Diabetic Internet Sites. What to look for and what to Avoid

diabetes internetWell by the mere fact you are here, you have to know I would endorse my own page, so count this one as “one to look for”, but on a serious note, visiting websites and pages can be very empowering or disempowering, depending where you end up.  I would liken it to buying a car.  You can find reputable people selling, and also people that you should avoid.  

So without further ado, cue the background scary music as I uncover

Diabetic Internet Sites – Your Guide to Better Outcomes and Benefits

There are typically 4 types of site that one can go to when looking for information, Blogs, Facebook pages, Forums or Sales sites.  I will cover each off individually as they pertain to diabetes and the information they provide

1. Diabetic Blogs

From my experience, most people write about their own experience on their blog which makes sense.  No one is more of an expert, than they are about themselves.  For this reason it is important to recognize that what works for an individual, does not mean it works for the greater whole.  I have found a number of blogs which in my opinion are great resources for being able to relate and realize that we are all going through something similar.  My rule of thumb is that if the blogger is making claims about the disease and using references to support this claim, then it is being written by someone who at least is doing their research.  Likewise, if they are allowing comments, it shows a collaborative approach.  A couple of my favorites (which I have no affiliation with) are

Bleeding finger : A dad’s journey managing 3 (thats right I said 2) Type 1 diabetic children.  Well written and easy to read

Six Until Me:  Kerri is probably one of the more well known bloggers out there, and one of the most reputable.  I find her approach is inclusive as she often has guest bloggers and is constantly covering new innovations.  Worth a look if you haven’t already discovered her.


There are many others out there, so don’t be offended if you don’t feature.  I am happy if you want to mention your blog in the comments below.

2. Facebook Pages

Typically a dime a dozen, but there are a number that I really like.  How I suggest you decide on who to be a “like” for is based on a number of factors.   Do they let you share on the page?  If they don’t then in my opinion (and it is only mine so do what you like), is to not bother.  This indicates a power hungry individual who is more interested in telling people how it is and controlling things.  There should be nothing wrong with free speech on a page, even if sometimes it is misguided.  At least then people are able to see both sides of an argument.   I think the best guiding principle is, if you read the posts and the conversations on the page, and they make you feel better, and more informed, then it was a good use of your time.  Likewise, if the amount of posts is off the hook, probably best to “delike” the page.  Here is a list of my top 10 favorites (and naturally my page is included – yes I admit, it is shameless self promotion).

Diabetic Skill Set: My facebook page dedicated to inspiring and motivating people to success

Type 1 Diabetic Memes: A page that turns photos into funny comments on diabetes.  I must admit, I always get a laugh from these girls.

I Hate Diabetes:  Don’t be fooled by the name, these guys are funny.  They also do a lot of work in the community helping others who cannot afford their meds.

Type 1 diabetes: For a 13 year old to come up with this site, I think it deserves some props.  The posts are positive and inclusive.  Anyone with a child with diabetes (or not for that matter) could relate to what he shares.

Insulin:  A great site which is always reminding us to check our bloods through the authors “how sweet are you today” catch phrase.  If you like being able to participate, then this page is a good one to do it on.

Diabetes – The patient experience:  This page wants people to share their stories and links they found useful.  Sounds like it fits the bill don’t you think.

Team type 1: Team Type 1 is now Team Novo Nordisk! One Team, One Goal: to educate, empower and inspire everyone affected by diabetes. Got to love it when Diabetics take on the world!

Diabetic Connect:  Diabetic Pearls and wisdom shared regularly with a large following.  If being a part of something big (do not read “sheep”) then this site is it.

Diabetic Banana:  To prove that this is not a shameless attempt to get more people to my site, I have to include this one in my top 10.  With only 170 followers (at time of writing), I find this 26 year old has his finger on the pulse.  Would definitely check out the page.

Diabetic Events:  If awards were given out for passion for diabetes, I think this page would get it.  It is a combination of info (not all of it I agree with, but see the points I list for making sure open dialog is encouraged) and real life sharing.  This page’s diabetic “heart” is in the right place.

 

3. Sales Sites

Typically people are interested in selling things to diabetics (why not, there is billions out there) and that is not necessarily a bad thing.  Business drives innovation and that is what we are after is it not?  Just remember, reputable companies make claims and support them with evidence.  Any site claiming to be able to cure type 1 diabetes is one to put on your “black list” (news flash – there is no cure yet).  Likewise, dieting sites claiming that peoples type 2 diabetes is cured are also trying to get people to sign up to their diets.  Bottom line, if it sounds to good to be true, it probably is.  Remember the bigger the claim, the more likely it should have been proven in a scientific publication.  (for more info on scientific publications click here).  For the record, diet and exercise has been shown to prevent diabetes as has gastric bypass surgery so don’t come after me on that one, the point is, the diet does not need to be special, just less calories than is currently being consumed.

4.Forums

Perhaps the scariest of all sites is the dreaded forum site.  Poorly moderated, it is largely made up of a few strong willed individuals who think their opinion makes them the authority of all things diabetes.  Some unsupported claims that I have seen on these forums include “My type 1 diabetes is cured by a special diet”, “insulin hardens arteries”(unsupported by any evidence and stated factually by the individual because they had a heart attack).  Often the conversations can become quite abusive and for this reason I recommend proceeding with caution when participating.  I only belong to one forum which I find is positive and has a great tone, and that is

http://www.diabeticconnect.com

That is where I will leave that, and once again, participate at your own risk.

Diabetic website summary

As with all things on the net, there is good and bad.  My advice is, follow the guiding principle on whether the time you invest with the site, makes you feel better, gives you knowledge that is applicable and factual.  Don’t be put off by advertising (you might have seen some on this page).  This is there as websites cost money to run and to operate.  Having adverts does not detract in any way from the content of the page.

If you feel you know of other sites that have been of benefit to you and your friends living with diabetes, I would be happy to include them, so feel free to leave me a comment.

Now I guess with that, there is only one thing left to say and that is…  Go forth and surf!

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