Karletta Howard needed more than a change in lifestyle, she felt like she needed new knees.
At her heaviest, she weighed 283 pounds and the osteoarthritis in her knees made it painful to walk. She consulted with an orthopaedic surgeon about her pain.
“He told me that my knees were so bad, even losing weight might not help,” she remembers. “But it was the push I needed to look at my life and make a change for the better.”
Up until that point, Karletta had tried to lose weight on her own with different diets, but she never had any lasting success.
“Working out was always a challenge for me because of the osteoarthritis, but I knew I had to make real, lasting changes to my diet, or I wouldn’t lose the weight.”
Karletta met with Noel Williams, MD, and together, they felt the gastric bypass procedure would be the best fit for her.
“During the pre-surgery testing, I learned I was borderline diabetic and had sleep apnea,” she says. “More than just my knees were at stake – my whole health was dependent on losing weight and adopting a healthier lifestyle.”
Karletta had weight-loss surgery in April of 2013. She followed the post-operative nutrition plan to a “T," and saw the results of her hard work soon thereafter.
“Within months, my sleep apnea went away,” she says. “I was no longer diabetic, and my entire outlook on food changed for the better.”
Karletta found support in her daughter, who would go grocery shopping with her.
“She was nine at the time, and would help me read labels for food,” she says. “She made sure we were choosing foods that were low in sugar and sodium and high in protein.”
Within 18 months, Karletta had lost 130 pounds. And, as a slim size 6, she shares her story as an inspiration to others.
“Knowing I am healthy today, and will be healthy for my family is an inspiration to me,” she says. “If my story can help others, that’s even better.”
As for her knees, Karletta's pain is still there but the need for new knees isn't. Osteoarthritis is a condition that won’t simply go away by losing weight, but it has become less painful.
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