Frank CaputoDate Posted: Saturday, September 01, 2018
Frank Caputo was told he had pre-diabetes (elevated blood glucose levels, which indicates risk of progressing to type 2 diabetes). After a bad case of the flu, which he figured was making him exhausted, thirsty and lethargic, he ended up in the Emergency Room where he was diagnosed with type 2 diabetes (T2D).
“I arrived just in time and passed out in the ER,” said Caputo. “My blood sugars were over 800 and the doctors told me I was very close to a coma or diabetic shock.”
Both of his parents had T2D and his diet was filled with pasta and pizza. With two college aged children, a demanding job with a long commute, not getting enough sleep, and little to no exercise, Frank was not helping himself. “Taking care of others, we tend to neglect ourselves,” he said. “We must be proactive with our health, not reactive. This was definitely a wake-up call for me.”
Under the care of Dr. Asem Ali and Certified Diabetes Educators at UMass, and a lot of reading/research, Frank has drastically improved his health and well-being. Within 6 months, he’s lost 55 pounds and dropped his A1c from over 13% to below 6%. He is no longer taking insulin and he walks at least 5 miles every day. “At work, when others take a coffee break, I walk around the building.” He eats small meals/snacks throughout day and makes healthy choices. Frank was also diagnosed with sleep apnea, and his CPAP machine provides him a quality night’s sleep. Finally, he makes sure to stay well hydrated by drinking at least 64oz/day.
“Frank was determined to make every change necessary to improve his glucose control in addition to simply taking medication.” said Dr. Ali. “His lifestyle change allowed him to bring down his A1c to a point that we were able to take him off insulin.”
“My network of support is huge,” said Caputo. “My UMass care team has taught me what I need to be doing. My wife, children and co-workers have been extremely supportive.” His new lifestyle has rubbed off at work, as some of people now join him for walks. His team even won the Most Steps Walking Challenge at work.
“It’s not just one thing, it’s a cumulative process,” Caputo said. I have more energy, motivation, and improved mental acuity.” He continues to lose weight, and keep his blood glucose in range, which drives him to continue improving.
Taking action has literally added years to his life. “I feel like I did when I was 20 years old.”