Overcoming the Odds: T2D Patient’s Journey to Marathon Success

Adopting the philosophy of ‘mind over matter’ can have a powerful impact on many aspects of life. In many instances of illness or injury, people can often conjure up herculean efforts to boost their physical and mental well-being, alongside therapeutic intervention, to overcome a medical or health challenge. 

This is something that our 52-year-old patient Bhushan Karle was able to accomplish when he transitioned from living with type 2 diabetes (T2D) heavily reliant on medication and insulin to taking charge of his health and becoming a marathoner who now needs minimal medications.

Bhushan’s Story 

Bhushan was diagnosed with T2D in his early thirties. His parents also had diabetes, and he remembers them needing heavy doses of insulin while growing up in India. 

His initial reaction to the diagnosis was one of disappointment in himself for not taking better care of his health after seeing how his parents suffered from this condition.  Bhushan’s first treatment involved a combination of insulin and many pills until he met Texas Diabetes endocrinologist and diabetes specialist Dr. Keta Pandit.

She re-evaluated him and explored a variety of medications before eventually weaning him off of an insulin pump due to complications.

Taking Control of his Health 

Once he got off his pump, Bhushan made a conscious decision to radically shift his mindset and take better control of his health. This started with making small efforts at first, like getting back into sports that he always loved as a child. Regular exercise is highly beneficial for those with diabetes to help regulate blood sugars levels and maintain a healthy weight and blood pressure. 

Although his initial goal to exercise more was a step in the right direction, it wasn’t resulting in the changes he wanted to see. He was able to lower his A1C, but it still was not decreasing as much as he had hoped to make a significant difference. 

Adopting a Running Regimen 

Deciding that he wanted to be more aggressive with his physical activity, Bhushan started running with a group of friends in his community.

With this group, he was inspired to run a marathon, like the many others who were a part of it.  He enlisted the help of a coach, Dr. Mohan Achwal, who armed Bhushan with a spreadsheet to track his training and food intake. As a data analyst, this method really spoke to him and motivated Bhushan to chart and follow through with his progress. 

One big hurdle that Bhushan encountered while training for the marathon was not knowing what to eat. Runners need plenty of carbohydrates to fuel their training, but carbs can be dangerous for people living with diabetes and maintaining healthy AIC levels. 

Dr. Pandit, a runner herself, reminded Bhushan that his first intention to become a runner was to find a sustainable exercise plan that could support his lifestyle and help him control his diabetes. She encouraged him to avoid over training and fuel his body while keeping in mind that his pancreas will not respond to high carb meals the way his fellow runner friends’ do. 

“While insulin resistance improves with weight loss and exercise, beta cell function from pancreas doesn’t recover to a point where high carb meals can be consumed without close attention to glucose levels,” explains Dr. Pandit. “I encouraged him to candidly share with his friends that his plans will vary given his health condition and limitations.”

Bhushan took that advice to heart and found his own journey empowering rather than a limitation to his goals. His mindset shifted and his physical and mental endurance improved.

He eventually ran his first half-marathon in 2023 and completed his first full marathon in 2024. 

Bhushan shares that having Dr. Pandit and the staff at Texas Diabetes support helped encourage him along the way.  

“A doctor who empathizes with patients and an office that is collaborative is very important to have as part of your team,” he says. 

Supporting Your Goals 

Bhushan believes that anyone can make lifestyle changes with the right mindset. Tips that he offers for anyone with diabetes who wants to make an impactful change on their condition, which could mean the difference between taking insulin or not, are to:

  • Make eating bad/unhealthy food difficult or out of reach
  • Enlist a partner in your health and fitness goals to keep you accountable 
  • Find a coach to help guide you through your health/fitness journey
  • Replace regular bread with better options such as those that are low-glycemic, or made with whole or sprouted grains 
  • Start gradually, even if it is only walking, and add more intensity from there 

Dr. Pandit recommends finding a diet and exercise plan that is sustainable and enjoyable so that it does not feel like a chore. 

“To commit to a full lifestyle change, I encourage my patients to take an inward journey to find what truly brings them joy when it comes to an exercise plan – biking, hiking, running, yoga, pilates, gym memberships, group training and fitness plan, swimming, or joining a sport team,” she says. 

