Collette Wages War against Diabetes
and Weight Gain


In one year, Collette has lost more than 50 pounds with
the support and care from BMC's Center for Weight
Management and Nutrition.


Collette’s battle against her diabetes became a vicious cycle. The combination of being on several medications to control the disease as well as her effort to quit smoking had become detrimental to her health. Specifically, the diabetes medications she was taking greatly increased her appetite, a common side effect of many diabetes medications. As a result, Collette’s waist size was increasing rapidly, causing more concern for her diabetes. This cycle encouraged poor eating habits and a high dependency on medication that was counterintuitive.

Needing specialized care to manage her diabetes, Collette’s primary care physician referred her to the Center for Weight Management and Nutrition (CWMN) at Boston Medical Center.

The Center, led by director Caroline Apovian, M.D., F.A.C.P., F.A.C.N., is the longest running clinical weight loss program in Boston and has been replicated around the country. It provides both weight management services and medical nutrition therapy for patients with diabetes, eating disorders, hyperlipidemia or pregnancy-related nutrition issues. At the CWMN, physicians specialize in prevention and weight management and are trained to understand the unique health challenges these patients face.

Collette first met with Dr. Apovian who immediately recognized the combination of various diabetes medications were hindering Collette’s weight loss. “We were able to switch her medications and put her on something that controlled her diabetes but also helped her lose weight,” says Apovian. Next, Collette joined Stephanie Spaide, M.S., R.D., L.D.N., director of outpatient nutrition services, to discuss important lifestyle changes that in conjunction with the new medication could help her lose weight.

“I was in denial about my weight and it wasn’t until I met with Dr. Apovian and Stephanie that I understood that I could change my life,” says Collette. “I know the weight didn’t go on overnight and it won’t come off overnight, but I’m working hard to change my habits and right now, I feel great!” Since Collette began treatment at the CWMN, she has lost more than 50 pounds and more importantly, only needs to be on one medicine to control her diabetes.

Illustrating the family approach to prevention and weight management at the CWMN, Collette has brought her 18-year old daughter to BMC as she has pre-diabetes. “We can really focus on prevention and help her daughter achieve a healthy lifestyle before a serious illness sets in,” comments Spaide.

“Thank God for where I am now,” says Collette. “The best thing Dr. Apovian did was change my medications. I have a long road ahead but we’re doing it together. The doctors and nutritionists at BMC are so wonderful and supportive. I couldn’t have done it without them.”