NIDDK Frequently Asked Questions

Some of the most common questions about the NIDDK are answered below. 

General Information

The National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK) is part of the National Institutes of Health (NIH), the nation’s medical research agency. We conduct and support biomedical research, disseminating research findings and health information to the public, and are part of the U.S. government under the Department of Health and Human Services.

NIDDK offices and labs are located on and near the NIH campus in Bethesda, MD. The NIDDK's Phoenix Epidemiology and Clinical Research Branch is located in Arizona. View our Visit Us page for our address and links to maps and information for visitors.

The NIDDK, like the rest of the NIH, receives federal funding from congressional appropriations. Each year, the NIDDK submits written testimony to the congressional appropriations subcommittee outlining current and future research plans.

Health Information

NIDDK cannot provide medical advice or diagnoses. A doctor or another health care professional who has examined you and knows your medical history is the best person to answer your medical questions.

NIDDK offers general information on various health topics. To review available topics, visit our Health Information landing page. If we don’t cover the topic you are looking for, the NIH's Health Information may be of use.

You can also search NIH's MedlinePlus, a health website that has articles, fact sheets, and other helpful resources on a wide variety of topics. 

In addition to these resources, NIH's PubMed has scientific papers, journals, and online books. These articles are often written at an advanced scientific level. A doctor or a librarian at a medical, university, or large public library may be able to help you understand them, if needed.

For further assistance send your question to , chat with us, or call us at 1-800-860-8747 between 8:30 a.m. and 5 p.m. Monday through Friday.

NIDDK is unable to provide referrals and does not rank physicians or hospitals. You may want to ask your doctor for a referral to a specialist or recommendation of the best place to go for treatment. You also can contact a local medical society or organization for a listing of specialists in your area.

Your state public health department may be able to recommend physicians near you as well.

To be seen at NIH, you must be enrolled in a clinical trial at the NIH Clinical Center in Bethesda, Maryland, USA. Unlike most hospitals, the Clinical Center does not routinely provide standard diagnostic and treatment services. Patients who are admitted to the Clinical Center tend to have a condition/illness that is being researched by a specific NIH Institute. You may wish to view their information on NIH clinical research trials and you and patient recruitment.

Practicing physicians who would like to consult with an NIDDK specialist should contact the NIDDK investigator directly. Patients may also read about how to refer patients to an NIH clinical study.

For clinical standards and treatment guidelines, search the National Guideline Clearinghouse, a public resource for evidence-based clinical practice guidelines.

The National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health (NCCIH) is part of NIH, and is a good source for this information.

While NIDDK is a U.S. government agency and cannot endorse or favor any specific group, we recommend you ask your health care team or your state public health department for information about support groups.

Donating to NIDDK

The National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK), of the National Institutes of Health, is a Federal Government research agency funded by Congressional appropriations. However, NIDDK is also authorized by the U.S. Congress to accept donations and bequests to support its mission. We do not solicit funds or participate in fundraising activities. Gifts must be entirely voluntary.

A gift will be considered “conditional” if the donor restricts its purpose to support research on a specific disease or a specific research study, project, or conference; to support activities of an NIDDK employee identified by name or organizational title; for specifically identified functions, such as observances, ceremonies, particular public information or health promotion campaigns, community outreach activities; or purchase of a specific item or types of equipment, or other specific uses. A gift will be considered “unconditional” if it is made to or for the NIDDK for general purposes without further specification as to its purpose or manner of use. “Unconditional” donations will be merged into a general account to be used at the discretion of the NIDDK Director to support any type of research or activity related to NIDDK’s mission.

A contribution can be made to NIDDK by sending a check, money order, or wire transfer payable to "The National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases" addressed to:

National Institutes of Health
National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases
Office of Financial Management and Analysis
9000 Rockville Pike, MSC 2560
Building 31, Room 9A34
Bethesda, MD 20892

A letter should be sent along with the check or money order indicating the purpose of the donation. For wire transfer instructions, please contact the number below. If a contribution is to be made as a memorial, please indicate the name of the deceased as well as a name and address of the individual(s) to whom an acknowledgment can be sent. All donors are acknowledged.

If you are considering a bequest in a will, the will should show the address of the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases to avoid confusion about your intentions. The will should indicate that the bequest is to be used to support the research and related activities of the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (unconditional) or a specific disease or research project/study (conditional). In the absence of the will specifying the NIDDK, bequests to benefit research related to diabetes, kidneys, endocrinology, digestive diseases, nutrition, or any of the named diseases within the NIDDK mission may also be accepted as a gift.

The decision whether to accept any gift is a discretionary administrative decision, based upon program needs and public policy considerations. Most gifts are accepted when they will be beneficial to NIDDK, as long as any conditions of the gift are not illegal, contrary to public policy, or burdensome and the gift will not create a real or apparent conflict of interest, as could occur when a gift is offered by an organization with which NIDDK has financial dealings.

NIDDK is a Federal Agency of the United States Government and is recognized by the Internal Revenue Service as tax-exempt under 26 U.S.C. 501(c)(3). Contributions to the NIDDK are tax-deductible pursuant to 26 U.S.C 170. Potential donors should, however, consult with their tax advisors.


If you have any further questions, please write to the address above or call the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases, Office of Financial Management and Analysis at (301) 594-8842.

Last Reviewed May 2024