Being diagnosed with type 2 diabetes can feel overwhelming. While the advice of your doctor is invaluable, connecting with other people living with the same condition can bring great comfort.
T2D Healthline is a free app created for people diagnosed with type 2 diabetes. The app matches you with others based on diagnosis, treatment, and personal interests so you can connect, share, and learn from one another.
Sydney Williams, who blogs at Hiking My Feelings, says the app is just what she needed.
When Williams was diagnosed with type 2 diabetes in 2017, she says she was fortunate to have access to health insurance and healthy food, as well as a supportive husband and flexible job that allowed her time off for doctor’s appointments.
“The thing I didn’t know I’ve been missing until now? A community of diabetics to bounce ideas off, connect with, and learn from,” says Williams. “The ability to connect with users who are already living this life gives me hope for the social support portion of managing this disease.”
While she takes responsibility for everything she eats, how often she exercises, and how well she manages stress, she says having others to lean on makes it all a little easier.
“This disease is mine to manage, but having some friends who ‘get it’ makes it that much easier,” she says.
Each weekday, the T2D Healthline app hosts groups discussions moderated by a guide living with type 2 diabetes. Topics include diet and nutrition, exercise and fitness, healthcare, medications and treatments, complications, relationships, travel, mental health, sexual health, pregnancy, and more.
Biz Velatini, who blogs at My Bizzy Kitchen, says the groups feature is her favorite because she can pick and choose which ones interest her and which she wants to participate in.
“My favorite group [is] the diet and nutrition one because I love to cook and make healthy delicious food that’s easy to make. Having diabetes doesn’t mean you have to eat boring food,” she says.
Williams agrees and says she enjoys seeing different recipes and photos that users share in the diet and nutrition group.
“In some cases, I have some tips and tricks that have helped me, so I’ve been really excited to share those with the other folks who are exploring the app,” she says.
What’s most timely though, adds Velatini, is the group discussions on coping with COVID-19.
“The timing couldn’t be better with people unable to go to regular doctor’s appointments and maybe get answers to simple questions while quarantined,” she says. “This group has been super helpful so far to help us all stay informed about the extra precautions we should take as folks living with diabetes.”
Every day at 12 p.m. Pacific Standard Time (PST), the T2D Healthline app matches users with other members of the community. Users can also browse member profiles and request to match instantly.
If someone wants to match with you, you’re notified right away. Once connected, members can message and share photos with one another.
Williams says the match feature is a great way to connect, especially during times when in-person gatherings with others is limited.
“I love meeting new people. My work takes me around the country to connect with diabetics and share the story of how hiking helped me reverse my type 2 diabetes,” says Williams.
“Since COVID-19 caused us to cancel my book tour and postpone all of our wilderness wellness events, it’s been such a treat to be able to connect with fellow diabetics virtually. This app couldn’t have come at a better time,” she says.
When you want a break from engaging with others, the Discover section of the app delivers articles related to lifestyle and type 2 diabetes news, all reviewed by Healthline medical professionals.
In a designated tab, navigate articles about diagnosis and treatment options, as well as information about clinical trials and the latest type 2 diabetes research.
Stories about how to nurture your body through wellness, self-care, and mental health are also available. And you can also find personal stories and testimonials from those living with type 2 diabetes.
“The discover section is incredible. I love that the articles are medically reviewed so you know you can trust the information being shared. And the relatable content section is exactly that. I love reading first-person perspectives on how other people are thriving with diabetes,” says Williams.
“It was super quick to fill out my profile, upload my picture, and start talking to people,” says Velatini. “This is a great resource to have in your back pocket, whether you’ve had diabetes for years or weeks.”
Williams, a self-proclaimed ‘elder Millennial,’ also notes how efficient it is to get started.
“My onboarding with the app was super easy,” she says. “Well-designed apps are intuitive, and this app is certainly well-designed. It’s already changing my life.”
Being able to connect in realtime and having Healthline guides lead the way is like having your own support squad in your pocket, she adds.
“I’m so thankful that this app and this community exist.”
Cathy Cassata is a freelance writer who specializes in stories about health, mental health, and human behavior. She has a knack for writing with emotion and connecting with readers in an insightful and engaging way. Read more of her work here.