“The goal is to find something for fitness that is enjoyable, not to win a race or a medal,” shares Dr. Pandit. “Living with diabetes and achieving that level of lifestyle change is a medal.”   

Today, Bhushan has made such huge strides in staying active and eating well that his diabetes maintenance is minimal, and he has in effect, reversed many of the most serious side effects of his condition.  He currently works closely with Dr. Pandit and uses a continuous glucose monitor (CGM) to watch his blood sugar levels and maintain his life goals. 

Contact Us to Help Manage Your Diabetes and Thyroid Conditions 

If you’d like to schedule an appointment with one of our specialists at Texas Diabetes & Endocrinology and discover how our diabetes services  and other endocrinology therapies can help you lead a full and active life, please contact us at (512) 458-8400 or request an appointment online.  

Don’t forget to follow us on Facebook and Instagram and check back with us each month as we provide you helpful wellness and health information.

CGM
FDA Approves New OTC Continuous Glucose Monitor (CGM) 

A continuous glucose monitor (CGM) has typically only been available via prescription, until now. 

Recently, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved over-the-counter (OTC) sales of a CGM known as Dexcom’s Stelo Glucose Biosensor System.

This is good news not only for those with diabetes, but also for those who want to support a healthier lifestyle and make smart food choices by monitoring their blood sugar (glucose) levels. 

At Texas Diabetes & Endocrinology, our team of endocrinology experts often include CGMs as part of the treatment plan for our patients with diabetes.

What is a CGM?

A CGM is a small device that adheres directly onto the skin and uses sensors to track real-time glucose readings.  Having this important information at your fingertips can help you better plan food intake goals and medication or insulin doses throughout the day.  The CGM affords patients the opportunity to live more independently without stopping for multiple tests (finger pricks) every few hours. Additionally, the sensor can send an alarm to the patient or their caretaker if their blood sugar is dangerously low or high to alert them to take action.

Under the direction of your endocrinologist, a CGM can be an effective glucose monitoring tool for patients with either Type 1 or Type 2 Diabetes. 

Our endocrinologists can also access these real-time readings so that guidance on adjusting medications can be made swiftly and with as little interruption to your daily routine as possible. 

The introduction of CGMs has changed the way endocrinologist determine how well controlled a person’s diabetes is by looking at the amount of time the blood sugars stay in a target range. “We now understand that keeping blood sugars controlled all day long, instead of just parts of the day, are better for patient outcomes,” explains endocrinologist Dr. Tira Chaicha-Brom. “We still routinely check hemoglobin A1c but this is a three month average of one’s blood sugars.” 

CGMs for Non-Diabetics 

There is a growing number of people who are not diabetic opting to use CGMs in order to monitor their blood sugar levels. Without a confirmed diabetes diagnosis, it has previously been challenging to obtain a CGM.

“As more and more people are wanting to take control of their health and make smart choices, using a CGM can be a proactive way to use data that supports these goals”, says Dr. Tira Chaicha-Brom. 

The benefits of maintaining healthy blood sugar levels include:

  • Boosting energy and circulation
  • Preventing heart and kidney disease
  • Protecting against vision loss and the development of diabetes

The Dexcom Stelo device is a wearable CGM system that provides glucose readings every 15 minutes and delivers them to an app on your phone. It will be available for widespread purchase this summer. 

For questions about CGMs and successful diabetes management, please contact us here

Contact Us to Help Manage your Diabetes and Thyroid Conditions 

If you’d like to schedule an appointment with one of our specialists at Texas Diabetes & Endocrinology and discover how our diabetes services  and other endocrinology therapies can help you lead a full and active life, please contact us at (512) 458-8400 or request an appointment online.  

Don’t forget to follow us on Facebook and Instagram and check back with us each month as we provide you helpful wellness and health information.

Welcome Dr. Mauli Shah

Texas Diabetes & Endocrinology is pleased to welcome Dr. Mauli Shah to our team of endocrinology experts. 

Dr. Shah is board-certified in Internal Medicine and will be treating the full scope of endocrine disorders including diabetesthyroid issuesosteoporosis, and promoting heart disease prevention out of our Round Rock clinic.

