The average person spends about 53 minutes a day using Instagram.
If you count yourself among them, you should note that Instagram, like many other social media platforms, is full of great information for patients with type 1 and type 2 diabetes.
Research has shown that people who are facing illness benefit greatly from the support of others who understand the experience. The emotional support that comes from sharing coping strategies, as well as emotions and struggles, helps people feel understood and less isolated.
Online interactions often allow people to connect without sacrificing their anonymity. They allow people to connect even when their local area doesn’t offer face-to-face opportunities.
Instagram is full of people who understand the challenges and struggles of living with diabetes, and who willingly share their stories to benefit others who are like them.
So the next time you’re on Instagram, check out these 15 profiles that can encourage you on your journey with diabetes.
Diabetes Daily Grind is the Instagram account for the website of the same name. The site bills itself as real support for the diabetes life and it features a posse of people sharing their lives and their stories.
The site includes the Real Life Diabetes podcast that shares the stories of people who are doing great things despite living with diabetes, including Olympians and normal people who refuse to allow diabetes to limit their possibilities.
Team Novo Nordisk is the first-ever professional cycling team comprised entirely of patients with type 1 diabetes. The team seeks to inspire, educate, and empower patients with diabetes, and to prove that anything is possible, even with diabetes.
The team participates in races around the world and invites other athletes to share their stories with the community.
Brickabetes offers a unique look at diabetes, using Legos and other bricks to document the highs and lows of living with diabetes. It’s a creative look at the challenges that diabetics face in the daily grind of life, like racing to the bus stop and navigating holidays.
Robby Barbaro is the co-founder of Mastering Diabetes, a site that offers tools, community, and even coaching to those learning to navigate the world of diabetes. Mastering Diabetes seeks to teach users how to maximize their insulin sensitivity to improve their health and their lives.
The online coaching program has been featured on NPR and PBS, and the site includes the success stories of its members who have seen prompt improvements as a result of the plan.
The Instagram account offers colorful reminders of the vast number of healthy foods that are available to diabetics.
Diabetic Living Magazine calls itself the country’s fastest growing health magazine, focusing on health information, dietician-approved recipes, and news on global health advances. Its focus is to help people living with diabetes, and the people who care for them, make informed decisions about their lives.
Diabetic Living is also accessible through the app store and on Google Play.
Heather Lampert calls herself a “newly minted doctor & T1 diabetic” and her Instagram page is equal parts advocacy, photos, and medical knowledge.
She is a research fellow at the Joslin Diabetes Center, and she recently appeared on an episode of “The Bravest Life” to talk about critical considerations for people living with diabetes, research and technology in the arena of diabetes, and the potential for a cure.
The Diabetic Journey is a type 1 diabetes community set on changing the way the world views diabetes. The Instagram page invites people to tag @thediabeticjourney to be featured on its website by the same name.
The Diabetic Journey invites users to share stories about managing diabetes, parenting children with diabetes, discrimination, pregnancy, and a host of other topics.
The site aspires to raise awareness and make a difference in the diabetes community.
The American Diabetes Association seeks to stop diabetes and its deadly consequences by fighting on behalf of all of those affected by the disease.
The ADA strives to educate people specifically about the risks of heart disease for people living with type 2 diabetes. Only about half of those affected understand their risk for heart attack or stroke. To combat that, they offer the Know Diabetes By Heart quiz to help people understand the link between diabetes, heart disease, and stroke.
Diabetes Strong features the work of coach Christel Oerum — a type 1 diabetic herself — and her efforts to empower people with diabetes to exercise safely and effectively.
Christel has an ebook called Fit With Diabetes that helps those with diabetes set realistic goals, manage their food and insulin around their workouts, and successfully manage their weight.
Diabetics Doing Things features stories of type 1 diabetics doing amazing things that often go unnoticed. The team tells those stories on its podcast by the same name.
The stories highlight how diagnosis wasn’t the end of the journey for those affected, but simply the beginning of new ways of doing things.
The Diabetes Community calls itself a global diabetes community, with the hashtag #StrongerTogether. The health platform and patient support network publishes news and information about diabetes management and research.
The Diabetes Community hosts a diabetes forum that includes more than 200,000 users, and it sells the latest in diabetes products in its Diabetes Shop. Proceeds from some items support charities like the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation.
T1junebug follows a girl named Juniper and her service dog, Moxie, as they navigate life with type 1 diabetes. The site shares the ups and downs of raising a child with diabetes, and will likely resonate with parents of CWD (children with diabetes).
Leah created her website and Instagram site to increase accountability, connect with other people like her, and to spread awareness of type 1 diabetes. To combat the struggles of diabetes, Leah created the Happy Diabetic Challenge, which encourages participants to find the silver lining of diabetes for 30 consecutive days in the month of November.
She blogs at the.insulin.type where she tackles equipment, goal setting, and basic explanations about carbs and diabetes.
Diabetic Problems seeks to create common ground for all diabetics and to help them find encouragement and connection without judgment.
The feed also frequently points users to other Instagrammers who are living with diabetes.
The Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation is the leading global organization funding research on type 1 diabetes. Its ultimate goal is a complete end to type 1 diabetes.
JDRF funds research and advocates for government support of new therapies to benefit the T1D community. Through grassroots fundraising and advocacy, the JDRF has funded more than $2 billion in research.
JDRF points to its community as the strength behind its success.
If you’re going to spend time on social media, use your time well by connecting with other people living with diabetes.
The connections to other people who understand your struggles and your emotions will help you maintain your own physical and emotional health, and you’ll likely find that you’re encouraging others along the way.
Debby Montgomery Johnson, President, and CEO at BenfoComplete.