Type 1 diabetes support

Emotional Support for Type 1 Diabetes

A support group can provide you with emotional encouragement as you deal with challenges unique to people with type 1 diabetes.

“Having a support group can put you in touch with other people who are going through the same thing,” notes Jennifer Goldman-Levine, PharmD, a diabetes educator and associate professor of pharmacy practice at Massachusetts College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences in Boston.

Goldman-Levine says that support groups are especially important because being diagnosed with type 1 diabetes can be isolating. “Only a small population in the diabetes community — 5 to 10 percent — has type 1 diabetes.”

Dana Lewis, a student at the University of Alabama and a diabetes advocate who was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes at age 14, agrees that feeling alone is a significant issue for type 1 diabetics.

“Diabetes is not a disease or an illness that anyone can see. People don’t think a big deal, but any fluctuations in your blood sugar can affect your mood and your performance in the classroom or at work,” Lewis explains. A major benefit of type 1 diabetes support groups is “having someone who understands what it is like to live with that,” she adds.

Type 1 Diabetes: In-Person Support Groups

When you get together with others who have type 1 diabetes, you can encourage each other, share ideas, talk about your experiences, and find new ways to cope with your condition.

“There are problems that may arise in patients with type 1 diabetes, and sometimes going to support groups with other people who have been living with it longer than you can help,” explains Goldman-Levine. She says that support group members can teach you things like how to adjust your insulin levels based on what you eat. “You can learn a lot from other people who have been in that situation,” she observes.

When Lewis was in high school, she started “Teen Team,” the first support group for teens with diabetes in Alabama. The group got together every month to socialize and talk about issues related to their diabetes. “The support is so important,” notes Lewis. “It’s the unspoken support of knowing somebody else is going through the same thing.”

Type 1 Diabetes: Finding Support Online

In addition to in-person support groups, people with type 1 diabetes can also access online support groups.

“We’re all busy, and for younger people who are working or going to school and can’t necessarily fit in a live support group all of the time, an online support group can be very useful,” says Goldman-Levine.

Lewis agrees. “For me, getting online is just as good or sometimes better because I can go online at 2 in the morning and there is somebody there to talk to,” says Lewis, who notes that Facebook and Children With Diabetes are among the many online support groups young people use.

But, of course, there are caveats. The advice you receive in chat rooms and on message boards is usually not reviewed by medical professionals for accuracy. So you should check with your doctor before following anyone else’s advice.

Sharing your experiences with others who have diabetes can be therapeutic and empowering. So if you decide to join a type 1 diabetes support group, ask your doctor, diabetes educator, or local hospital for recommendations. The American Diabetes Association also allows you to search for support groups in your area.

Get support

Face-to-face support groups

Diabetes UK has regular meet-ups.

Find a Diabetes UK support group near you

It’s also worth asking your diabetes team if they know of any local groups.

Diabetes apps

The NHS Apps Library has apps and tools to help you manage your diabetes.

Diabetes helpline

Diabetes UK has a confidential helpline for questions about day-to-day management.

Call: 0345 123 2399 Monday to Friday, 9am to 6pm

Email: [email protected]

Get psychological help

Managing type 1 diabetes can be hard. Constantly trying to meet blood glucose targets can lead to a feeling of “burn out”.

If you’re feeling low and struggling to cope, you might be able to get psychological help.

If there isn’t a psychologist on your diabetes team, you might be able to get support locally. It can help you cope with the challenges of living with a condition.

You can ask your GP what’s available or you might be able to refer yourself.

Search for support in your area. Choose a service and refer yourself by either filling out a form on their website or calling them. You can only use services associated with your GP surgery.

Find psychological help

Diabetes Support Groups

Living with diabetes is easier with the support of others. There are several groups to turn to in order to learn more about diabetes and get the help you need to live with, or care for someone with, type 1 diabetes.

Many diabetes support groups meet in different types of buildings, such as hospitals, community centers, and churches. Check with a local hospital or diabetes education program about joining their local support groups.

Diabetes magazines can be a good source for finding blogs and for helpful food and lifestyle tips. Check the local library for magazines that can be read for free.

Family and friends can also be an excellent source of support.

The diabetes care team is also a source of support. They can help you find out about:

  • Follow-up care
  • When and how to get emergency care
  • How to get diabetes supplies, education, and services paid for
  • Community resources for information and support

The following groups have national headquarters as well as local chapters. To find their local chapters, check your phone book, go to the group’s website, or contact the national office.