She joins us most recently from working as a hospitalist and completing her fellowship in Endocrinology at Baylor Scott and White in Temple, TX. 

Dr. Shah loves practicing endocrinology as she says “it allows me to meet all different kinds of people and help them understand complex hormonal issues.”

“It’s a very satisfying field because we can see immediate results after starting treatment,” she adds. 

Dr. Shah was born and raised in southern California and earned her undergraduate degree from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in New York. She remained in New York to attend medical school at Albany Medical College and then returned to California for her Internal Medicine residency training at Kaiser Permanente Los Angeles Medical Center. 

When asked why she was excited to join our practice, Dr. Shah shares that “everyone I have met from the staff to the other providers are very personable and great to work with.”

She describes her patient care philosophy as follows:

Every patient should have control over their own medical care with the advice of their physician. Care should be tailored to every individual and their own unique needs and lifestyle. Doctors should be seen as advocates for their patients. 

Dr. Shah likes to emphasize to her patients that they should always be comfortable, open, and honest with her and other physicians, as they are only here to help heal and never to judge. 

Outside of work, Dr. Shah enjoys spending time with her children and husband and also enjoys yoga, watching movies, and traveling. She loves that Austin shares the same warm and sunny climate as her home state of California, where all of her sisters and parents are practicing physicians as well.  

Contact Us to Help Manage your Diabetes and Thyroid Conditions 

If you’d like to schedule an appointment with Dr. Shah or one of our specialists at Texas Diabetes & Endocrinology and discover how our diabetes services  and other endocrinology services can help you lead a full and active life, please contact us at (512) 458-8400 or request an appointment online.  

Don’t forget to follow us on Facebook and Instagram and check back with us each month as we provide you helpful wellness and health information.

GLP-1RA gastrointestinal side effects
What are the GI side effects of GLP-1RA Medications, like Ozempic?

In treating T2D diabetes patients, our Texas Diabetes & Endocrinology board-certified experts may recommend medication to help lower blood sugars in addition to lifestyle changes. Some injectable forms of medical therapy, known as GLP-1RA medications, have been trending in the news lately due to their role in weight-loss management

These drugs go by popular brand names such as Ozempic, Mounjaro, and Trulicity. 

While the medicines are very effective for many patients and can be used safely with regular monitoring, recent data reports that there can be serious gastrointestinal (GI) side effects in rare cases. 

GLP-1RA Gastrointestinal Side Effects

GLP-1RAs help to slow the speed at which food passes through the stomach, causing people to feel fuller longer and better regulate blood sugar levels.

This form of drug treatment however can also lead to GI side effects (like severe nausea and vomiting) in some people. 

A new study in the Journal of the American Medical Association recently revealed that those taking GLP-1RAs for weight loss were at an increased risk of GI issues such as:

  • Biliary disease
  • Gastroparesis
  • Pancreatitis
  • Bowel obstructions

These conditions reportedly contributed to many patients electing to discontinue use on their own.

A study published in the American Journal of Managed Care found that approximately 50% of those being evaluated and who were on GLP-1RA meds stopped them within a year. 

What are the consequences of stopping GLP-1RA meds without direction from your doctor?

While initially stopping these medications may not have immediate health repercussions,  it could likely have an effect down the road. 

Failure to properly manage diabetes could lead to complications from continuously elevated blood sugars – like nerve damage, vision loss and worsening kidney function. Stopping these medications could also lead to regaining any lost weight, which typically also worsens insulin resistance and blood sugar control.

With any new therapy, it is important to follow all instructions carefully and as directed by your doctor.   Our endocrinology experts will always discuss treatment options with you and any potential risks or side effects. 

If you ever experience side effects from your diabetic medications, please contact us right away so that we can evaluate the situation and discuss effective alternatives. 

Contact Us Today to Learn More about  Diabetes and Weight Loss Management

If you’d like to schedule an appointment with Texas Diabetes & Endocrinology and discover how our diabetes services  and weight-loss management program can help you lead a full and active life, contact us at (512) 458-8400 or request an appointment online.  

Don’t forget to follow us on Facebook and Instagram and check back with us each month as we provide you helpful wellness and health information.

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