It was a scratchy throat that wouldn’t clear up that sent Christopher Green to the doctor.
He was surprised, though, when he was told that instead of an allergy or virus of some kind that he had type 2 diabetes.
“I know that it runs in the family but previous doctors all said I was in good shape, just needed to shed a few pounds and watch cholesterol, the normal stuff,” said Green, who was diagnosed last year.
Fortunately for Green, now 28, who holds down a full-time job as consumer security tech in Clearwater, Florida, and attends classes full time at Eckerd College in St. Petersburg, he is controlling his diabetes with diet and exercise.
“As much as possible, I take a bike to work. I walk around the office and I’m joining a gym” located near his office that offers a discount to company employees.
Green said he takes medication daily for high blood pressure and cholesterol, is cutting back on fast food, packs meals for school and work, keeps protein bars in his backpack in case of emergency, eats smaller portions and uses cookbooks that focus on meals for diabetics – including gluten-free recipes.
He also checks his blood sugar levels twice a day. His health insurance pays for the glucose meter and strips.
“It’s a challenge, but you’ve got to do it.”
Green’s doctor told him if he gets his weight down, exercises regularly and maintains a healthy diet, he may well be able to get off medication entirely.
Being alert to changes in his health and consulting with his physician made a big difference for Green.