Managing diabetes can be challenging. No one can truly experience what you are going through. Your journey as someone with diabetes can make you feel alone and even isolated, especially after the initial diagnosis and beginning of treatment.
Here is where diabetic support groups can be very helpful. Members of a diabetic support group can provide resources and realistic advice that your healthcare provider may not be able to share. A joint report from the American Diabetes Association (ADA), the Association of Diabetes Care & Education Specialists (ADCES), and the American Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics (AAND) acknowledges the importance of ongoing support helps those with diabetes navigate their daily self-care with confidence and improved outcomes.
Staying connected helps
Support groups can help by providing information and guidance on dealing with diabetes. Among the many benefits of a diabetes support group are:
- Getting practical information for coping with problems and daily life
- Sharing emotion without fear of being judged
- Lightening the stress of living with diabetes
- Learning about the latest advances in medications, benefits, and side effects
- Getting on top of the latest research
- Finding out about the best medical practitioners and treatment centers
Finding online support groups
Today, online peer support groups are a main source of support for those looking for help in dealing with diabetes. Social media sites such as Twitter and Facebook, which also may have their own information groups, blogs and podcasts are avenues to find online support groups, although the safest groups that provide the most reliable information are those that are associated with a professional organization. Ideally, online groups will have a moderator who removes or clarifies inaccurate information.
Online support groups are offered by the:
- ADA https://diabetes.org/get-involved/community/community-collab-beyond-type-1-just-got-better
- Diabetes Daily https://www.diabetesdaily.com/forum/
In addition to online forums, there also are apps on the iTunes and Google Play stores that can connect people with diabetes to peers with diabetes, as well as forums, communities, and websites.
Tap into in-person groups
Diabetes in-person support groups also are available across the United States. Such groups allow members to learn, socialize and connect. Healthcare providers may provide in-group meetings or know of local support groups. Other resources include:
- Diabetes Sisters PODS Meetups offers in-person and online opportunities for women 18 and older who have diabetes, including prediabetes. https://diabetessisters.org/pods-meetups
- Defeat Diabetes Foundation offers a listing of support groups by state that meet at local clinics, hospitals, and university medical centers. https://defeatdiabetes.org/get-healthy/diabetes-support-groups/
Whether participating online or in-person, a diabetes support group can be a great place to learn more about the disease, how to manage it and get emotional support.
 Cervoni, Barbie, MS, RD, CDCES, CDN, “Where to Find Diabetes Support Groups,” verywell health March 4, 2022. https://www.verywellhealth.com/reasons-to-join-diabetes-support-groups-5215084
 Uzoma, Kay, “The Benefits of Diabetes Support Groups,” Quality Health, Accessed September 26, 2022. https://www.qualityhealth.com/diabetes-articles/benefits-diabetes-support-groups