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“I always planned on losing weight,” says Jim Unger of Mifflinburg. “I’d say, ‘Tomorrow is the day I’m going to do it.’ And that day kept coming and going.” The 54-year-old travels for work and his daily routine was to visit the drive-thru for meals. “I was feeling more tired than usual and generally not feeling very well, so I went to see my doctor. He sent me for some blood work and I received the results a few days later. When I learned I had pre-diabetes, I knew it was time for me to lose weight — and I had to start right away.”
Shockingly, 9 out of 10 people with pre-diabetes do not know they have it.
Jim joined the Diabetes Prevention Program, a weight-loss program for people with pre-diabetes. “I wanted to be part of a group setting instead of trying to do it all on my own,” he says. This program is part of a research study that examines how to prevent diabetes and is based on patients with pre-diabetes.
Once a month, Jim met with Christopher Still, DO, the director of Nutrition and Weight Management, to go over his progress. “This worked for me because it wasn’t about letting myself down — I didn’t want to disappoint the care team or my fellow participants.”
Jim has lost 60 pounds since May. He’s grateful for the program and for his Geisinger providers. “This absolutely changed my life. I ride my bike every day. My diet is excellent. I have so much energy now!”
His blood sugar is down as well, which was his ultimate goal, and he no longer has pre-diabetes. “The exercising and dieting helped me, so I don’t need blood pressure medication anymore!” Jim says.
jim unger beats diabetes at geisinger through research program