Patient Information

Diabetes Warning Signs
  • Frequent thirst
  • Increased urination
  • Blurred Vision
  • Skin Infections
  • Slow wound healing
  • Increased tiredness
  • Increased hunger
  • Tingling in hands or feet
  • Weight loss for no reason

Take the Diabetes Risk Test

The Diabetes Risk Test asks users to answer simple questions about weight, age, family history and other potential risk factors for prediabetes or type 2 diabetes. Preventive tips are provided for everyone who takes the test, including encouraging those at high risk to talk with their health care provider.


Stop Diabetes: Take the Pledge

Our collective vision is life free of diabetes and all its burdens. You can help us make this vision a reality by pledging your support to the fight to Stop Diabetes. Pledge to do all you can to Stop Diabetes and add your name to the map. A growing movement supports research, advocacy and community outreach and tells the world that we are taking a stand against this devastating disease.

Together we can stop diabetes

Diabetes is a chronic disease where a person’s body partially or totally lacks a substance called insulin. Insulin is a hormone that is produced in the pancreas to regulate the amount of glucose (sugar) in the blood. Insulin is needed to convert glucose into a form which can enter the body cells to provide energy.

Nearly 26 million children and adults in America live with diabetes, and another 79 million at high risk for developing type 2 diabetes. The disease is taking a devastating physical, emotional and financial toll on our country. Recent numbers by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention spell out why diabetes presents such a critical health challenge:

  • Every 17 seconds, someone is diagnosed with diabetes.
  • Diabetes kills more people each year than breast cancer and AIDS combined.
  • Nearly 6 million people in the United States have type 2 diabetes and do not know it. Many have no signs or symptoms.
  • Recent estimates project that as many as 1 in 3 American adults will have diabetes in 2050 unless we take steps now to slow or stop this disease.

Now is the time to act. While November is National Diabetes Awareness Month, it's always a good time to rally individuals, communities and families. UTMB Health and the Stark Diabetes Center join in a national effort to educate and help eradicate this disease.

Three Major Types of Diabetes

Type 1 Diabetes
Type 1 diabetes, formerly called juvenile diabetes or insulin-dependent diabetes, is usually first diagnosed in children, teenagers, or young adults. In this form of diabetes, the beta cells of the pancreas no longer make insulin because the body's immune system has attacked and destroyed them. Treatment for type 1 diabetes includes taking insulin shots or using an insulin pump, making wise food choices, exercising regularly, controlling blood pressure and cholesterol, and taking aspirin daily-for some.

Type 2 Diabetes
Type 2 diabetes, formerly called adult-onset or non-insulindependent diabetes, is the most common form of diabetes. People can develop type 2 diabetes at any age, even during childhood. This form of diabetes usually begins with insulin resistance, a condition in which fat, muscle, and liver cells do not use insulin properly. At first, the pancreas keeps up with the added demand by producing more insulin. In time, however, it loses the ability to secrete enough insulin in response to meals. People who are overweight and inactive are more likely to develop type 2 diabetes. Treatment includes taking diabetes medicines, making wise food choices, exercising regularly, controlling blood pressure and cholesterol, and taking aspirin daily (for some).

Gestational Diabetes Mellitus
Some women develop gestational diabetes during pregnancy. Although this form of diabetes usually goes away after the baby is born, a woman who has had gestational diabetes is more likely to develop type 2 diabetes later in life. Gestational diabetes is caused by the hormones of pregnancy or a shortage of insulin.


Some of the Key Risk Factors for Diabetes
  • Obesity – being overweight puts you at risk
  • Age – as we get older we are more at risk of developing diabetes
  • Family History – having a parent, brother or sister with diabetes increases your chance
  • Cultural/ethnic background – diabetes frequently occurs more in some ethnic groups, including African American and Hispanic/Latino
  • Bad dietary habits – routinely eating food high in cholesterol, sodium and unhealthy fats
  • Lack of physical activity – exercising fewer than three times a week
  • High blood pressure and/or high “bad” cholesterol – these risks are shared for cardiovascular disease, which itself is a risk factor for diabetes.
  • Having had gestational diabetes, or giving birth to at least one baby weighing more than 9 pounds
  • Having polycystic ovary syndrome, also called PCOS (women only)
  • Having impaired fasting glucose (IFG) or impaired glucose tolerance (IGT)
  • Other clinical conditions associated with insulin resistance, such as a condition called acanthosis nigricans, characterized by a dark, velvety rash around neck or armpits

Diabetes is serious. Health problems caused by diabetes can include:
  • Heart attack and stroke
  • Eye problems that can lead to trouble seeing or going blind
  • Nerve damage that can cause your hands and feet to hurt, tingle, or feel numb. Some people may even lose a foot or a leg.
  • Kidney problems that can cause your kidneys to stop working
  • Gum disease and loss of teeth
Diabetes Control is Important

Our clinical team at UTMB Health and the Stark Diabetes Center works together to treat the entire patient and all these issues. Your care team might include a cardiologist, ophthalmologist, neurologist or other specialists who can help diagnose, treat and revent any problems that may develop from diabetes.


