Diabetes is the 7th leading cause of death in the U.S., affecting more than 30 million Americans, or 1 in every 11. Because it affects so many at an increasing (though slowing) rate and contributes to other serious health conditions, including heart disease, stroke, nerve and kidney diseases, and vision loss, diabetes is an epidemic to combat forcefully. Consider these statistics from the American Diabetes Association:
- 1.5 million Americans are diagnosed with diabetes every year.
- Every 21 seconds someone in the U.S is diagnosed with diabetes.
- The percentage of Americans age 65 and older remains high, at 25.2%, or 12.0 million seniors (diagnosed and undiagnosed).
- The total cost of diabetes and prediabetes in the U.S. is a staggering $322 billion.
- People with diabetes have health care costs 2.3x greater than those without diabetes.
We can arrange better expectations and better circumstances beginning with the fact that we need not be who we are now; we can be better.” ― Charles C. Harpe, Naturvore Power
As blogging increases in popularity, it plays an important role in providing information and personalizing the issue, connecting with people’s personal situations.
Bloggers provide great information and resources, and many add a personal touch from their own experience. Following are some of the best:
1. Diabetes Stops Here
An outreach of the American Diabetes Association, the goal of the Diabetes Stops Here blog is to tell the many inspiring and courageous stories of people living life with diabetes. You’ll also get insights into the latest developments at the ADA in their efforts to help people live better lives and, ultimately, the search for a cure. A lot of great content on consumer advocacy can be found here.
Beyond having a really creative name, diaTribe shines with T1D and T2D content and brings to life their tagline of “making sense of diabetes” for their passionate audience. If you want to know what diaTribe is about, take a minute to read their testimonials for a true sense of how much trust, faith and gratitude they’ve created for their readers. Kelly Close started diaTribe in 2006 and has been telling important stories for over a decade thanks to donations from readers.
JDRF is the world leader in research funding and they strive for a world without Type 1 diabetes. Their blog gives you a look at who is doing what to bring life-changing breakthroughs to treat, cure and prevent Type 1 diabetes. The blog is a treasure trove of information and includes their annual reports and smart articles written for family members of people managing diabetes.
DiabetesMine is a “diabetes newspaper with a personal twist” by and for diabetes patients. It offers a “unique mix of news, views, reviews, guest posts, interviews, videos, cartoons, Q&A and any other type of quality content useful for people touched by diabetes.” There’s also a guest kitchen! Why more could you ask for?
You’ve heard of crowd-funding? Well, this is crowd-blogging, a community whose members are touched by diabetes. The site is jam-packed with resources on a variety of topics including diet, nutrition, recipes and exercise, and a forum hosting conversations and information-sharing. and general information about diabetes — what it is, the symptoms, reducing risk, maintaining good health. Best of all, the site has a Spanish section, speaking directly to a particularly vulnerable community, Hispanic Americans.
6. Diabetic Living Online
Diabetic Living Online has a broad reach and a lot of content to share. Here you’ll find information on Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes for those who are newly diagnosed and also veterans of living a diabetic life. You’ll find a fun section on celebrities with diabetes, but our favorite is a section labeled “people like me” which celebrates the accomplishments and best-case practices of folks with diabetes.
7. Six Until Me
Kerri Morrone Sparling was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes in September of 1986. In speaking in the second person of the diabetes that developed when she was six, Kerri says, “She had six years, until me. People thought I would change her life, make her sad. Make her sick. Make her angry. But instead, I’ve made her strong. I’ve made her fearless. And I’ve made her appreciate everything she has, everything she fights for. She hasn’t let me make her choices. She refuses to let me own her. She controls me.” In addition to writing posts over 10 years, Kelli authored Balancing Diabetes, strategies for managing the disease, and many articles.
8. College Diabetes Network
Some of the best, honest and heartfelt blog posts you’ll find anywhere. Many of us remember the charge of breaking away and going to college and the feeling of independence it gives. But there’s also a vulnerability of striking it out in the New World on your own, and for those who live with diabetes there are some unique challenges to consider. The kids are all right- and the blog is flat-out great.
9. Diabetic Connect
Diabetic Connect is a social network built for people with diabetes. There are many interesting posts to be found and a lot of good back-and-forth among the membership. So while the content is impressive and important, it’s the community that is most impressive.
Kelly Kunik started her blog about diabetes 10 years ago. Diagnosed in 1977 as a child, she has had diabetes for 40 years. Her goal is to “spread diabetes validation through humor, ownership, and advocacy, busting diabetes myths and perpetuating diabetes realities.” Kelly also speaks and consults. Her blog was named one of HealthLine’s Best Diabetes Blogs for the last three years.
