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Diabetes Awareness Month

November is National Diabetes Awareness Month
Reclaim Your Health at Kaiser Permanente Baldwin Hills-Crenshaw Medical Offices

By: Daniella Masterson
​For many families, the months of November and December will be filled with holiday festivities surrounding elaborate dishes of rich foods and sugary desserts.  But not for Mike Terry’s household.

Formerly a Type 2 Diabetes patient at Kaiser Permanente West Los Angeles Medical Center, Terry was on Metformin, an anti-Diabetic medication that helps to manage blood sugar levels in people with type 2 Diabetes.   By enrolling in Kaiser’s Healthy Balance: A Weight Management Program (see https://healthybalance-kaiserpermanente.org/), Terry is committed to a healthy diet.

November is National Diabetes Awareness Month.  Help in achieving a healthy and balanced lifestyle is just around the corner for local residents now that Kaiser Permanente has completed the new Baldwin Hills-Crenshaw Medical Offices.  The Healthy Balance program, led by Kaiser’s medical and weight loss professionals, is based on three basic ideas for success: Daily Habits, Healthy Eating and Getting Active.

Terry said he was tipping the scales at 285 pounds when he was diagnosed. Although he shed about 50 pounds, it was still too much for his 5’10 frame.    Terry said he wanted a complete lifestyle change when his doctor told him he would have to increase the dosage of his medicine.

“I started a lifestyle change when I was diagnosed in 1993,” said the Baldwin Hills resident. But when his primary care doctor recommended increasing the medication.  “I wanted to reclaim my health,” he said, adding that it motivated him to stop binging on junk food and get healthy.

Terry and his wife Gayle started going to Kaiser’s Healthy Balance program in January 2017.  Although his wife doesn’t have Diabetes, they decided to work as a team and attend weekly classes on healthy eating, sleeping, and stress management. 

“When I began the program, I weighed 222 pounds, and my A1C number (average levels of blood glucose) was 8. Since enrolling in the program, I’m down to 170 pounds and my A1C number is 5.8.,” he said.  Because of this, his doctor told him he no longer needed to take medication. He said his wife has experienced success with the program as well and has lost 35 pounds.

Terry may be down to his goal weight, but he said his journey to good health continues. “As they say in the program ‘It is a story without an ending.’”