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Dr Narendra Gupta: Conquering Diabetes


“I’d like to pass on a message of hope,” he says with zeal. “A lot of people don’t know that there is hope for a better tomorrow.”


 His zest for life is evident all around him- in his animated discussions of the ‘terrible quartet’, in the 14,500 slides and 500 presentations on his laptop, in the artistic décor of the Diabetes and Hypertension Center that he has designed himself, in his message of hope for patients….

Dr Narendra Gupta is a driven man. A few months after moving to Atlanta, the ‘refugee from Ohio’ (as he calls himself), set up the state-of-the-art ‘Diabetes and Hypertension Center’ in Duluth, GA where he pursues his mission to change the lifestyle (and life) of each patient with a holistic, comprehensive and ‘customized’ approach to treatment. His passion and zeal have been quickly rewarded. Dr Gupta has received certificates of recognition from the American Diabetes Association and the Center for Disease Control (CDC), and his facility has been recognized as a center for excellence.

Dr Gupta has also immersed himself into raising awareness on Diabetes, Hypertension and other related diseases within the community. Apart from providing his services at health fairs, temples and group meetings, Dr Gupta will be organizing a TownHall meeting* to educate the community on Obesity, Metabolic Syndrome, Diabetes and other related diseases/issues.

He also travels as a nationally and internationally known speaker. He is the American physician ambassador to China, where he spends 2-3 weeks at a time in a fruitful exchange of knowledge and practices, making both communities richer by exchange of information.

“I am God’s child. God has sent me with a purpose, and I let him guide me through,” he says simply. His spirituality has guided him through his life. 

Dr Gupta grew up in Patna, after his family moved there from Lahore after partition. He went to med school in Patna, during which time he worked at eradicating small pox, polio and worked in leprosy clinics. He even had the opportunity to work with Mother Theresa. After graduating from med school, Dr Gupta continued to work in Patna for two years after which he got disillusioned, because of his earnest desire to learn and do more. 

“The spirit of excellence and learning which started early in me, never died,” he says. He went to England seeking to become a kidney specialist, after his sister-in-law and father-in-law died of kidney failure. 

“I saw how poorly they were managed. So even as a 5th year student, I went to Jaslok Hospital in Bombay and trained as a nurse and technician and put my father-in-law through dialysis. He did well until he had a heart attack and died suddenly.”

Dr Gupta set out to England, seeking to learn more about kidney diseases and diabetes (his mother had complications of diabetes). He wanted to train as a Nephrologist, but realized after 21/2 years that he couldn’t get a position in England, so he moved to Canada where he trained in internal medicine and as kidney specialist. In the late 80s and early 90s when Canada went through a financial crunch, “they were limiting the number of patients that could be on dialysis. Patients that I was seeing for years would die without dialysis,” says Dr Gupta. Unhappy with the state of things, he started to look for opportunities elsewhere, and finally moved to Ohio in 1991 where he set up a successful practice. 

Then life took a sharp turn, when he went through a divorce. “I was miserable,” he says. “Whenever things go wrong, the local area starts bothering you. I was going through a very bad period in my life. I tried to soul search and see what’s wrong in me…who I was and where I wanted to go.”

It took Dr Gupta three years to accept that life goes on. And then he met Dr Rekha in Atlanta. 

“I was presenting a paper in Atlanta, and she was in practice here. We were introduced.” And life changed forever for Dr Gupta and Dr Rekha. They got married, and had a long distance marriage for a while. “I had my research commitments in Ohio from which I could not walk away, so I worked three days in Ohio and three days in Atlanta.” Dr Gupta opened a practice in Suwanee with Dr Rekha called Total Medical Care. 

Dr Gupta is passionate about conquering diabetes, which, he stresses, is a new epidemic. “Diabetes (Type 2) is not just a disease of the blood sugar. It is a silent killer,” he says. “It kills by stroke, heart attack, blindness, kidney failure. This year there will be 50-60,000 amputations in diabetic patients, 36,000 will become blind, 36,000 will go on dialysis…250,000 will have direct effect of a stroke or heart attack. It is a vascular disease and the most common cause for blindness in the US.”

