One of the ways people learn is through observing and assessing the
actions of others who are in a similar situation. This same principle
can be applied to daily diabetes management, where there’s a huge
amount of collective experience and knowledge in the diabetes
community waiting to be tapped.
Diabetes is currently estimated to directly affect 463m people
globally from 20 to 79 years old. That’s approximately 6% of the
world’s population. Add in those under 20 living with the disease,
plus family members and other people who provide support on a daily
basis, and there’s a vast amount of people continually tackling new
challenges and breaking down barriers to manage their diabetes.
Connecting with a community of like-minded people works on lots of
levels. It can make you feel like you’re not alone. Plus, it can
really help you figure out new ways of approaching those day-to-day
challenges beyond managing your medication. They may include:
- Managing your diabetes when travelling
unplanned activities in your daily routine
- Accounting for
eating out in your meal and medication planning
your family, friends or colleagues understand your condition
(Remember, however, that your care plan must always be developed in
consultation with your healthcare professional, especially when it
comes to medication.)
There are a number of ways you can draw on the knowledge and
experiences of other members of the diabetes community, whether it is
contacting Patient Advocacy Groups (PAGs), joining online communities
and forums, or following other people living with diabetes on their
social media channels.
One way we’re helping is by launching a new initiative called
Diabetes Unfiltered to collate shared experiences of those
living with diabetes for the benefit of others. Essentially
Diabetes Unfiltered is an online community of people who have
diabetes, sharing real and relatable stories about their lives with
their followers. Honest, uncensored and unfiltered, these stories
highlight the reality of living with diabetes – not only the
challenges, but also how to overcome them.
We hope their experiences and information will help inspire people
to think about their own lived experiences with the disease, and
actively seek change where it’s helpful – even if it’s a small step.