Lori B. knew for years that she had insulin resistance. But that meant little to her until last year, when she began regaining weight she'd lost. Her feet ached, and she sank into depression. Her doctor said she had type 2 diabetes. An invitation from her health coach to join a diabetes class was the wake-up call Lori needed. The class provided a wealth of information, and she was inspired by others who talked openly about their experiences with diabetes.
"Learning from others who have had success with managing their diabetes made me want to come on board and really get in the game," says Lori. She also began to feel as if she owed it to the group to do her best at managing her health. "I find myself thinking about my class buddies as I work on my program each day," she says. "Knowing they are doing all it takes to be healthy inspires me." She's even made new friends through the group, including a walking buddy.
Getting together with other people with diabetes can make a big difference in how well you take care of yourself, as it did for Lori. Participating in a support group may have other benefits too. For instance, joining a supportive crew can help you…
Feel connected. Identifying with a group relieves the feeling of isolation that often comes with having diabetes. Spending an hour with other people who deal with the challenges of diabetes may help you feel less alone.
Gain a new outlook. Other people can offer fresh perspectives on something that may be troubling you, such as starting insulin. Talking with someone who has noticed improvements in their blood sugar after starting insulin may help you feel less anxious about it.
Learn acceptance. When you hear other people talking about diabetes, it may help you overcome any feelings of denial you may have. Acceptance and awareness are two helpful steps in dealing with diabetes.
Get ideas for lifestyle changes. Being with other people with diabetes may make you aware of new ideas, regimen changes or other habits that might affect your diabetes. Take time to assess how changes in your lifestyle or circumstances can affect your health.