Heather M. Jones is a freelance writer with a focus on health, parenting, disability, and feminism. 
Elizabeth Barnes, RDN, is a registered dietitian nutritionist who specializes in eating disorders, type 2 diabetes, and heart health.
By 2030, it is estimated that globally over 500 million people will be living with type 2 diabetes.
Receiving a diagnosis of type 2 diabetes and learning to manage your condition can be overwhelming and confusing. People with diabetes spend an estimated 8,000 hours per year self-managing their condition in addition to the time they spend within a medical setting. Support groups can be a helpful addition to your diabetes management team, along with guidance and care from your healthcare providers.
Read on to find information on select online and in-person support groups.
photography by Kate Hiscock / Getty Images
Support groups for diabetes are not a replacement for professional medical care. It is important to research groups before joining them and always verify information received from support groups and their members.

Key Specs
Defeat Diabetes Foundation (DDF) has been in existence for more than 30 years. Its mission is to find sustainable solutions to help prevent, identify, and manage type 2 diabetes. It raises awareness of diabetes by providing research-based information to communities and individuals. DDF offers action-oriented steps everyone can take to help prevent the development of type 2 diabetes, including providing information on nutrition and exercise and sharing comprehensive resources on their website.
DDF provides outreach and helps people connect with community-based impact programs. In addition to information found on their website, they offer a sign-up newsletter and a search tool to find support groups.
Key Specs
The American Diabetes Association (ADA) is a large organization consisting of a network of over 565,000 volunteers (as well as families and caregivers), more than 250 staff members, and a professional society of almost 16,000 healthcare providers.
ADA aims to prevent diabetes and improve the lives of those who are affected by diabetes. They fund research, provide services to communities, offer credible information, and advocate for the rights of those with diabetes.

The ADA runs a recognized diabetes education program facilitated by certified educators, which helps people with diabetes learn practical information about their condition and gain skills and confidence as they navigate living with diabetes. A referral from the healthcare provider managing your diabetes is needed to enter the program.

The ADA also offers an afterschool program for kids ages 5 to 12 called Project Power. The program promotes healthy lifestyle choices that can help prevent type 2 diabetes and empower children to develop healthy lifelong habits.
The program is free and offered in person or virtually. Check the website for available dates and times.

Key Specs
Beyond Type 2 is a program that stems from the nonprofit organization Beyond Type 1. Beyond Type 1 was founded in 2015 and launched Beyond Type 2 in 2019.
Beyond Type 2 provides a platform for people with type 2 diabetes to connect online with a community in which they can ask questions, share experiences, exchange ideas and resources, and more. The program is available in both English and Spanish.
Beyond Type 2 is supported by a partnership between The American Diabetes Association and Beyond Type 1.
Key Specs
Carenity is an online community that offers a social network through a newsfeed, discussion forums, private messaging, and more.
Under the Carenity umbrella, there is a section specifically for people with type 2 diabetes.
Key Specs
Founded in 2008, DiabetesSisters is an organization managed by women with diabetes that offers education and support services to help women living with diabetes thrive. Peer support is a core component of the organization.
DiabetesSisters has an online forum through which women with diabetes can connect with each other.
DiabetesSisters also has a program called Part of DiabetesSisters (PODS) Meetups for women age 18 and up who are living with any type of diabetes, including prediabetes. You can look at the spotlight list on their meetups page, check their event calendar, or complete a PODS interest form to connect with a meetup.
Key Specs
TuDiabetes is an online community for people with all types of diabetes. It is a program through the nonprofit organization Beyond Type 1 and is sponsored by the Diabetes Hands Foundation. As of 2014, it had more than 35,000 registered members.
Content on the message boards is curated by members and should not be used as a primary source of information but as a place to start your search or as a complement to expert advice.

Key Specs
Diabetes Daily was founded in 2005 after one of its founders was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes and saw a need for community-based support for people living with diabetes.
Diabetes Daily has online forums through its website and also helps people connect through Facebook, Twitter, and email. Their online community is made up of almost 1 million members.
The Diabetes Daily website posts information about diabetes, including recipes.

Both online and in-person local diabetes groups foster a community that includes aspects such as:
Some benefits of an online support group include:
There can be downsides to online support groups as well, such as:
In-person support groups can be more difficult to plan as they require a venue (such as places of worship, classrooms, or community centers) and occur on a schedule that must be worked into the participants’ calendars.
While less convenient, some people may prefer in-person groups as they allow for a more personal face-to-face connection. They can also foster relationships with local people who may have common interests outside of their condition. In-person groups also provide the opportunity for social activities and guest speakers.
Support groups can help people with type 2 diabetes connect with others who have the same condition. These groups allow for peer support, sharing information and resources, venting frustration, offering encouragement, and more.
Support groups can exist in-person or online (such as on online forums or social media).
Information found in support groups is not always accurate and should be verified. Support groups are not a substitute for professional medical care.
Whether you have just received a diagnosis, or have been living with type 2 diabetes for a while, you may find a support group beneficial.
Do your research before joining an in-person or online group to make sure they are a credible resource, and talk to your healthcare provider before applying the medical advice you receive from other members.
Looking at credible diabetes organizations such as the American Diabetes Association and Beyond Type 1/Beyond Type 2 is a good start. Check the community links on these websites for online forums or links to support groups.
There are a number of ways you can help support someone with diabetes, including:
Beyond Type 2. Home.
Litchman ML, Walker HR, Ng AH, et al. State of the science: a scoping review and gap analysis of diabetes online communities. J Diabetes Sci Technol. 2019;13(3):466-492. doi:10.1177/1932296819831042
Hilliard ME, Sparling KM, Hitchcock J, Oser TK, Hood KK. The emerging diabetes online community. Curr Diabetes Rev. 2015;11(4):261-272. doi:10.2174/1573399811666150421123448
Defeat Diabetes Foundation. The tools you need to win the fight to defeat diabetes.
American Diabetes Association. Home.
Carenity. Diabetes (type 2) forum.
DiabetesSisters. Home.
TuDiabetes. Home.
Diabetes Daily. Welcome to Diabetes Daily!
Herrero N, Guerrero-Solé F, Mas-Manchón L. Participation of patients with type 2 diabetes in online support groups is correlated to lower levels of diabetes self-management. J Diabetes Sci Technol. 2021;15(1):121-126. doi:10.1177/1932296820909830
diaTribe. How and where to find in-person support groups and social activities for young adults with diabetes.
Centers For Disease Control and Prevention. Friends, family & diabetes.
By Heather Jones
Heather M. Jones is a freelance writer with a strong focus on health, parenting, disability, and feminism. 

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