As health care costs continue to skyrocket and providers' time continues to shorten, more and more we are being asked to take care of ourselves.
Thus, the explosion in medical gadgets like home blood pressure cuffs, tools like pedometers and watches that show your heartbeat -- and Web-based information.
When I started working in diabetes 10 years ago, there were few online resources. Actually, about the number you can count on two hands. Now there's likely over 1,000.
So, how do you know where to go? And which sites will offer you value?
When I published my latest book, Diabetes Dos & How-Tos, my husband's hairdresser who has diabetes told me she loved that I recommend websites and online resources throughout the book.
While I can't provide each specific site and resource here, I can give you a number of medical and organizational websites and social media communities and blogs that can help improve your care. Many of these I visit and others may benefit you.
Here you'll find the latest medical, statistical and often trial, information. Ten years ago, I learned online about newer insulins and then went to a diabetes educator who switched me over and have since had better control.
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (public health)
Diabetes In Control.com (newsletter)
Diabetes Research Institute (science toward a cure)
Joslin Diabetes Center (patients and health care providers)
Medivizor (culls online information particular to your health needs and interest)
patientslikeme (patients share their clinical experiences and treatment protocol)
Diabetes Organization and Health Sites
These cover the breadth of diabetes including medicines, devices, treatments, food, exercise and attitude.
American Diabetes Association (most widely known U.S. organization)
Behavioral Diabetes Institute (psycho/social)
Children with Diabetes (for families)
dLife (magazine style)
Diabetes Daily (magazine style)
Diabetes Families (adults and children with type 2)
Fit4D.com (diabetes coaching)
International Diabetes Federation (international)
JDRF (Type 1 only)
Quantia MD (health care providers only)
Social Media Sites
The place to find community and support. You can ask questions, share concerns and through the exchange of real-life experiences, patients often guide and inspire each other to make lifestyle behavior changes.
Written by an individual either with diabetes or a family member with diabetes, these offer intimacy and insights. Also, you can follow those where the writer reflects your particular perspective and situation. Blogs are also enormously valuable for health care providers; they are a window into what your patients truly deal with, how they handle it and what they think and feel.
These blog lists are courtesy of Diabetes Advocates (DA) , a collective of experts touched by, and helping others with, diabetes. I am a member of DA among more than 200 others.
In addition to the information and support you'll find here, you'll also learn about current pressing issues where you can add your voice to improve diabetes care. For instance, the campaign StripSafely, bringing our voice to the FDA to ensure test strips are accurate and another, petitioning the U.S. Senate to have the FDA add diabetes patient meetings to one of the 20 disease states they'll take a closer look at.
These websites and resources have helped me stay informed, do the work I do, and keep learning to improve my care. They have also supported me and lifted my spirits on more than one occasion.
My apologies for those fantastic sites and blogs out there I don't know about and haven't mentioned. If you have a favorite, I would love for you to share them here.
Riva's new book, Diabetes Dos & How-Tos, is available in print and Kindle, along with her other books, 50 Diabetes Myths That Can Ruin Your Life and the 50 Diabetes Truths That Can Save It and The ABCs Of Loving Yourself With Diabetes. Riva speaks to patients and health care providers about flourishing with diabetes. Visit her websites DiabetesStories.com and DiabetesbyDesign.com.
For more by Riva Greenberg, click here.
For more on health care, click here.