Indigenous great-grandmother reverses type 2 diabetes and loses 45kg with exercise, healthy eating
When Ngarrindjeri great-grandmother Maxine Risk-Sumner was diagnosed with type 2 diabetes in 2008, she began a journey that saw her lose 45 kilograms and turn her life around.
Ms Risk-Sumner told 891 ABC Adelaide's Mornings program she learned she was sick after being hospitalised with a "mystery" illness.
"The doctor soon discovered my blood sugar was high and he said to me, 'did you know you were diabetic?'," she said.
Ms Risk-Sumner was referred to her GP who confirmed she had type 2 diabetes.
When she asked her doctor how she could get rid of it, he replied, "your people find it very hard".
"When somebody categorises me and diagnoses me not as a patient but as an Aboriginal — because I am black — that makes me more determined to override what [was] said," Ms Risk-Sumner said.
Her doctor prescribed medication and referred her to a diabetic educator and nutritionist.
"I thought, 'how can these people help me? All of my family has type 2 diabetes'," she said.
Over the next 12 months, Ms Risk-Sumner learnt how she could change her lifestyle to better her health.
She described the experience as "absolutely amazing".
Ms Risk-Sumner said at the time of her diagnosis she was obese.
"I reckon I wore size 20 clothes," she said.
"Now I wear [size] nine kid's jeans."
With the help of her diabetes educator, Ms Risk-Sumner changed her whole perception of food and what she had been eating.
Aggressive approaches to intensive lifestyle and dietary change, and the right medical care and education, can really make a difference.
"Food is just as addictive as alcohol and drugs," she sai Continue reading