Pantnagar University, India
Nutrition, College of Saint Elizabeth, Morristown, NJ
St. Joseph’s Hospital and Medical Center, Paterson, NJ
Certified Diabetes Educator
Adult Weight Loss Management
Commission on Dietetic Registration
Academy for Nutrition and Dietetics
Pavan Sharma Helps Patients Harness Their Inner Strength to Make Lifestyle Changes Through Diet and Exercise
“The absolute best moment that I have in my job is when I connect with someone about his or her struggle with diabetes and my client will say, ‘Nobody ever told me that.’ It’s that moment that can be life changing – and lifesaving with diabetes.”
You might say that Pavan Sharma has a personal vendetta against diabetes. Her mother-in-law died from complications of the disease at an early age. At the time, Pavan wasn’t a full-fledged medical professional and was not aware of the profound effect that diet has on diabetes. Yet the early passing of a loved one inspired her to find out more about the disease. “I discovered that Indians are at a greater risk for diabetes,” she notes. “Most of my clients think that the U.S. has the highest population of people with diabetes and are surprised to find that India and China surpass the U.S. in the number of people living with diabetes per capita overall. And it definitely runs in families.”
Pavan is a registered dietitian and a certified diabetes educator, with a Master of Science in nutrition from the College of Saint Elizabeth. She also holds a certificate in adult weight management from the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. Her diabetes education program, “Simply Carb Counting,” has been approved by the American Association of Diabetes Educators.
Pavan counsels her patients about making smart food choices and adding physical activity to help them live longer and healthier lives. In addition to one-on-one visits, Pavan runs a diabetes self-management program in Vanguard’s Verona office. Patients tell her that they find her encouraging, helpful and well-informed, with realistic resolutions to issues that come up in diabetes management. “New patients may arrive nervous, thinking they may have to give up all their favorite foods, but they’ll give me a hug when they leave,” she says. “That’s when I know that I’ve connected with them.”
Importantly, Pavan provides patients with the information they need so they can make their own decisions about their health with confidence. “It’s the lifestyle changes that have to be made,” she notes. “How many minutes are there in a year? Of those, you see your doctor probably just a few minutes two, three, maybe four times during that year. But you live with diabetes every minute of every day. You’re the one who is really going to manage it. Your doctor and your team are there to support you.”
A sincere yoga follower since the age of 16, Pavan is up at 4:45 a.m. each day to do yoga. She eats a vegetarian diet and makes her own yogurt from organic milk. She also enjoys gardening and growing her own vegetables.