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Energy in the form of fat and sugar is constantly moving from the food we eat to storage in fat, liver or muscle to be used by the body for growth, activity or maintenance. Complicated systems of hormones that include insulin make possible the transition from food into energy.
Diabetes mellitus, more commonly known as diabetes, results when insulin produced by the pancreas is no longer able to move the sugar (energy) from the bloodstream to the proper places. Blood sugar levels rise first after eating, then throughout the day in patients with diabetes.
Our initial approach, in collaboration with our dietitians, is to use medical nutrition therapy and exercise to promote better blood sugar control. When well-established goals of therapy are not met, medication may be added to prevent or delay the problems of diabetes — blindness, kidney failure and nerve damage.
Patients are assessed for the level of blood sugar control and evidence of complications of diabetes, as well as conditions that may be present at the same time, such as hypertension, high cholesterol and thyroid disease. A multidisciplinary team that includes a dietitian, diabetes educator, pharmacist and endocrinologist are available for consultation to reach optimum blood sugar control.
Other tools used in the treatment of diabetes include 24-hour glucose monitoring and intensive insulin therapy. Particular attention is paid to educating patients and monitoring diabetes and foot problems.
UF Health endocrinologists offer a complete self-management education program coordinated by a certified diabetes educator. The 8-hour class includes an overview of diabetes, coping with the disease, nutrition, monitoring your condition, medications, sick days and community resources. Individual and small-group sessions cover:
- Carbohydrate counting
- Continuous glucose monitoring
- Gestational diabetes/pregnancy complicated by diabetes
- Insulin instruction
- Insulin pump evaluation, training and management
- Intensive insulin therapy instruction
- Monitoring and use of results
Limb preservation and wound intervention
Patients with diabetes are at greater risk of developing nonhealing wounds of the legs or feet than patients without diabetes. Close monitoring of symptoms, such as numbness and loss of feeling in feet and toes, will allow for prompt treatment of developing wounds.
The Limb Preservation Program at UF Health Jacksonville is for patients with Type 2 diabetes facing limb amputation from non-healing wounds. Orthopaedic and vascular surgeons work to save limbs through proactive surgical procedures. Our surgeons are skilled in treating complex wounds that require care by a multidisciplinary medical team.
Related conditions & treatments
High Performing in Diabetes Care
In 2023, U.S. News & World Report recognized UF Health in Jacksonville as high performing in the care of patients with diabetes.
Clinical Trials: Diabetes
UF Health research scientists make medicine better every day. They discover new ways to help people by running clinical trials. When you join a clinical trial, you can get advanced medical care. Sometimes years before it's available everywhere. You can also help make medicine better for everyone else. If you'd like to learn more about clinical trials, visit our clinical trials page. Or click one of the links below:
News and Patient Stories: Diabetes
June 15, 2023
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