Diabetes and Obesity Center

glucose monitor and healthy foodsDo you know your risk for diabetes? Take our quick assessment.

At the UofL Physicians – Diabetes and Obesity Center, our goal is to:

  • Elevate the health status of our community by raising awareness of the risks for diabetes and heart disease;
  • Facilitate prevention and management programs;
  • Be a resource to our patients and community health care providers; and 
  • Support researchers in their efforts to fight the growing epidemic of diabetes and obesity.

The UofL Physicians Diabetes and Obesity Center has been recognized by the American Diabetes Association for Quality Self-Management Education* and Support.

The Diabetes and Obesity Center at UofL Physicians offers education and support regardless if you are newly-diagnosed with diabetes, or if you’ve had diabetes for many years. Our diabetes educators can assess your needs, and help you enroll in an education class right for you. 

Learn more about:

  • Diabetes Prevention
  • Diabetes Self-Management 
  • Pregnancy Planning
  • Diabetes Medications
  • Diabetes and Technology
  • Medical Nutrition Therapy
  • Weight Management
  • Monitored Activity Options

 

 

ADA logo

woman with appleThe UofL Physicians – Diabetes and Obesity Center focuses on patients with pre-diabetes, diabetes, and obesity, as well as other related problems that come with such diagnoses. We also focus on conditions for which patients are at a higher risk of developing diabetes and obesity.

Pre-Diabetes

Pre-diabetes is a medical diagnosis. You may be at risk if you:

  • Are over age 45
  • Have a parent or sibling with diabetes
  • Have high cholesterol or triglycerides, or high blood pressure
  • Have had a baby weighing more than 9 lbs.
  • Are overweight

Take this easy test to see if you may have pre-diabetes.

Diabetes is preventable! Take charge of your health and let us help you with:

  • Weight management
  • Diabetes prevention programs
  • Cardiovascular risk assessment and reduction
  • Physical activity goals

Diabetes

pregnant patient blood drawGestational Diabetes

Gestational Diabetes is a condition in which your blood glucose (blood sugar) is high during pregnancy. If uncontrolled, it can affect how well you feel during your pregnancy and your baby’s health. In our program, expectant mothers with gestational diabetes will learn what the blood glucose targets are, how and when to check  blood glucose levels, and what to eat and how to move to help the blood glucose stay in the target range. (Also, see Pregnancy Planning for Patients with Diabetes on the Services tab.)

Endocrine and Hormonal Disorders

UofL Physicians - Endocrinology provides sophisticated, cutting-edge diagnostic and therapeutic care for patients with a broad range of hormonal disorders in the Louisville, Southern Indiana and greater Kentucky areas. Our endocrinologists see patients from all over the United States with complicated endocrine disorders. To learn more, visit www.uoflphysicians.com/endocrinology

  • Endocrine diseases – pituitary gland, thyroid, parathyroid, adrenal gland, testes and ovaries
  • Hypoglycemia
  • Dyslipidemia (high cholesterol)
  • Disorders of calcium metabolism such as osteoporosis

Other Diseases with Risk for Diabetes

  • Obesity
  • Cystic Fibrosis
    • Cystic fibrosis (CF) is a disease passed down through families that causes thick, sticky mucus to build up in the lungs, digestive tract, and other areas of the body. Many patients with cystic fibrosis have diabetes.  The Diabetes and Obesity Center works with the Cystic Fibrosis Program at the University of Louisville as part of a fully accredited, multi-disciplinary program focused on improving clinical outcomes in all patients with cystic fibrosis through patient and family centered care in collaboration with The Cystic Fibrosis Foundation.
  • Chronic Pancreatitis and Islet Cell Transplant
    • For patients with chronic pancreatitis, every day can be a struggle. The condition, an inflammation of the pancreas, impairs a patient’s ability to digest food and may result in constant, unremitting pain. In the past, patients with this debilitating disease had few options. But for some, there is a groundbreaking new alternative treatment available: islet cell auto-transplantation. The procedure can drastically reduce the pain and suffering experienced by those with chronic pancreatitis.

man on treadmillWeight Management

Our registered dietitian can meet with you one-on-one to plan nutrition goals that match which meal planning approach is best for you to lose weight and provide resources to accomplish your weight management goals.

