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UHS offers many resources for diabetes care

November 07, 2022

Diabetes is a progressive, chronic disease that you’ll need to manage independently day-to-day for the rest of your life.  While that may sound overwhelming, with help from the team at the UHS Diabetes Center, it doesn’t have to be.  Located at 93 Pennsylvania Ave. in Binghamton, the Diabetes Center has been serving the region since the 1970s. The center manages care for patients with Type 1, Type 2 and gestational diabetes who are 18 and older, whether they’re newly diagnosed or have had diabetes for many years.

November is National Diabetes Month.

UHS registered dietitians and certified diabetes educators note: “Diabetes affects most activities of daily living. However, diabetes does not have to limit your dreams or ambitions: With a little planning, a person with diabetes can do anything. We help, patients learn techniques to self-manage their disease by monitoring blood sugar, eating healthfully, being active, taking medications, managing stress and prioritizing self-care to prevent or delay diabetes complications.

Diabetes can affect people at any age. Diagnosis usually occurs when an individual presents with symptoms such as blurry vision, increased thirst and urination, fatigue, hunger, drowsiness, slow-healing cuts or wounds, or numbness or tingling in the feet, prompting a provider to order a blood test.  Adults 45 and older should be screened for diabetes regularly. It is important to have regular screenings for diabetes from your primary care provider, even if you have no symptoms, as many people do not realize they have elevated blood sugars.

The Diabetes Center’s team includes endocrinologists, nurse practitioners, diabetes educators and a dietitian. For diabetes-related foot, eye, dental or mental health care, patients can be referred directly to UHS specialists.  The team creates an individualized treatment plan based on each patient’s specific needs, barriers and personal situation. Routine visits with the endocrinologist or nurse practitioner are scheduled every three to four months, and, between appointments, patients can call with questions or concerns. Direct connections to each patient’s primary care provider ensure that everyone involved in the patient’s care is on the same page.

UHS experts say that the disease process is ever-changing, and factors such as stress, pain, food, physical activity, illness, sleep and medications can affect blood sugar. Communication is key between the patient and the diabetes team--whether it’s to report blood sugars, discuss a concern, or talk about more affordable medication or treatments.  UHS’ unique approach means patients can access comprehensive diabetes management and a diabetes education program all under one roof.

Recent advances in diabetes care technology means patients now have more options than ever for managing the disease:

  • A continuous glucose monitor is a small sensor worn on the abdomen or back of the arm – it provides a glucose reading without a fingerstick (not all insurance plans cover this, so be sure to check with your carrier). Many continuous glucose monitors send glucose readings directly to a smart phone or receiver.
  • Insulin pumps can help increase the time a person’s blood sugar is in range with advanced features such as stopping insulin delivery or increasing insulin delivery off of sensor readings or increasing insulin according to glucose readings.
  • New glucose meters use less blood and connect to smart phone apps.
  • Improved insulin pens make injections easier and allow concentrated insulin to be easily available. New oral and injectable medications are now available, which provide more treatment options for patients with type 2 diabetes.
  • Diabetes websites and apps help patients monitor and track their progress, provide increased resources for education, and engage patients in self-care.

For more information on UHS Diabetes services, click here.