Diabetes Treatments

Diabetes Treatment Options

Every patient is different, with different needs. So City of Hope treats you as a valued individual. We view diabetes care as a collaboration with patients and their caregivers. Our entire team works together to bring you precise, state-of-the-art therapy options that will deliver the best outcome for you. We support you every step of the way, helping you and your loved ones manage your condition.
Our care team offers a range of options that fall into three broad categories:

  • Medication
  • Education for lifestyle- and self-management
  • Monitoring


Insulin is the mainstay of type 1 diabetes treatment. It is also used in some cases of type 2 diabetes. Synthetic human insulin is currently the standard treatment, and may be delivered in several ways, such as:

  • Daily injections by the patient or caregiver
  • Insulin infusion in the hospital, to manage severe high blood sugar
  • The insulin pump, a wearable device that is programmed to automatically deliver insulin to meet the patient's individual needs

At City of Hope, a physician specializing in diabetes will review your medical records and meet with you to determine the best way to deliver insulin for your needs and goals. 

In extreme cases, the doctor may recommend that insulin is delivered at the hospital. This way of treating episodes of high blood sugar is especially safe and effective because the medical team can tightly control the dose to respond as blood sugar levels change.

If you are eligible for an insulin pump, our care team will work closely with you and you loved ones to ensure that the pump is working properly to maintain the best possible control of blood sugar. We will tell you everything you need to know about how to use the pump, meet with you for regular follow-up visits and offer 24-hour phone support for help using the pump.

In addition to insulin, our physicians may also prescribe other medicines that can keep blood sugar levels stable, help the body better use insulin, and/or reduce the risk of complications from diabetes as much as possible. These drugs might be delivered as pills or via injection.

Education For Lifestyle And Self-Management

Because diabetes is a chronic, progressive and serious disease, support over the long-term is essential. City of Hope makes it a priority to empower our patients to manage their disease and their own overall health through our American Diabetes Association–recognized Diabetes Education and Self-Management Program. 
Self-management typically involves one, two or all three of the following:

  • Regular physical activity
  • Proper nutrition
  • Stress management

To help patients help themselves in daily life, City of Hope’s care team includes certified diabetes care and education specialists. These experts serve as teachers, counselors and coordinators of care for people with diabetes. 
The certified diabetes care and education specialist will make sure the patient — and when possible the patient's family or other people offering support — understands all doctor’s orders and the many aspects of the disease. This may include a range of important information:

  • Details about medications
  • How to monitor and interpret blood sugar levels
  • The importance of exercise
  • How to develop and follow a realistic food plan
  • How to deal with emotions
  • When to call upon other health team members


When blood sugar gets out of control, it can create challenges for a diabetes patient’s health and well-being, over the short and long term. As a result, regular monitoring is a pillar of diabetes care. The specific details of a person’s disease will help determine how often a patient checks their blood sugar.
Most patients perform this important self-management task using the traditional “finger stick” test. With many current methods for checking blood sugar, only a drop of blood is needed.
For some patients with type 1 diabetes, physicians may prescribe continuous glucose monitoring, which uses a device to monitor blood sugar continuously over weeks to months. With this technology, a tiny sensor, often placed painlessly under the skin, collects information and sends it to a wireless monitor that can be clipped onto a belt. Continuous glucose monitoring can help to find patterns and trends that help the care team better manage diabetes. Continous glucose monitoring can also be connected to an insulin pump to provided semi-automated insulin delivery.