Health & Safety

November 30, 2012

Diet, exercise takes diabetic to living medication-free

George Varrato, real estate agent specializing in military home loans and sales, has helped service members for years with real estate needs. Four months ago, he was diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes.

Varrato said diabetes runs in his family. His mother and sister both had it, so he believed he could develop it as well.

“I’m 60 years old,” he said. “I didn’t think much about having it until I went to my doctor for a routine blood screening. She diagnosed me as a Type 2 diabetic.”

He said it was the worst day of his life. He’d survived a near-fatal motorcycle accident, but living with a disease that could slowly kill him was much worse.

“My blood sugar levels were almost three times the normal amount,” Varrato said. “I also had high blood pressure from the syrup my heart was pumping through my veins.”

Varrato was overwhelmed with the amount of information given to him by the doctors and from his Internet research. He knew something had to change, but didn’t know what.

“I’m a very busy man,” he said. “Before diabetes, my daily routine was waking up early in the morning for conference calls with associates on the East Coast and then dealing with bankers and other financial parties the rest of the day. Because of the schedule I kept, I wouldn’t eat breakfast, and sometimes I wouldn’t get lunch until almost 2 p.m.”

When Varrato ate lunch, he would grab fast food. Then for dinner, which he had after his work day ended around 8 p.m., he would recline in his easy chair and eat a large pizza by himself.

“I sat all day at work behind a computer screen,” he said. “I sat in the car in the drive-thru for lunch and then I sat behind my TV eating a pizza for dinner. I’ve been doing this same routine for many years and should have known better.”

Once diagnosed with diabetes, Varrato sought help from Aaron Anderson, 56th Aerospace Medicine Squadron dietitian.

“When George came to see me, we sat down and looked at how he was currently eating,” Anderson said. “We saw he liked going to Taco Bell for lunch so instead of getting his regular meal, we found getting three chicken tacos from the Fresco menu was a better meal option for him.”

They continued to go over Varrato’s lifestyle and made simple changes like switching his Pizza Hut pizza for wings and making sure he ate a healthy breakfast and exercised 30 minutes a day.

“When I first went to Mr. Anderson, I thought he would put me on a really strict diet,” Varrato said. “He didn’t. He worked around what I was currently eating and what I liked to eat. We just found healthier options.”

Until now, Varrato was embarrassed by his diagnoses.

“For 60 years, I’ve been eating whatever was easiest,” Varrato said. “To find out I was doing everything wrong was humbling. But at least I didn’t break my body. Once I started on my healthier eating style, my body quickly took over normal functions, and my blood sugar levels have dropped to normal ranges.”

Varrato was able to stabilize his blood sugars using diet and exercise alone. He is still a Type 2 diabetic but manages it without the use of drugs.

Varrato’s wife decided join him in his lifestyle change using the knowledge gained from Anderson.

“The changes suggested by Mr. Anderson were small and easy,” he said. “Out of everything he told me, the one thing I keep remembering is ‘diabetes is not the problem. Uncontrolled diabetes is the problem.’ He taught me how to control mine, and now I’m at normal levels without medication.”




All of this week's top headlines to your email every Friday.


 
 

 
James Hensley

No one flies until flight med gives OK

James Hensley Airman 1st Class Shawn Martinez, 56th Aerospace Medicine Squadron flight medicine technician, checks over the ambulance Aug. 19 with Staff Sgt. Jovanny Reyes, 56th AMDS medical technician, at Luke Air Force Base. ...
 
 
Airman 1st Class 
PEDRO MOTA

Motivated Airman dedicated to AF

Airman 1st ClassPEDRO MOTA Airman 1st Class Elizabeth Roman, 56th Communications Squadron cyber transport systems technician, shows off her Muhammad Ali T-shirt, which to her represents an expression of determination and how a ...
 
 
5-140821-F-LC301-009

Avoiding hazards, using right equipment good fall prevention

As summer comes to a close and the fall season looms, relief from heat is right around the corner, and working inside or outdoors is a welcomed idea. As the heat dies down and fall rolls in, the chores left abandoned during sum...
 

 

Street Beat

The 56th Security Forces Squadron handled the following incidents at Luke Air Force Base Aug. 18 through 24: Tickets: Security forces issued citations for nine moving violations and two nonmoving violations. Traffic-related incidents Aug. 18: Security forces responded to a major vehicle vs. fixed object accident near Bldg. 1124. An individual was transported to West...
 
 

Why do they call it wisdom?

Capt. David Raper, 56th Dental Squadron dentist, performs a wisdom tooth extraction Aug. 13 in the dental clinic at Luke Air Force Base. Wisdom teeth are removed for reasons including infection, decay and cysts. The 56th DS provides active-duty members comprehensive dental care while supporting the readiness of the 56th Fighter Wing to respond to...
 
 

Street Beat

The 56th Security Forces Squadron handled the following incidents Aug. 11 through 17: Tickets Security forces issues citations for 24 moving violations and two nonmoving violations. Traffic-related incidents Aug. 13: Security forces responded to a report of a motorcycle accident at the intersection of Litchfield Road and Lightning Street. The motorcycle rider was transported by...
 




0 Comments


Be the first to comment!


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>


Directory powered by Business Directory Plugin