Diabetes Endocrine Health Specialist Kelly Washburn in Portland, OR

Diabetes Endocrine Health Specialist

Kelly Washburn, NP served in a Diabetes and endocrine health clinic in CT. There Kelly provided patients her expert knowledge in diabetes and endocrinology. In addition to primary care, she effectively manages the disease of diabetes. Merritt Health and Wellness has been providing expert care to Portland families since 2012.

MHW and Kelly Washburn is proud to offer personalized care tailored to the needs of individuals with diabetes.

COMPREHENSIVE SERVICES (Including, but not limited to)

  • Team approach utilizing up to date and natural treatment
  • Continuous Glucose Sensor Management and Insulin Pump Management
  • Planned, longer health care appointments
  • Opportunity for close follow-up
  • Coordination of care with your Primary Care Physician if you do not select us as your PCP.
  • MHW offering more group class opportunities.

Conveniently refer to specialists if needed:

  • Ophthalmologists
  • Foot & Ankle
  • Nephrologists
  • Cardiologists
  • Gastroenterologists
  • Physical Therapists
  • Gynecologists
  • Urologists
  • Pharmacists

Diabetic Self Care

Whether or not you have recently been diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes you’ll learn about self-management from our providers. Our providers teach at each appointment to help you gain the skills, knowledge and confidence to maintain good health. MHW partners with many health insurance plans and are considered Primary Care Providers to your insurance.

We are Doctors, Nurse Practitioners, Physician Assistants who specialize in the diagnosis and treatment. MHW uses many different functional medicine and traditional medical techniques and treatments to prevent diabetes. As well as manage and improve the lives of patients.

MHW staff includes doctors, dieticians, nurses, behavioral health specialists, and nurse practitioners specializing in the diagnosis and treatment of diabetes. Learn more about our comprehensive care.

See our services

Diabetes Education

Whether you have had diabetes for some time or are newly diagnosed, our program offers you and your family the knowledge and self-care skills necessary to live a healthy life.

Diabetes is a serious and complicated disease. But it doesn’t have to control your life. Education is vital for good diabetes management. Successful outcomes depend on your knowledge and active involvement in your care.

By arming yourself with information, regular health care and a little motivation, you can learn to control your disease. We can help. MHW Diabetes Education serves to improve the quality of life for our patients.

Diabetes and Endocrine Care

The Diabetes and Endocrine Care specialist Kelly Washburn, NP at MHW offers a team that is ready to work with you. Together, we can help you gain the knowledge and confidence it takes to live a full and healthy life.

The foundation to helping you live with diabetes is to help you learn more about it. Our program offers information about:

  • how diabetes affects the body
  • monitoring and regulating blood glucose
  • exercise as an important tool
  • how to make dietary changes
  • how to analyze food labels
  • meal planning
  • eating in restaurants
  • the emotional adjustment to diabetes
  • managing diabetes during an illness
  • the role of insulin and oral hypoglycemics
  • recognizing, treating and preventing emergency situations
  • managing diabetes while you’re away from home
  • the importance of personal health habits
  • ways to increase your own resourcefulness
  • gestational diabetes

Diabetes Q & A

What is diabetes?

Diabetes is a catchall term for a group of diseases that affect how your body processes glucose, or blood sugar, which is one of your body’s most important sources of energy. Insulin is the hormone that regulates how your body processes and stores glucose. When your insulin levels are off, your body can’t manage your blood sugar levels properly, which can lead to serious health complications.

In general, there are two types of diabetes:

Type 1 diabetes: Insulin-producing cells in your pancreas are destroyed by your body’s immune system.

Type 2 diabetes: The more common form of diabetes where your body produces insulin, but it doesn’t produce enough or your body is resistant to it.

What causes diabetes?

The cause o type 1 diabetes isn’t known, but it’s thought to be genetic or environmental. Generally, type 1 diabetes presents itself before the age of 20.

When it comes to type 2 diabetes, which impacts patients in adulthood, the main cause is being overweight.

Another cause for diabetes is pregnancy, known as gestational diabetes. Hormone changes during pregnancy can trigger diabetes by affecting how insulin works. This condition affects about 4% of pregnant women.

Symptoms of diabetes?

When it comes to diagnosing type 1 diabetes, the following symptoms can be good indicators:

  • Excessive thirst
  • Fatigue
  • Increased hunger
  • Dry mouth
  • Frequent urination

For type 2 diabetes, doctors often look for the symptoms above, as well as:

  • Weight gain
  • Hard-to-heal sores or cuts
  • Itching skin
  • Yeast infections
  • Tingling or numbness in the extremities

What is the treatment for diabetes?

