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February 18, 2014 > Union City Man Enjoys Sweet Success Thanks to Washington Hospital and Hard Work

Union City Man Enjoys Sweet Success Thanks to Washington Hospital and Hard Work

Rick Rolleri never thought he was a candidate for type 2 diabetes. Even though he was overweight, he was physically active and ate healthy food. Then about seven months ago he received the diagnosis.
ÒI was a binge eater, but I ate mostly good food,Ó he said. ÒThe overeating caught up with me. After my diagnosis, I walked out of the doctorÕs office determined to change my ways. I never ate another huge portion of food again.Ó
Instead Rolleri was focused on getting his health back on track. With the help of Washington HospitalÕs Diabetes Program and a lot of hard work on his part, he lost 63 pounds in six months.
At 5 feet, six inches tall, RolleriÕs weight topped 207. Being overweight is a major risk factor for type 2 diabetes, which occurs when the body does not produce enough insulin or does not use it efficiently. This causes glucose (sugar) to build up in the blood, which damages the blood vessels over time and raises the risk for heart disease, stroke, kidney disease, and other complications.
ÒI knew diabetes was serious and I had to get the weight off and turn this around,Ó he said. ÒI had always been healthy. This was the first time I was given a prescription for anything.Ó
His blood pressure and cholesterol levels had also become elevated, which compounds the risk for complications. He was prescribed medications to control those in addition to medicine to control his blood glucose.
ÒIt was a real wakeup call,Ó Rolleri said. ÒI knew I had to learn everything there was to know about diabetes.Ó
Diabetes Basics
He started watching classes about managing diabetes on InHealth, a Washington Hospital Channel on Comcast 78. He watched every chance he could get and started changing his eating habits. Within two months, he had lost 40 pounds.
After that he signed up for Washington HospitalÕs diabetes BASICS program, a comprehensive approach to teaching people with type 2 diabetes how to better manage the chronic disease through diet, exercise, and other lifestyle changes.
Participants learn about healthy eating, good nutrition, and develop an individualized meal plan. They also get practical tips for eating out with diabetes. In addition, the program covers blood glucose monitoring, medications, blood pressure and cholesterol control, and ways of dealing with stress, as well as foot, eye, and dental care.
ÒThe class was very informative and gave me the tools I needed to manage my diabetes,Ó Rolleri said. ÒI was able to create a meal plan that works for me.Ó
He realized he needed to eat much smaller portions, but eat more frequently to keep his blood glucose from spiking. He now eats six small meals a day and exercises regularly.
Looking back, Rolleri said he realizes his health was starting to go. He hadnÕt been feeling well for a while. Ironically, he works for a company that makes glucose monitoring equipment, but still didnÕt think he would ever get diabetes.
ÒI feel so much better since I lost the weight,Ó he said. ÒIÕm at the weight I was in high school. Now IÕm able to manage my diabetes with diet and exercise. My blood pressure and cholesterol are also under control. IÕm off all the medications. My plan is to keep this up for the rest of my life.Ó
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Learn More About Diabetes on InHealth
The Diabetes Matters education series is regularly showcased on the InHealth Channel 78. You can also view Diabetes Matters television programs on the InHealth website, www.inhealth.tv. To learn more about the diabetes services offered at the Washington Outpatient Diabetes Center, visit www.whhs.com/diabetes.
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Rolleri Diabetes Testimonial ? TCV February 2014 ? Caitlin Kerk ? 408.972.5781 ? Page 1

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