Children with Diabetes, Inc. 8216 Princeton-Glendale Road, PMB 200, West Chester, OH 45069-1675 www.childrenwithdiabetes.com

The College Diabetes Network 50 Milk Street, 17th Floor, Boston, MA 02109 www.collegediabetesnetwork.org

Visit these websites for online diabetes support:

  • Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation International
  • National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion
  • National Diabetes Education Program
  • National Diabetes Information Clearinghouse
  • The diaTribe® Foundation

Diabetes-related problems

Blindness

  • National Eye Institute
  • American Academy of Ophthalmology

Diabetic neuropathy (nerve problems)

  • American Chronic Pain Association
  • National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke

Kidney disease

  • National Kidney and Urologic Diseases Information Clearinghouse
  • National Kidney Foundation®

The Cornerstones4Care® Diabetes Health Coach

For additional online support, register for the Diabetes Health Coach. It features:

  • A learning and action plan designed just for you or your loved one—based on answers to certain health questions
  • Online coaching sessions and videos on topics that matter to people dealing with type 1 diabetes
  • Tools and trackers to monitor progress
  • Tips and reminders to help at every step

For more than two decades, I thought I had to handle my life with diabetes on my own. It didn’t occur to me that having a network of support would be beneficial to me. But as it turns out, having a support network has made me healthier, more engaged and informed, and less alone. I didn’t know I was missing support until I found it.

However, the idea of building a support network can often seem overwhelming. So here are 4 tips on how to get started.

1) Begin with friends and family. Yes, they may drive us all crazy sometimes by saying the wrong thing about diabetes at the wrong time. But if you let them know what support you need, they can often become your biggest assets. After all, they already love you and want the best for you!

2) Ask your healthcare team for local support group recommendations. Getting together with a group of people who share the same condition you have can be more rewarding than you might think. They “get it” because they are living it too. There may already be groups like this happening in your area, and your healthcare team might be able to connect you.

3) Look online. Support is no more than a click away at any time of the day or night. You can connect with other people living with diabetes over Twitter (#DSMA), Facebook and many other social media sites like Diabetes Sisters and TuDiabetes. Joining the DOC (Diabetes Online Community), is a great way to build your support network.

4) Start your own support group. A great way to connect with others with diabetes is by starting your own group. Several years ago we formed a local group that would meet for dinner every few months. We talked about diabetes, but over time talked about so much more and formed some great friendships.

Getting your support network in place may take a little bit of time and effort. But in my experience, it is more than worth it!

Tags: diabetes, family, support, support groups, type 1 diabetes, Type 2 diabetes

CDF Support Groups

You are not alone with type 1 diabetes!

The Children’s Diabetes Foundation holds diabetes support groups once a month in 8 Colorado locations and 1 Wyoming location. These groups are for anyone who is affected by type 1 diabetes – whether you are the type 1 yourself or the friend, family, loved one, or caregiver of a type 1. All ages and all relationships to type 1 diabetes are invited unless otherwise stated.

Our Support Groups:

  • Denver Metro Area – all ages and relationships to diabetes
  • Colorado Springs, CO – all ages and relationships to diabetes
  • Sterling, CO – all ages and relationships to diabetes – meets every 2 months
  • “The Keepers” in Denver – parents & caregivers of teens with type 1
  • Fort Collins, CO – for kids 18 and under with type 1 diabetes and their caregivers
  • Central Rockies (Lake County, Leadville, Summit County, Eagle County, and Chaffee County) – all ages and relationships to diabetes
  • Cheyenne, WY – all ages and relationships to diabetes
  • Rifle, CO (Grand Junction, Glenwood Springs, Delta, Grand Mesa) – all ages and relationships to diabetes
  • Douglas County, CO – all ages and relationships to diabetes

You’ll love being a part of the diabetes community! Sign up below to receive notifications about the specific time, date, and location of each meeting.

Receive Support Group Updates

The Keepers – A Group for Parents & Caregivers of Teens with Type 1

Named after lighthouse keepers who symbolize the way forward and help in navigating our way through rough waters, “The Keepers” is a new group in the Denver Metro Area to meet other parents and caregivers who are navigating the unique challenges that come with raising and caring for a teen with type 1 diabetes.

To sign up for this specific group, select “The Keepers” on our sign up form below:

Receive Support Group Updates

What to Expect at CDF Support Groups

CDF Support Groups are monthly (except for the Sterling group, which is every 2 months). Sign up via the link above and notifications for each support group will be emailed to you approximately 2 weeks before the meeting. We meet at various restaurants around the area. The Denver Metro Area group rotates through all surrounding areas from Parker to Broomfield, Stapleton to Littleton, and Aurora to Lakewood. Our group will be seated together, but you’re welcome, and encouraged, to move around the table to get to know everyone in attendance. Each meeting is held at a restaurant, where you can choose to purchase dinner or not. We try our best to select restaurants with plenty of gluten-free options available. Overall, it’s a very relaxed meeting. You can come with questions to ask other attendees or just have some informal conversation with people who understand what you’re going through. We are open to all conversations about diabetes, whether you’ve had a particular rough time with diabetes, are newly diagnosed, want to talk through ideas/strategies, want to learn from others, or just talk with people who speak your language. Every group is a new experience and a new opportunity to meet someone. We hope you join us for our next meeting!