11. Scott’s Diabetes Blog
Scott was diagnosed in April of 1980. He is a , blogger, speaker, writer, advocate, and co-host for DSMA Live. Like other bloggers, he offers the disclaimer that he is not a medical professional but a person with real-life experience managing his disease and the mental stresses that accompany it. Links to other resources like the Diabetic Online Community (DOC) add value.
12. Insulin Nation
A bi-lingual publication, Insulin Nation is all about giving readers information on standard topics like research, lifestyle and treatment. They promote a writing style that embraces humor and spirit while not running away from the many frustrations those with Type 1 diabetes encounter. If you’ve got a story to tell, they’d like to hear from you and actively promote reader submittals.
13. Diabetes Self-Management
The blog posts are great and there’s a lot more content that merits consideration. Keep in mind, the folks behind Diabetes Self-Management are not new to this. They’ve been producing content since ’83 and have won a staggering number of awards. A key source for tips and insights on a healthy life.
14. D-Mom Blog
Leighann Calentine authored a book Kids First, Diabetes Second as well as her website D-Mom Blog. Her daughter was diagnosed with diabetes at four years old and her son with bicuspid aortic valve. Both thrive, and almost certainly that’s thanks in no small part to Leighann’s devoted, optimistic and professional work, which she shares on her blog. Her site is filled with great projects, videos, resources and valuable information.
15. Diabetes Sisters
DiabetesSisters was founded in January 2008 by a woman diagnosed with diabetes in the early 1990s. In trying to find resources for herself and learn to manage her own diabetes, the founder discovered how few information and resources were available for women. The difficulty was most acute at important life stages of puberty or pregnancy or menopause. “DiabetesSisters offers a range of education and support services to help women of all ages with all types of diabetes live healthier, fuller lives.” The site is packed with blogs, expert advice, forums, events, an educational library, PODS meetups, a webinar series and a leadership institute.
16. Our Diabetic Life
Meri’s story will resonate in your heart. Read about her three of four sons with type I diabetes, the husband she lost to metastatic melanoma, and the man she met and married two years later. As a woman who made the journey from saving her children’s lives to seeing them take responsibility for saving their own, she is well-qualified to share tips and information on things that worked for them. The site contains many links to useful information on the internet.
17. Diabetes Health
Diabetes Health is an award-winning publication by Nadia Al-Samarrie. She doesn’t do it alone- Diabetes Health has wonderfully insightful content from many people with important advice on staying active, recipes and the latest in technology and devices. There’s a lot of great and fun information here, and if you’ve got any questions after reading it, just click on “ask Nadia.”
18. Bitter~Sweet Diabetes
Karen Graffeo, author of this blog, was diagnosed type 1 diabetes in 1979 at age 11. She leads the monthly Virtual PODS support meetings for DiabetesSisters. She consults as a moderator and research assistant for DiabetesSistersVoices. Karen especially appreciates today’s improved devices that help her manage her diabetes better with fewer restrictions. Like many other of these blogs, Karen’s includes personal reflections and memories along with tips, recipes and product recommendations. And she can knit!
ASweetLife directs its readership to a handful of really well-written blogs written by people who live with diabetes. Jessica Apple’s work stands out, but all of the posts bring great information and a keen perspective into diet, lifestyle and wellness. And as you might have guessed by the title, there’s some culinary tips to be found, as well!
20. Diabetes Dad
The Diabetes Dad, has been active in diabetes causes since his daughter was diagnosed in 1992 at the age of two. His son was also diagnosed in March of 2009 at the age of thirteen. When his daughter was diagnosed and looked up at him and said, “Daddy, Fix!” he made her a promise that they would not stop until they found a cure for her and millions more like her. He also committed to do everything he could to stay educated to the most current procedures and tools to keep his kids healthy. The purpose of his blog is to educate and inspire all those who are parents of diabetics or who live with diabetes.
21. The Organic Diabetic
Based on the east coast, The Organic Diabetic blog leans heavily on a healthy farm-to-table organic way of life and we applaud Chris for bringing it to the forefront. Insights into blood sugar, glutens, exercise and general wellness abound in Chris’ blog. Check it out even if you don’t eat strictly organic food. And don’t stop at the blog- also check out the healthy twitter feed.
Whether you were recently diagnosed and are struggling with your new reality, whether you are a seasoned and experienced diabetic, or whether you are a caregiver for, or friend of, a diabetic, you will find a network of friends, lots of support, great information and many resources on these blogs.