“We seldom see patients who come in early. People come in after they’ve had complications with their kidney or eyes or heart or circulation. So the idea is to look at it as a vascular disease.”

“If u stretch your blood vessels out, it will go 21/2 times around the globe,” he says animatedly. “This is where the battle is occurring whether because of stress, anxiety, age, high BP, cholesterol, diabetes… The signal that damages the surface may be different…but all of them have an effect on the surface lining. Imagine a table. As long as the table has veneer, if you drop water, you can wipe it off easily. But once the veneer is lost, the water starts soaking in to the wood.”

“The beauty of the art and science of medicine is in finding the right one for each patient. With right medication, not only can you stop the progression of diseases like diabetes, cholesterol, heart disease and high BP, you can cause regression. Some of these conditions get better over time” 

People with type 2 diabetes have what is typically described as metabolic syndrome, according to Dr Gupta. These people have obesity, diabetes, high blood pressure and high cholesterol. “In 982 I realized the need to deal with these four in a concurrent and continuous fashion, to use drugs that work synergistically so that all four conditions reverse back,” he says. He stresses his point with personal examples.

“In Ohio I’ve had patients who had two or three by-pass surgeries, 8-10 angioplasties or foot amputations, and their surgeon or cardiologist had said, ‘God bless you, we can’t do anything’ and I used to take them up. Ten years later they are doing better in their lives. We have to find six to eight medicines that reverse all their conditions.”

“I’d like to pass on a message of hope,” he says with zeal. “A lot of people don’t know today that there is hope for a better tomorrow.”

“The US stands 34th in the world where healthcare is concerned. Therefore there has to be efficiency, accountability and cost effectiveness. Centers of excellence that have a proven record by peer review committees like the CDC or the American Diabetes Association provide good service. We don’t work for honors, but with such honors, people know where to come.” 

Even as he is grateful for the honors he and his center have received, he doesn’t attempt to hide his bitterness about the healthcare system in the US, which, in his words, “has no heart or eyes or ears.”

“People just cannot afford to see a doctor,” he says. “Around 50% of people don’t have insurance. The insurance companies are making millions. The tallest buildings you see in downtown Atlanta house insurance companies, while so many doctors’ clinics are closing down!”

Dr Gupta strives to make healthcare available to everybody. His center in Duluth has a generic pharmacy where most drugs are available for $10-20. “We see people without insurance for as little as $65 for the first visit, and $55 for subsequent visits,” he says.

Plans are also afoot to open an Eternal Wellness Center within his Duluth center. “The fastest growing population in the US is people over 100. There are 276,000 over 100 and there will be a million people in the next few years. As people live longer, they want to be younger. ”

The idea of his wellness center is to be “Forever young”. It would offer a wide range of services like collagen, botox, massage therapy, laser treatments, alternative pain management etc.

Dr Gupta also has ambitious plans of doing research on the gene patch. “A gene patch would fix a genetic abnormality. For example, if you are prone to get diabetes from your genes, an injection would fix the genetic abnormality. It wouldn’t work for everybody, but it would decrease the degree of high blood pressure in a vast majority of people.”

Complementing Dr Gupta’s fiery, passionate personality is wife Dr Rekha. “I am the fire, Rekha is the ice,” he says. “They say that opposite poles attract. She is a wonderful family physician, a very caring wife and a wonderful mother. I have never loved anybody as I love my wife, and I am grateful to have her in my life.”

He says during the years he was in Ohio, and she in Atlanta, they never tired of talking to each other, sometimes for hours at a stretch. “I have never spent so much time with any woman except my mother,” he says. 

Dr Gupta has three children, Sneha (23), Naina (19), and Shaan (14).

“Everday is the same,” he says. “I look forward to coming to work. I am grateful for the fact that I can see deeper into the patient, and lead him/her from a victim posture to a victor posture.”

Click here to join Dr Narendra Gupta’s mailing list.

* Townhall Meeting
Venue: Impact Center, Global Mall
Jimmy Carter Blvd.
Atlanta, GA

Sunday, April 23, 2006 at 12 Noon

Everything you wanted to know
But your doctor didn’t tell you
Take charge of your life

Metabolic Syndrome









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