Cardiovascular Risk Assessment and Reduction

Do you have any of the following: high blood pressure, high cholesterol, family history of heart disease, diabetes, tobacco use, obesity, or physical inactivity? If you want to decrease your risk of developing heart disease, then let the experts at the Diabetes, Obesity and Cardiovascular Disease Prevention Clinic give you the keys to a healthy heart.

Our Cardiovascular Medicine practice offers a Diabetes, Obesity and Cardiovascular Disease Prevention Clinic to aid in the prevention of heart disease. All of our providers have expertise in preventive cardiology by managing hypertension, complex cholesterol problems, and complicated coronary artery disease.  We also offer an intense tobacco cessation program by a Tobacco Treatment Specialist.

As part of the UofL Physicians Diabetes and Obesity program, we collaborate with physicians from all specialties to develop a comprehensive medical care plan for you.  Our professional staff includes registered dieticians, exercise physiologists, and research nurses, who can help you reach your healthy living goals.

 

Auto Islet Transplantation

For patients with chronic pancreatitis, every day can be a struggle. The condition, an inflammation of the pancreas, impairs a patient’s ability to digest food and may result in constant, unremitting pain. 

pancreasIn the past, patients with this debilitating disease had few options. But for some, there is a groundbreaking new alternative treatment available: islet cell auto-transplantation. The procedure can drastically reduce the pain and suffering experienced by those with chronic pancreatitis.

University of Louisville Physicians is the first in Kentucky to perform islet cell auto-transplantation. With the University of Louisville School of Medicine - in collaboration with Jewish Hospital, part of KentuckyOne Health - we are among a select group of medical facilities in the world undertaking this work, making us a regional leader in the treatment of pancreatitis. 

Chronic pancreatitis can only be cured with complete removal of the pancreas. However, removing the entire pancreas creates diabetes that is extremely difficult to control, with alternating very high and life-threatening low blood sugar. Because of these complications, only a portion of the pancreas typically is removed in an attempt to prevent post-operative diabetes. This treatment does not effectively treat the episodes of pain that lead to recurrent hospital admissions for patients with chronic pancreatitis. 

Islet cell auto-transplantation avoids many of those complications. The patient’s pancreas is completely removed, and the islet cells from the pancreas are isolated in a “cleanroom” facility at the Cardiovascular Innovation Institute on the University of Louisville’s Health Sciences Campus. They are then immediately re-implanted into the patient’s liver. The islet cells continue to produce insulin to control blood sugar levels in the body, preventing diabetes.

To learn more, visit the Auto Islet Transplantation page by clicking here.

Post-Transplant Diabetes Management

For anyone who receives any type of organ transplant, they are at a higher risk of developing diabetes and require monitoring for diabetes.

The team at the UofL Physicians Diabetes and Obesity Center is available to assist with diabetes monitoring and education following a transplant.

Pregnancy Planning for Patients with Diabetes

Deciding to have a baby is an exciting time with much to consider!  If you have diabetes, planning a pregnancy is important for the health of the baby as well as yours.  Learn what to do before, during and after pregnancy to keep your blood glucose (also known as blood sugar) in target range by eating healthy, being active, controlling stress, and taking the right medication.  

Coming Soon: Transitional Care

Our providers will work with patients moving from a pediatric office to an adult endocrinology office to ensure a smooth transition of care. 