Treatment & Prevention

Treatment for diabetes varies depending on the type and severity of the illness. Approaches  might include a combination of taking diabetes medicines, taking insulin shots or using an insulin pump, making wise food choices, exercising regularly, controlling blood pressure and cholesterol, and/or taking aspirin daily (for some).

One key element of successfully managing the disease is to see your Stark Diabetes doctor on a regular basis. He or she can perform tests and provide the best treatment plan for your care. You should also consult with your doctor or nutritionist to set up a diet plan, and take your medication only as prescribed.


How can I reduce my risk?

You can do a lot to lower your chances of getting diabetes. First, learn about the disease. Then, exercising regularly, reducing fat and calorie intake, and losing a little weight can help you reduce your risk of developing type 2 diabetes. Lowering blood pressure and cholesterol levels also helps you stay healthy.


Avoiding Diabetes: The Right and Wrong Way

Read this column by Lynn Maarouf, a registered dietician offering diabetes education and nutrition counseling at The Stark Diabetes Center.

Education

Group Education classes are held at the League City location. This is a structured multi-day class that covers the following topics: Diabetes Disease Process; Nutritional Management; Physical Activity; Medications; Blood Glucose Monitoring; Preventing, Detecting and Treating both Acute and Chronic Complications; Psychosocial Issues and Concerns; Health Promotion and Behavior Change. A referral is required from your provider before your class can be scheduled.


Nutritional Counseling

Individual Nutritional Counseling is available in Friendswood, Galveston and League City. A referral from your provider is required before it can be scheduled.

ADA information on Affordable Care Act

The American Diabetes Association is offering information about the Affordable Care Act to help individuals affected by diabetes get insurance that best meets their needs. Two new documents are designed to help families understand insurance marketplaces and the upcoming changes in health insurance rules related to diabetes. These documents are also available in Spanish.

“The Health Insurance Marketplace and People with Diabetes”, is a list of frequently asked questions about the new Health Insurance Marketplace opening in your state on October 1st. If you or anyone you know is uninsured or shopping for new coverage—or simply wants to explore other insurance options—this document will help you learn more about Marketplaces. The American Diabetes Association does not recommend specific health plans, but wants to provide you with an understanding of the new Marketplaces and link you to available resources for assistance. Click HERE to read the Q&A.

The American Diabetes Association’s new “Health Insurance Update: Protections for People with Diabetes”provides information on changes to health insurance rules which impact people with diabetes, including changes that are already in effect and some starting on the first day of the new year. The ADA wants to help people understand these changes and how they can benefit you, your friends and family. Click HERE to read the update. 

Diabetes Care Locations

Primary Care Side Bar

For appointments please call the clinic phone number or visit our online appointment form. When you schedule your appointment, please be ready to provide your insurance information. Also, please try to arrive 15 minutes prior to your appointment time to help avoid delays. Payment of any co-pay is due prior to initiation of the visit. If you are running late to an appointment, please call us, as we may be able to find another appointment time on the same day. Following these steps helps us to ensure that you are seen in a timely and effective manner.
If you have an after hour emergency please call the Access Center at (409) 772-2222 or toll free at (800) 917-8906. If you or someone you know is experiencing difficulty breathing or experiencing severe bleeding or pain dial 911 or go to the nearest emergency room.
We want you to be aware of all results of labs/tests done through our office, and it is our practice to communicate those results to you. It generally takes one to two weeks for us to receive the results and have the physician review them. Once the physician reviews your lab/test results he or she will notify you by mail, phone or at the time of your next follow-up appointment.
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UTMB Health offers patients MyChart – an alternative and convenient way to schedule appointments, refill prescriptions, receive lab and
test results, and much more – all electronically. MyChart is as simple as logging on to the internet. Get more information on MyChart.
As a result of your visit to our clinic, you may be randomly selected to receive a Medical Practice Survey in the mail. If you do receive one of these surveys, we would appreciate it if you completed the form and returned it using the self addressed envelope. The postage is free, the survey is quick and easy. Our goal is to exceed your expectations and to always provide you great service. Use the survey to let us know how we're doing.
If you need a refill of a prescription, please call your pharmacy first. Many of the pharmacies now have an online refill request, which is sent directly to our office. This allows us to process your refill more efficiently. Prescriptions are not processed after hours, so please allow 48 business hours from the time of your request to the time it is filled. Medications that require prior authorization from your insurance company may take up to one week.