If you have questions about CDF Support Groups, please contact Paige Lindbloom at [email protected] or 303-628-5110.

The Internet has numerous sites for adults with Type 1 diabetes to find community with others and to locate helpful resources.

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Online Forums and Information
AMERICAN DIABETES ASSOCIATION

Message boards specifically for adults with Type 1 diabetes, as well as for people with common interests such as using an insulin pump.

CHILDREN WITH DIABETES

Essays by adults with Type 1 diabetes and links to other relevant Web pages.

DIABETES DAILY

Numerous forums, including one specifically for people with Type 1 diabetes.

TYPEONENATION

Message board for adults with Type 1 diabetes.

REALITY CHECK

Website of the Australian-based nonprofit organization Type 1 Diabetes Network, Inc. Has articles, forum, and a free e-mail newsletter.

Online Videos
YOUTUBE
Mike Lawson’s My Life As A Pin Cushion: “The Diabetes Police”

Other entries in Lawson’s My Life as a Pin Cushion series include “Carb Counting,” “Morning Routine,” and “What is Diabetes?”

Education and Support
BEHAVIORAL DIABETES INSTITUTE

(858) 336-8693
Adults with Type 1 diabetes living in the San Diego area can take advantage of the program offerings of the Behavioral Diabetes Institute, including workshops, classes, and support groups. Some programs are free, and some have a fee.

Books
GROWING UP AGAIN
Life, Loves and Oh Yeah, Diabetes
Mary Tyler Moore
St. Martin’s Press
New York, 2009

CHILDREN WITH DIABETES
“Books for Parents, Adults, and Older Kids”

List includes memoirs by adults with Type 1 diabetes, guides to diabetes management, and tips on getting the most from life when living with Type 1 diabetes.

Return to Type 1 Diabetes In Adults

Diabetes Chat Room

Welcome to the Diabetes Chat Room Online Support Community and Health Forums Share | Diabetes Self Help Aid

HealthfulChat is here to give those living with diabetes mellitus, or more simply put, diabetes, a place to receive the peer support they deserve. We are offering you a Diabetes Chat Room, diabetes forums, and a diabetes social network in order to connect with others around the world to talk about diabetes symptoms and diet, whether it be type 1 diabetes or type 2 diabetes, and to just chat with a community who understands how difficult it is to live life to the fullest with this serious but manageable illness.

If you are one of the millions of people worldwide who have been diagnosed with diabetes, you have found the right place to get the support system that you need. HealthfulChat’s philosophy is that there is power in numbers. We believe that, along with the appropriate professional medical help, a supportive group of peers is a must in order to stay strong through all of the ups and downs of living with an illness such as diabetes. This diabetes portion of the web site is intended to connect you to others who know what it’s like to check their blood insulin levels, restrict their diet, and try to avoid or live with complications from diabetes such as, high blood pressure, blindness, heart disease or stroke.

According to, diabetes.org, “23.6 million children and adults in the United States-7.8% of the population-have diabetes.”1 The same website also states that, “57 million people,” are pre-diabetic, and that there are, “1.6 million new cases of diabetes diagnosed in people aged 20 years and older each year.”1 These statistics only go to show that diabetes is a health issue that is not going away, that it can strike at any time, to any age group, any gender, and any race. Although the above statistics are generated from the United States, there are millions more people worldwide who live with the daily self-control, medication and diet to keep their diabetes controlled; people just like you.

It is also clear that many more children are being diagnosed with juvenile diabetes every day. Although a huge part of the problem is childhood obesity, as is the case with type 2 diabetes, there is a whole world of children who fall under the different category of insulin dependent diabetes, or type 1. However, for a parent of a child with juvenile diabetes, it does not matter which type their child has, only that he or she must learn to eat and live differently in order to save their own life. As a parent of a child struggling to understand their diabetes and the limitations it inflicts on them, such as

Diabetes Self Help Aidbeing unable to share a piece of birthday cake with their best friend at school, it is only natural that you would feel somewhat overwhelmed. We urge you to join this diabetes support society to speak to others who need to make difficult often life-altering decisions for your children.

We welcome you to this diabetes web page, where there is not only a Diabetes Chat Room, but diabetes forums and a diabetes social network for you to meet, greet, share, support, and hopefully make some lifelong friends along the way. HealthfulChat hopes that you find the guidance and strength that only a community of your supportive peers can offer you.

Please Ensure You Have Read the Chat Room Rules Enter Chat Room

1 www.diabetes.org

The services provided by HealthfulChat are designed to support, not replace any professional medical help you may currently be receiving.

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