Diabetes

Nationally recognized diabetes treatment in San Diego

Ranked one of the best by U.S. News and World Report, Scripps Health offers comprehensive diabetes care and prevention in San Diego.

Nationally recognized diabetes treatment in San Diego

More than 30 million people in the United States are living with diabetes, and another 84 million are likely to develop the disease within 10 years. Scripps diabetes specialists in San Diego diagnose, treat and help patients learn to manage diabetes. Our dedication to diabetes care has earned Scripps Memorial Hospital La Jolla and Scripps Green Hospital recognition as San Diego’s best hospitals for diabetes and endocrinology by U.S. News and World Report.

Diabetes care at Scripps

We offer a comprehensive range of diabetes services and programs, including medical treatment, education and resources to help patients care for themselves and their family members with diabetes, and programs to help people at risk of diabetes prevent the disease. You may receive care at our physicians’ offices, hospitals and Well Being locations throughout San Diego County, as well as the Scripps Whittier Diabetes Institute.

Scripps Whittier Diabetes Institute

The Scripps Whittier Diabetes Institute is Southern California’s leading diabetes center of excellence, committed to providing the best diabetes research, clinical care and education for patients and health professionals alike. Founded in 1981, our mission is to improve the quality of life for people with diabetes through innovative programs, while pursuing prevention and a cure.  


We offer patient self-management education, clinical care and care management to patients in and out of the hospital setting, community-based diabetes care (Project Dulce), diabetes prevention, clinical and practical research, and professional training and education.

What is diabetes?

Diabetes is a chronic disease in which your body’s blood sugar levels are higher than normal. When we eat, foods containing proteins, fats and carbohydrates are broken down into easily absorbed components. One of these is a form of simple sugar called glucose. Glucose circulates in the bloodstream, where it is available for cells to use for energy.


Diabetes occurs when your pancreas (found just behind the stomach) stops making enough insulin, a hormone that is necessary for your body to use glucose properly. Normally, the blood carries glucose throughout the body, causing blood glucose levels to rise. In response, the pancreas makes insulin and releases it into the bloodstream. Insulin signals the body tissues to metabolize or burn the glucose for fuel, causing blood glucose levels to return to normal. 


People with diabetes do not make enough insulin or their body can’t use insulin effectively, so without treatment, blood glucose levels increase to abnormal levels. Over time, this can lead to serious health issues, such as heart disease, stroke, blindness, kidney failure, or loss of toes, feet or legs.