Diabetes Self-Management Education* and Support Program

provider educating patientThe UofL Physicians Diabetes and Obesity Center offers a comprehensive diabetes self-management education and support program, which has been recognized by the American Diabetes Association for Quality Self-Management Education* and Support. This program can help you learn about diabetes and teach you the tools you will need to empower you to live a healthy life with diabetes. This program may be helpful to you when you are first diagnosed with diabetes, yearly for assessment of nutritional, educational and emotional needs, when new complicating factors influence your diabetes self-management and when transitions occur. Topics in diabetes self-management include the diabetes disease process, blood glucose monitoring and interpreting results, acute complications and prevention, medications, nutrition, physical activity, long term complications and prevention, health promotion, behavioral change strategies and coping with stress.  

Questionnaire for Diabetes Self-Management

Resource: American Diabetes Association

Medical Nutrition Therapy

This education includes an assessment of your diabetes self-management knowledge and skills specific to nutrition. Our team of diabetes educators will help you plan nutrition goals that match which meal planning approach is best for you in controlling your blood sugar. Follow up is encouraged to help you evaluate the changes made in the meal plan and if further adjustments are needed. This session will help you answer common questions such as when and what to eat, and how you can eat your favorite foods while controlling blood sugars. Taught by our Registered Dietitian and Certified Diabetes Educator, this session can help you navigate what are healthy foods and in what amount to eat to control your diabetes. 

Resource: Food and Drink Tracking Log

Video: American Heart Association and American Diabetes Association Heart Healthy Cooking Guidelines

Diabetes Prevention Program

apple, weights, tape measureWe offer a Diabetes Prevention Program (DPP) based on the National Diabetes Prevention Program that has been proven to cut the risk of developing diabetes by 58 percent. This new program can help reduce your risk of developing diabetes by helping you make modest lifestyle changes.

The DPP includes 26 meetings with expert facilitators and health providers broken out into weekly meetings for 16 weeks. For the next eight months, meetings are held bi-weekly and then monthly.

For more information, please call 502-588-4600. Select option 3 for Specialty Clinics, then select option 2 for Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism.

What to Expect with the Program:

  • Help preventing or delaying Type 2 Diabetes by developing skills to:
    • Lose weight
    • Be more physically active
    • Manage stress
  • A trained lifestyle coach to guide and encourage you
  • Support from other participants with the same goal as you

 

ADA logo

Insulin Pumps

Many Continuous Subcutaneous Insulin Infusion pumps, also known as insulin pumps, are on the market. Our Certified Diabetes Educator (CDE) can give you information on which pump is right for you. Once you have purchased your pump, our certified pump trainers can teach you how to use the pump safely while taking advantage of the special features the pumps offer. 

pump     pump     pump

PDM pump and pod      

Continuous Glucose Monitoring Systems (CGMS)

Continuous Glucose Monitoring Systems (CGMS) are another tool people with diabetes can use to help control blood glucose levels. Our certified diabetes educator can give you information on which is right for you. We also can teach you how to use the system and interpret the results.

Professional Dexcom

DexcomYour doctor may order a CGMS to wear for a limited time to assist in trouble shooting patterns of high or low blood sugars. The professional Dexcom system is worn for seven days, then returned to the Center. Information is uploaded for your doctor to review and give instructions on any changes needed.

Download our Insulin Pump Log.

Research

Our providers are a part of the University of Louisville School of Medicine, serving as teachers for the next generation of physicians, and as researchers, discovering new therapies and treatments through medical research.

The research staff of the Diabetes and Obesity Center represent the unified basic, translational, and clinical research effort to support the vision of the Center in bettering the health of our families and community. Aruni Bhatnagar, Ph.D., FAHA leads this research and serves as the Director of the Diabetes and Obesity Center.

To learn more about basic research at the Diabetes and Obesity Center, click here.

Clinical Trials

In partnership with the dedicated physicians at UofL, the UofL Physicians - Diabetes and Obesity Center supports clinical studies to translate discoveries in basic science and to contribute to the development of new therapeutic strategies for the prevention and treatment of diabetes, obesity and cardiovascular disease.

