As Diabetes Alert Day looms, East Texan talks diagnosis, education

Louraiseal McDonald demonstrates how she checks her blood sugar levels while speaking about living with Type 2 Diabetes, on March 11, 2016, at the Texas A&M AgriLife Extension office in Marshall. Christus Trinity Clinic is stepping up the fight against diabetes in East Texas with its recent opening of a new endocrinology clinic in Longview.

Christus Trinity Clinic is stepping up the fight against diabetes in East Texas with its recent opening of a new endocrinology clinic in Longview.

The clinic’s purpose is especially significant during the month of November, as Diabetes Awareness Month serves as an opportunity to educate and inform people of the disease.

The clinic’s physician, Dr. Sowmya Boddhula, specializes in diabetes and metabolism. Boddhula said she works with patients who often have uncontrolled diabetes, which can become threatening if a lifestyle intervention does not occur because of diabetic ketoacidosis and the risk of having a heart attack or stroke.

In East Texas, Boddhula said her patients are most commonly living with Type 2 diabetes. These patients have insulin resistance, while Type 1 patients are insulin-deficient and must have insulin.

The investment into the new service line of endocrinology provides for a full-service practice focused on treating patients with diabetes, endocrine diseases, metabolic diseases and more. Highly trained providers work with patients on conditions including diabetes, pituitary diseases, hyperthyroidism, thyroid cancer, adrenal dysfunction, osteoporosis and obesity. Patients also have access to advanced imaging services, like thyroid ultrasounds and biopsies.

Boddhula said diabetes is a chronic disease and that it doesn’t start in a day. Symptoms could develop overtime without the patient noticing, and depending on the risk factors and age, they’ll get screened for diabetes with a primary care physician.

Depending on the results of the exams, a physician will discuss lifestyle interventions, medications and physical activity changes.

Boddhula said controlling diabetes helps patients with their general health and they have a lower chance of developing heart disease, kidney dysfunction and other conditions.

“My goal is to help patients when they need me most — and that means treating problems, but also education and preparation,” she said. “I want to help them learn how to manage their diabetes on a daily basis by understanding the relationship between a number of factors like medical nutritional therapy, exercise, medications, emotional and physical health, and blood glucose levels can help patients achieve a healthy, happy way of life.”

Brandy Moore, Vice President of Physician Practice Operations at Christus Trinity Clinic, said the clinic’s endocrinology specialists are dedicated to providing the highest level of care to patients across Northeast Texas.

“We are excited to be able to expand access locally to this community,” he said. “This is the care that this community needs, and by opening this new clinic, we are meeting the people of this community where they are.”

Before Longview’s endocrinology service line, there was another Christus endocrinology clinic in Marshall, many of those patients are now visiting the Longview clinic. Boddhula said the clinic in Longview offers the same services and capacity as the clinic in Marshall.

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