Your Health: managing diabetes with diet and exercise

Type 2 diabetes remains one of the most prevalent medical conditions in the United States, with 25.8 million Americans. In tonight's Your Health report... The story of one woman who was able to entirely eliminate the need for medication - just by changing her lifestyle. Lisa Pemberton has been living with diabetes since the mid-90's. Lisa says, "My parents are both diabetic. Grandmother is diabetic. So to a degree that probably plays a part in it." In May of 2012... Lisa was on almost 170 units of insulin a day, plus other medications... And her diabetes was still not well controlled. So, she decided to see Dr. Nidhi Jain with St Vincent. Dr. Nidhi Jain says, "The first and most important thing I talked to her about was lifestyle changes. I encouraged her to get on an exercise regime and we sent her to diabetes education and dietary counseling." Once Lisa received the education, she started working out regularly... Even doing extra walking at Benton High School, where she works. Dr. Jain says, "To the point she was working out pretty much every single day of the week." She also made big changes to her diet. Lisa says, "Everybody thinks diabetes...sugar. And it's carbs and it's proteins... a lot of things. I had to quit having meals where I had fried potatoes, and bread... And everything else.. And corn.. And instead just choose one of those items, plus have smaller portions." It's taken a couple of years... But in that time, Lisa has lost more than 120-pounds... And is now on no insulin or oral medications for her diabetes. She says she feels great - and has so much more stamina. Lisa adds, "I can work in my yard. I enjoy working in the yard now. Before I just couldn't... Did like it.... It wore me out. This is not a journey that is unique to me. It can happen to anybody."