New therapies and treatments can only be  discovered through medical research. Our researchers are working hard to better the health of our families and community. But we need your help to help us find cures. You can be a medical hero by volunteering for a research study. There are many types of research, from brief questionnaires to clinical trials for new drugs and devices. To find out if there are studies you may be interested in, you can:

  • Ask your doctor
  • Ask research staff or call the Diabetes and Obesity Center's Clinical Trials Office at 502-852-6167.
  • Visit Clinicaltrials.org

For more information about participating in clinical trials, visit www.ciscrp.com.  

Clinical Trial FAQs   

What is a clinical trial?

Clinical trials are research studies that explore whether a medical strategy, treatment or device is safe and effective for humans. These studies also may show which medical approaches work best for certain illnesses or groups of people. Clinical trials produce the best data available for health care decision making.

Who can participate in a research study?

Each study has a set of criteria that determines if you can participate. You can ask the study doctor or research staff if you qualify.

Who conducts a clinical trial?

Every study has a principal investigator (PI) that assumes full responsibility for the study. Many times the PI is a physician. Additionally, there may be research nurses or other staff to assist the PI in study visits.

What happens during a clinical research study?

First, you will talk with study staff to get information about the study and see if you qualify. Then, you will be asked to sign an Informed Consent. After the consent is signed, the study visits will begin, as outlined in the consent.  

Are there different types of research studies?

Absolutely.  Research can be performed for many reasons, and there are many ways to gather data. A survey or one-time specimen collection is research. Collecting data over long periods of time (longitudinal data collection) is  research, and is usually done to compare current therapies or lifestyle choices. This type of study is usually for long term outcomes. There are also studies that involve new drugs or devices.  Within the category of new drug or devices, studies are further categorized into Phases (I-IV). Each phase is indicative of how many previous studies have been done with the investigational product. Phase 1 studies are the first to investigate the risks and benefits of a new drug or device. Phase 2 and 3 trials have  more supporting data from previous studies and involve larger populations.  Phase IV trials are post-marketing.

What is informed consent?

Informed Consent is the process of letting you know what is involved in participation, and keeping you updated on any changes. The consent itself is a document that tells you everything that will happen during study visits: how often visits are, what specimens and data will be collected, what procedures will be done, the risks involved, and the possible benefits. The informed consent is not a legal contract. Federal regulations dictate what information has to be included in the informed consent. After you sign the consent, if there is any new information, or change of study plan, you will be asked to sign an updated consent.

If I enroll in a study, can I quit?

Of course. Research is always voluntary. If you decide to quit a study, it is in your best interest to call the study nurse with the news. If you are on a new drug or device, they will request you return for at least one more "safety" visit to make sure there are no side effects or abnormal labs that need follow up. This is for your health and protection.

What is the difference between prediabetes and diabetes?

Prediabetes is a medical condition in which the glucose (sugar) in the blood is higher than normal but not high enough to diagnose diabetes.

Diabetes is a complex medical condition of high blood sugar resulting from the body's inability to use blood glucose for energy. The pancreas may be unable to make insulin or the body may not be able to use insulin effectively.

How is prediabetes or diabetes diagnosed?

There are several ways to diagnose prediabetes. Your doctor can order either a Hemoglobin A1c, fasting plasma glucose or an oral glucose tolerance test.

What is a Hemoglobin A1c?

This is a lab test that gives your average blood glucose (sugar) over the past two to three months. It gives the result in a percentage. The Hemoglobin A1c can be converted from a percentage to number that in which a person is more likely to see when he/she checks the blood sugar at home. For example, if the Hemoglobin A1c is 7 percent, the estimated average blood glucose is 154 mg/dl.  

Click here to figure out your estimated glucose average.  

What should my Hemoglobin A1c be?

Your Hemoglobin A1c goal should be individualized to you specifically. The American Diabetes Association suggests 7 percent, but your doctor may give you a different goal based on how long you have had diabetes, how old you are, other medical conditions you may have, or if you already have any complications from diabetes.

What is a diabetes meal plan?

