If you have type 2 diabetes, you may be wondering how it will affect your health. Learning about the causes and complications of type 2 diabetes can help you manage your condition. Finding support from others can motivate you to take the best care of yourself.
Knowing what factors contribute to type 2 diabetes can help you better understand your disease. You can also protect your family and reduce their risk of developing type 2 diabetes. Healthcare institutions, medical centers, and schools often have educational programs to help you learn more.
Educational classes can be offered as in-person meetings or online sessions. A teacher certified in diabetes education often teaches the classes. You may learn practical techniques and have a chance to meet other people with type 2 diabetes.
These are just some of the educational programs available:
- The American Diabetes Association (ADA) strives to prevent type 2 diabetes by funding research to help clinicians learn more. The ADA provides information so that you can be better informed about your health. For those already diagnosed with diabetes, the ADA also offers assistance for living with the condition and provides links to support groups.
- The National Diabetes Education Program (NDEP) provides education to those diagnosed with type 2 diabetes. The program works with over 200 partners to make the most up-to-date information available. NDEP also provides support during both the diagnosis and treatment process.
- The Diabetes Action Research and Education Foundation focuses on raising awareness about the health effects of diabetes. This program raises money to support diabetes research studies. They also offer educational articles about healthy living, recipes for meal planning, and videos related to diabetes wellness.
Living with type 2 diabetes can make you feel alone. You may feel overwhelmed by the lifestyle changes you need to make and the information you need to learn. A support group is a good source for meeting others who are in similar situations.
Support groups allow people with type 2 diabetes to meet together and provide encouragement. Being part of a support group reminds you that there are others who may share many of your same concerns. Specific support may also be an option for certain demographics, such as older adults or moms.
These are just some of the support groups available:
- The ADA allows you to search for local chapters and learn about nearby meetings. Support groups may meet on a schedule, such as once a month in a specific location. Each meeting may cover different aspects of the disease or offer a chance to share stories.
- The ADA also offers diabetes camps for kids to spend time with peers who have similar diagnoses. Through these camps, kids can learn more about type 2 diabetes and its daily management while having fun through outdoor activities and social support.
- The Defeat Diabetes Foundation offers a directory of support groups in local areas. The site offers many different types of meetings. For instance, support groups are available for adolescents and for caregivers.
- Online support groups are an easy way to connect with others without traveling to meet in person. They offer the chance to join at any time, and members from almost anywhere can participate. Many online groups offer discussion boards, where members submit topics and others offer their insight. Online groups may also hold webinars or chats in which members meet online for discussion.
- A health partner is another option for support. This is someone who knows about your diabetes and can meet with you regularly to provide encouragement, almost like a mentor. Your health partner may be someone who also has diabetes. Or they may just be a supportive person in your life, someone who motivates you to exercise or learn about preparing healthy meals. Think about the people in your life who would make a good partner in your health journey and ask someone to share in your success as you manage your diabetes.
Whether you want to learn more about type 2 diabetes through face-to-face meetings or through virtual support, you’re bound to find a setting that’s right for you. By taking time to learn more, you’ll be empowered to make a difference in your life and in your health.