ACLM Story Project: Putting Diabetes Into Remission
In this inspiring video, Dr. Mahima Gulati, a certified endocrinologist specializing in lifestyle medicine, highlights the transformative power of lifestyle changes in treating type 2 diabetes. She emphasizes the significance of lifestyle medicine as a discipline and the profound impact it can have on individuals with diabetes.
Dr. Gulati reflects on her own journey of discovering lifestyle medicine, expressing regret that she had not encountered it earlier in her medical career. She underscores the importance of a comprehensive approach to type 2 diabetes management, focusing on the six pillars of lifestyle medicine and the scientific evidence supporting it.
The video also features Michael Blais, who shares his powerful personal story of dealing with both coronary heart disease and type 2 diabetes. Michael’s turning point came when he was hospitalized due to pneumonia and faced the prospect of further heart procedures. This pivotal moment prompted him to commit to a complete lifestyle overhaul, including dietary changes, improved sleep, and stress management.
Michael’s journey showcases the tangible results that can be achieved through lifestyle medicine. Dr. Gulati’s certification in lifestyle medicine has allowed her to empower patients like Michael, demonstrating that true empowerment cannot be found in a pill but through lifestyle choices.
This video and Dr. Gulati’s commentary highlight the critical role of lifestyle medicine in treating type 2 diabetes. It emphasizes that individuals with this condition have the power to take control of their health, achieve remission, and lead fulfilling lives through comprehensive lifestyle changes.
Dr. Mahima Gulati:
I had been an endocrinologist for like seven years did not know that this was a discipline a specialty and found out that I could actually get both certified in it and just taking that exam and discovering that body of literature about the six pillars and the science behind it.
In a way, I was angry that I had not read it before. I had not read it in my medical school and I had not had the chance to apply it to myself. You know, I had gone through two pregnancies had been taking care of patients but been completely blind to the science that has existed.
Type 2 diabetes can feel like a punishment to the person who’s suffering from it because it’s there every single moment of every single day of your life but it’s something that can go in remission if people are able to make drastic changes to their lifestyle.
It’s not about managing type 2 diabetes it’s not about, you know, living with diabetes. This is about really seizing control of diabetes and putting it in remission.
Michael actually came to me, I think it was four or five years ago and he had such a powerful story; one of the most powerful stories I’d ever heard. You know he had been getting sick at least two or three times a year he would go down with pneumonia after pneumonia multiple times a year he would be hospitalized at least two times a year maybe three times a year, would be there for a week or so and then you know doing rehab for weeks after that so that was his life.
What led me to change my lifestyle after really being I guess the word would be afflicted with both coronary heart disease and type 2 diabetes was after I’d returned from a wedding. I got a cold which led to me become very ill it became double pneumonia and then it necrotized and I never even heard of these words but I certainly felt that uh double pneumonia is no joke when it’s necrotized it’s extraordinarily painful
I was very ill. I was bedridden. couldn’t move, couldn’t get up and I couldn’t sleep much. So, you do a lot of thinking and I just thought am I gonna just keep repeating this? Is this what I get for the rest of my life?
The attending doctor came through he told me unfortunately I would also have to have two more heart stents on top of what I just went through and I’m thinking oh god really and then he said yeah but you might need a bypass after that. That was enough for me to really think I got to do the changes. I still am very invested in life.
Somehow it clicked for him he decided to just go all in and he was able to make a huge change in his health with the diet changed but at the same time understanding the other pillars sleep particularly and then Stress Management that was it that was the last time he ever went to a hospital.
I learned the hard way but I learned it well. You always have to bear down on the reality of your condition and realize that you can get it in way better control than you thought. But I’m going to walk out of the office and I gotta own it. My diabetes was irresponsibly high. It was 12 up to 14 on the A1C scale.
Over the last few years that I have known him, his A1C has typically been less than 6.5 which is officially defined as remission. He’s an inspiration to me.
I found Dr. Galati because she was highly recommended. And, one of the things that really attracted me and it was a happy surprise was that Dr Gulati is board certified in lifestyle medicine and there’s not that many. That’s a wonderful, wonderful resource for somebody to have.
Prescribing lifestyle medicine has actually enabled me to be a mirror for them to bring them face to face with the power that they have. Patients can actually find that empowerment that no drug can bring. You cannot pop a pill for that.
Now I look forward to getting up from where every day and I think my work matters I actually am able to tell my patients to do more than just you know take two extra units of insulin. Now the journey is the destination and it feels more fulfilling.