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From college campuses to corporate meetings, Dan Lornitis draws rave reviews for his unique live performances. He is a comedy hypnotist—who showcases the power of the human mind by using hypnosis in a fun, interactive way. But over the past several years, Lornitis was not getting any standing ovations for the way he managed his health.
Despite dieting and exercising, he struggled to lose weight. “I thought I was doing everything right,” recalled Lornitis of Evanston, “but no matter how hard I tried to lose, I kept gaining instead.”
No Laughing MatterLast July, the 45-year-old entertainer got the scare of his life, calling 911 thinking he might be having a heart attack. “They rushed me to Evanston Hospital, and the emergency team diagnosed that I was suffering a panic attack. My blood sugar also was sky-high and I knew I needed help.”
Lornitis left the hospital a bit shaken, but motivated. He quickly acted on a referral from the hospital to get follow-up care from NorthShore Internal Medicine Physician Alina Elperin, MD.
“We diagnosed Dan with Type 2 diabetes,” explained Dr. Elperin, who reviewed Lornitis’ diet and activity, and then devised a personalized plan to manage his diabetes and reverse the weight gain. “No one plan fits all because eating habits are so individualized. They’re affected by a person’s family and culture, as well as by emotions.”
Coached to a Breakthrough Dr. Elperin, who holds an academic title at the Pritzker School of Medicine, first focused on nutrition, advising Lornitis on how to cut carbs and sugar from his diet while adding healthier foods. “Evidence-based education about nutrition goes a long way,” she said,
“and NorthShore’s team includes skilled endocrinologists, dietitians and diabetes educators to help guide our patients.”
Dr. Elperin also started Lornitis on medication to control his diabetes, set a monthly weight-loss goal of 5 pounds, prescribed regular exercise and scheduled recurring follow-up visits.
“Being diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes was a pivotal moment in my life. Suddenly, the light turned on,” noted Lornitis. “Dr. Elperin taught me about the good foods I should start eating, and I stopped craving food like pizza and diet soda. This plan changed my life!”
Lornitis’ results were immediate. He dropped 24 pounds after just one month and was down 50 pounds by mid-October.
“I’m walking 5 miles every day and feel amazing! My goal is to lose 100 pounds,” said Lornitis, who hopes to taper off his diabetes medication. “My experience at NorthShore has been life-changing. They genuinely care about my health.”