Diabetes Care and Treatment
Why Choose Treatment for Diabetes at University of Colorado Hospital?
Find out more
Call (720) 848-2650 to request an appointment
Read the brochure about our Education Program
Patients in the University of Colorado Hospital Diabetes program benefit from a team approach to care designed to meet the individual needs of our patients.
Self-Management Education Program
Our American Diabetes Association (ADA)-recognized Diabetes Self-Management Education Program provides patients the tools and resources they need to successfully manage their diabetes. Your primary care provider (PCP) can refer you to the diabetes education program.
Patients meet one-on-one and attend group classes with a certified diabetes educator to create a comprehensive diabetes management plan, which includes:
- Healthy eating
- Being active
- Taking medication
- Problem solving
- Reducing risks
- Healthy coping
Get AADE Self-Care Behavior Handouts
Our goal is to give you the best medical care and educational support to prepare you to successfully meet the challenges of living with diabetes.
What is Diabetes?
Diabetes causes high levels of blood glucose (sugar in the blood) due to problems with insulin, a hormone that regulates blood glucose levels.
Diabetes affects more than 20 million adults and children in the United States, a number that continues to grow.
The two types of diabetes
- Type 1 diabetes results from the body's failure to produce insulin. It usually develops quickly and may or may not be related to family history of diabetes. Five to 10 percent of Americans with diabetes have type 1 diabetes.
- Type 2 diabetes results form the body's failure to properly use insulin. It usually develops slowly over months and years, and is typically related to family history of diabetes. Most Americans with diabetes have type 2 diabetes.
Read our Diabetes Overview
Tests & Treatments
Common Tests for Diabetes
- Fasting Plasma Glucose Test (FPG). A blood test that determines if you have diabetes.
- Oral Glucose Tolerance Test (OGTT). A series of blood tests are performed after you consume a sweet drink to determine if you have diabetes.
- Hemoglobin A1C. A test that measures your "average" blood glucose levels over a two- to three-month period. This test can be used to determine if you have diabetes. If you already know you have diabetes, this test helps your diabetes team determine your risk for developing complications of the disease, and to adjust your treatment plan accordingly.
Diabetes Care & Treatments
- Healthy Eating. A healthy eating plan is important for everybody. If you have diabetes it is especially important to understand how your food and beverage choices impact your blood glucose, blood pressure, and cholesterol levels. A diabetes educator helps you learn to count carbohydrates, read food labels, and make healthier choices when dining out.
- Exercise. A regular exercise program is a crucial part of your diabetes management and greatly increases your success and quality of life with diabetes.
- Blood Glucose Testing/Monitoring. A test you will perform on your own with a device that uses a small finger prick to check your blood glucose (blood sugar) levels. Blood glucose testing is a tool for both you and your provider to learn about how food, exercise, stress, and medication impacts you. A diabetes educator can show you how to test, explain when to test, and help you understand the results.
- Medication. Diabetes can be treat with a variety of medications. Oral medications, injectable medication, and insulin can be used by people with Type 2 diabetes. Insulin is the only treatment for Type 1 diabetes. You and your healthcare provider will determine the type(s) and amount of medication you need to assist with better blood glucose levels. A diabetes educator will explain how your medication works, when to take it, how to take it, and what to do in special situations like an illness.
Your Medical Team
Our program at University of Colorado Hospital uses a team approach to provide you with the care and support you need to successfully manage your diabetes.
Diabetes specialists to help you
- Endocrinologist – a doctor who specializes in the body's hormone activity. An endocrinologist is a diabetes specialist.
- Certified Diabetes Educator – a professional (nurse, dietician, or pharmacist) who is trained in diabetes management. Our educators will work with you to develop an individual plan to help you meet your diabetes management goals. Educators also teach various classes about healthy eating, stress management, starting an exercise program, treatment options, and goal attainment.
- Registered Nurse – a fully qualified nurse. Our nurses are specifically trained in the care of diabetes patients and teach patients to perform home testing and help address various medical concerns.
- Registered Dietician – a professional trained to prevent and treat disease using medical nutrition therapy. The dietician will partner with you to create an individualized plan that is designed to meet your weight management goals (if applicable) and that is tailored to your medication regimen.
- Pharmacist – a professional trained in the therapeutic use of medications. A pharmacist routinely provides medication therapy evaluations and recommendations to patients and health care professionals. Clinical pharmacists are a primary source of scientifically valid information and advice regarding the safe, appropriate, and cost-effective use of prescription and over-the-counter medications.
Patient Education About Diabetes
Living With Diabetes
Getting a second opinion
Diabetes requires a life-long commitment to treatment. It is important that you feel comfortable with your medical team, as you will work closely with them to manage your care. UCH is happy to offer a second opinion and to work with you if you choose to come to our hospital for treatment.
Diabetes is a life-long disease that can create many challenges in your daily life. However, it is treatable with the proper medication, diet and exercise.
Diabetes management can be complex. Knowledge, tools, and support are fundamental to your success as a person living with the disease.
Poorly-managed diabetes leads to complications!
If left untreated or poorly managed, diabetes can lead to many serious problems, including:
- Heart disease
- Kidney disease
- Kidney failure
- Sexual dysfunction
Our comprehensive approach to care
At UCH we offer a comprehensive approach to diabetes care. We have an American Diabetes Association (ADA)-recognized diabetes education program that meets the national standards for diabetes self-management education.
Read our Patient Self-Management Education brochure
Our diabetes educators are health care professionals – dietitians, nurses, and pharmacists – who specialize in the many details of managed diabetes care.
These handouts are in downloadable PDF format.
Additional Diabetes Resources
American Diabetes Association (ADA)
Juvenile Diabetes Foundation
Diabetes Exercise and Sports Association
Colorado Dietetic Association
Team WILD (Women Inspiring Life with Diabetes)
Our mission statement and philosophy of care
- To provide the highest quality educational resources for persons with diabetes. We believe that education is the key to empowering the person with diabetes to better manage his or her disease and achieve optimum health.
- We believe in advocating for our patients. We work with the patient to meet their immediate and long term goals by engaging in meaningful and continuous dialogue. We aim to identify the factors that impact their choices (culture, literacy, finances, readiness to change) and collaboratively brainstorm solutions.