In general, a diabetes meal plan consists of healthy foods at the right time and in the right amount. The meal plan should also be individualized to a person’s likes and dislikes and provide the right amount of calories and nutrients for a person’s stage in life. In general, a healthy diet includes the right amount of vegetables, whole grains, fruits, beans and lentils, non-fat dairy products, lean meats, fish and poultry.

What are other lifestyle choices I can make to help control my blood glucose (sugar)?

Being active not only can help you lower your blood glucose (sugar) but it can also help you control your blood pressure, keep your cholesterol in a healthy range and manage stress. A simple way to be more active is to walk more. Here’s an example of how to start a walking program.

If walking is not the right activity for you, try being active from a chair! Here’s a video of examples you can do while sitting to help you be more fit. 

Should I be on medication for my blood glucose (sugar)?

Your doctor or health care practitioner will take into account your health history, current blood sugar control, allergies, any complications present and diagnosis when deciding to prescribe medications. There are many different types of medications available to treat diabetes. The medicines are effective in lowering blood glucose as part of therapy used in combination with proper eating, being active and managing stress. 

Physicians in this practice may not see patients at all locations listed below. For details, please call the appointment line for the location you are interested in visiting.

For more information about the Diabetes and Obesity Center, please call 502-588-4600. Select option 3 for Specialty Clinics, then select option 2 for Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism.

For information on research studies, call 852-6167.

Offices and Clinics

  • UofL Physicians - Diabetes and Obesity Center (Endocrinology)
    401 E. Chestnut St.
    Suite 310
    Louisville, Kentucky 40202
    502-588-4600
    View Google Map
  • UofL Physicians - Diabetes, Obesity, and Cardiovascular Disease Prevention Clinic
    401 E. Chestnut St.
    Suite 310
    Louisville, Kentucky 40202
    502-588-4600
    View Google Map

Hospital Affiliations

  • University of Louisville Hospital

Our providers are a part of the UofL School of Medicine, serving as teachers, leaders, and role models for the next generation of physicians and health care providers. The clinical staff of the UofL Physicians Diabetes and Obesity Center includes:

Health care providers

Our professional staff of physicians and nurse practitioners work together to optimize health outcomes and prevent disease progression.

Our providers specialize in Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism and work within UofL Physicians - Endocrinology. In addition, we partner with other providers within UofL Physicians, such as cardiologists and transplant surgeons to manage care of all patients at risk for diabetes and/or obesity.

Registered dietitians

Dietitians are the food and nutrition experts who can translate the science of nutrition into practical solutions for healthy living.

Diabetes Educators

Our Certified Diabetes Educators are nationally certified by the National Certification Board for Diabetes Educators. They possess comprehensive knowledge of and experience in diabetes management, prediabetes and diabetes prevention. A Certified Diabetes Educator promotes self-management to achieve individualized behavioral and treatment goals that optimize health outcomes.

Certified Pump Trainers

The UofL Physicians Diabetes and Obesity Center's certified insulin pump trainers help:

  • anyone with diabetes who is trying to decide if the insulin pump is right for them;
  • those who are ready to get started on a pump;
  • those already using an insulin pump and want to learn advanced self-management techniques for fine-tuning a pump therapy regimen.

Lifestyle Coaches

Our Lifestyle Change Coaches are trained to deliver a CDC-approved curriculum, and have the knowledge and skills needed to effectively facilitate a program with the goal of preventing diabetes in those with a high risk of developing the disease.

Clinical Research Coordinators

The Diabetes and Obesity Center has a staff of registered nurses and specialized professionals to support, facilitate and coordinate the activities involved in conducting clinical research.

Research Staff

Our providers are a part of the University of Louisville School of Medicine, serving as teachers for the next generation of physicians, and as researchers, discovering new therapies and treatments through medical research.

The research staff of the Diabetes and Obesity Center represent the unified basic, translational, and clinical research effort to support the vision of the Center in bettering the health of our families and community. Aruni Bhatnagar, Ph.D., FAHA leads this research and serves as the Director of the Diabetes and Obesity Center.

Next Steps

For more information or to make an appointment,
call 502-588-6000