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High on the Hawg

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Diabetes is usually a manageable disease, yet many people often don’t take the time to do what they need to do. Steve Kasten is living proof, however, that no one is too busy to take care of themselves.

Kasten, 59, is a longtime employee of Ameren and also the owner of the Hawg Pit restaurant/bar in Grafton, Ill. Running one of the more popular motorcycle establishments for miles around might be excuse enough. But when Kasten was diagnosed with diabetes several months ago, he took control.

“I wanted to learn as much as I could so I could do what needed to be done,” said Kasten, who is a patient of Dr. John Wuellner at Alton Internal Medicine on the Alton Memorial Hospital campus. He soon began seeing AMH diabetes educator Lisa James as well as dietitian Naomi Ward.

“There was a family history on my mother’s side,” Kasten said. “But I was determined to learn what I needed to do. And I didn’t just do things because they told me. I asked questions.”

James can attest to that. Lisa says that Kasten is a great patient in every way.

“Steve wanted to understand,” Lisa said. “And he’s a great example for people because nobody is busier than he is. So that takes away the excuse that you’re too busy to take care of yourself.”

Kasten said the main thing he learned was how to push himself away from the dinner table and watch his portions. He lost close to 20 pounds in less than three months as a result. And now he has virtually cut out sweets.

“I can deal with it,” he said. “Between Dr. Wuellner, Lisa and Naomi, I have a plan that I can follow. I’m not the perfect patient, but listening to them will be a great help to anyone.”

For more information about diabetes management at Alton Memorial, call Lisa James at 618-463-7526.

Pictured above: Steve Kasten in front of his Hawk Pit restaurant/bar in Grafton.

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