There’s no cure for diabetes, but good management of the disease allows you to lead a healthy and active life.

MHW provides care and assistance for your self-care, which may include:

  • Insulin and blood sugar monitoring devices
  • Lifestyle changes
  • Weight loss
  • Consistent monitoring

If you have type 2 diabetes, you can mitigate most of your symptoms through weight loss, better nutrition, and exercise. If you have type 1 diabetes, regular care and vigilant monitoring of your insulin levels go a long way toward preventing complications from the disease. The health care providers at MHW can help you every step of the way.

See what a healthier you can do

If you’re struggling with your weight or nutrition goals, we know how frustrating it can feel. Especially when it keeps you from a life you love.

At MHW the Weight and Diabetic care we offer is everything you need to live your healthy best. From weight-loss to diabetes education, we’ve got you covered with a range of options to meet your unique needs. Medical providers are your personal guide and will help create a plan that works for you.

Our clinic is well known for excellent care and expertise. Schedule an appointment to learn more about how our approach is unique.

Dedicated Diabetic Team

MHW’s compassionate team of weight loss experts includes medical providers and a personal trainer. Together, we care for the whole you to promote lifelong success.

Personalized diabetic support

Choose from one-on-one appointments, group support or a combination. We also offer a variety of classes and seminars, and more resources to take charge of your health.

Well known recognized diabetic care

Many specialists and Primary Care Clinics refer to our clinic for our specialties. If weight loss is right for you, rest assured you’re in skilled and caring hands. Our program has earned recognition for providing the highest standards of care from the Patient Centered Primary Care Home. We span from diabetes and weight management education to long-term follow-up support.

One Convenient Setting for Your Primary Care & Diabetic Health Needs

Best of all, you have access to your Primary Care Provider, trusted team members, tools and resources—all at one location. That means fully coordinated, consistent care at every step.


People living in Oregon and SW Washington are increasingly feeling the effects of diabetes.  Over 1 million residents in Oregon and Washington suffer from the disease, and many others may have it and not even know it! It is estimated that one out of every three children born after 2000 in the United States will be directly affected by diabetes.

Diabetics are at an increased risk of developing eye problems that can lead to vision loss and blindness – more than 40 percent of people with diabetes will develop some form of diabetic eye disease. Even further, it is a leading cause of blindness in the United States.

Diabetic eye problems often develop without any noticeable vision loss or pain. This means the eye might already be significantly damaged by the time people notice any symptoms. For this reason, it is important for people with diabetes to have their eyes examined at least once a year. Early detection of diabetic eye disease can help prevent permanent damage.


Eye problems develop from high blood sugar levels, which can damage blood vessels in the eye. When there is too little oxygen in the bloodstream, blood vessel abnormalities occur, which can lead to hemorrhages and permanent damage to the retina.

The risk of diabetic eye problems can be reduced through regular diabetic eye exams and by controlling blood sugar levels through a healthy diet and regular exercise.


Diabetic eye problems can be diagnosed with a comprehensive eye exam. People with diabetes need a comprehensive eye exam at least once a year or as soon as any potential problems are found. This can help ensure early detection of any serious diabetic eye problems. Early detection is the strongest protection against diabetic eye disease.

Diabetic Retinopathy

Diabetic retinopathy is the most common type of diabetic eye disease and a leading cause of blindness in the United States. This condition is caused by blood vessel changes within the retina that lead to swelling and leaking of fluid. It can also cause growth of abnormal new blood vessels on the surface of the retina.

There are four stages of diabetic retinopathy, starting with the occurrence of microaneurysms (blood vessels that swell and leak) and ending with the development of abnormal blood vessels on the retinal surface. These blood vessels can easily leak fluid, causing severe vision loss and even blindness.

Sometimes, the fluid from abnormal blood vessels leaks into the center of the macula (the center of the retina) and causes swelling and blurred vision. This condition is called macular edema. The risk of developing macular edema increases as diabetic retinopathy progresses.

Treatments for Diabetes

Treatment for early stages of diabetic retinopathy and other forms of diabetic eye disease usually focuses on maintaining blood sugar, blood pressure, and blood cholesterol at the healthiest levels possible in order to prevent permanent eye damage.

