gained control over it through a series of experiments (like eating something and testing his blood sugar), and the feeling of relief this gave him that what he ate really did make a difference in his body immediately. He --like most of us--wants to live as long as possible, and have good health during our lifetime. There is no guarantee, but the choices we make do help or hinder the odds.
I found this book refreshing, honest, and practical. I am not a fan of the "Bible Cure" books by Reginald Cherry, nor the many health books you will find on your Christian bookstore's "health" shelf. They often promise health or cures if you follow a few tips they've dug out of scripture and then use to prove their point--that God wants us all healthy. And they are making a lot of money telling people that God wants us all well (hmmm. why do we die in the end, do you think then?)
As the director of Rest Ministries, where I see people struggle with illnesses they do not want, and how they do everything in their power to "follow all the scriptural rules" as well as the "health rules"--and still are sick, it's saddening--and angering that friends and professionals still claim, "You could cure yourself if you really wanted to."
Pollack's book is one of the few Christian health books I feel honored to endorse and give my stamp of approval. As far as all of the medical references, I am not qualified to comment on their validity-but I do know that Harvest House is an upstanding, worthy, sincere publishing house that they surely fact-checked this book for accuracy before selling it.