However, there are options available for relief from diabetic eye conditions at Oregon Eye Specialists. While these procedures cannot cure diabetic eye conditions, they can help reduce vision loss in advanced diabetic eye disease.

For more advanced stages of diabetic retinopathy, laser surgery is often effective in shrinking the abnormal blood vessels. Laser treatments can be done in your eye doctor’s office. They are done with anesthetic eye drops to minimize pain during the procedure. Patients may experience blurry vision for the rest of the day and should rest at home.


At Merritt Health and Wellness, our first priority is keeping you healthy. Our bodies are remarkably good at healing when we get hurt, but sometimes they need a little help. As part of our whole-patient approach to care we specilaze in diabetes and weight management.

Acute wounds can be things like scrapes, cuts and minor burns. A wound becomes chronic when it doesn’t heal like it should. Wounds can become chronic for a variety of reasons, such as leg ulcers associated with diabetes, poor circulation, or peripheral vascular disease; a condition that develops when the arteries that supply blood to the internal organs, arms and legs become blocked.

Wound Treatment

If wounds are not promptly and properly treated, they can become worse or get infected. If you have an acute wound or a non-healing wound or ulceration, small or large, make sure you contact us right away. Our experienced practitioners will be happy to assist you in getting the care you need to optimize your healing.

Diabetic Neuropathy

Diabetics are more prone to various foot problems than those without it due to the development of painful nerve damage called peripheral neuropathy. Neuropathy can affect your entire body, but most often the legs and feet are the most prone areas to serious health complications.

The damage to your nerves can cause the loss of feeling in your feet, making it difficult to detect extreme temperatures and pain as easily, or readily, as someone who does not have diabetes. As a result, you could sustain a serious cut or wound and not even notice your foot is injured until an infection begins. Many diabetic foot problems can be prevented in some measure with improved blood sugar control and a strengthened immune system.

If you are among one of the millions of people in the United States with diabetes, it is important to visit your podiatrist for regular foot examinations in order to maintain healthy feet and a strong body.

Examine your Feet Daily

Careful inspection of your feet on a regular basis is one of the easiest, least expensive and most effective measures for preventing foot complications. By examining your feet daily, and after every injury, you are taking a crucial step to preventing serious foot problems. Noticeable changes, such as temperature, skin color, pain, or swelling may be warning signs for poor circulation or loss of sensation that could potentially lead to something more serious.

Annual examinations by your podiatrist are also vital for anyone with diabetes. A podiatrist can provide a more thorough exam and detect any signs of changes, such as broken skin or ulcers that can be detrimental to the health of your feet and body. Your podiatrist can also check for areas of high pressure or loss of blood circulation.

Clean Your Feet

Further, with diabetes it is important to keep your feet clean. Wash your feet daily with warm water and mild soap. After washing, make sure you dry your feet thoroughly, especially in-between the toes. You may also apply non-irritating moisturizer to prevent cracks and to keep your feet smooth.

Trim neatly your toenails to avoid ingrown nails and infection. If you are unable to cut your toenails safely, ask your podiatrist for professional assistance. And never attempt to cut your own bunions or corns as this can lead to infection, as well. Instead, remember to visit your podiatrist for safe and pain free removal.

To further protect your feet from harm, be sure to:

  • Avoid smoking, as it reduces blood flow to your feet
  • Buy comfortable shoes that are not too tight or too loose
  • Wear clean, dry socks and change them everyday
  • Never walk barefoot in order to protect your feet from harmful objects

When your feet are affected by diabetes the risk for complications rise. To control and prevent complications, early detection and simple care is helpful.

Your podiatrist plays a critical role in the prevention and management of complications of the foot in diabetics. Talk to your podiatrist today to see what you can do now to keep your feet safe, strong, and healthy.

Our Diabetes Services

  • Comprehensive clinical and educational services for families and their children dealing with Type 1 and Type II diabetes.  
  • Treatment for endocrine conditions including growth and puberty concerns, thyroid and adrenal disorders, pituitary hormone and bone conditions.
  • Services for transgender children, including pubertal suppression and cross hormone therapy with appropriate mental health evaluation. 
  • Nutrition classes for families.
  • Looking for adult services? Learn More. 

Diabetic education group classes

Especially relevant topics covered include the basics of diabetic meal planning, understanding blood sugar numbers and preventing complications of diabetes.

Additional Diabetic Resources

American Diabetes Association

DASH (Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension)