How to Find Diabetes Help and Support Online
If you've ever googled diabetes in search of useful information on the right diet, drugs, and exercise to help manage your diabetes, you know how overwhelming it can be to plow through scores of websites. After spending hours online, you may come away wondering if what you've read actually is beneficial to your health.
The good news is that you can access reliable information, and it's just a click away. You'll find a wealth of information in our Diabetes Health Center, but if you're looking for more, we've done the research for you.
One such source, Cornerstones4Care, was developed by Danish drug maker Novo Nordisk. The site offers recipes, and lets users connect with others who have diabetes. It also includes information about Novo Nordisk's devices and drugs.
"We wanted to provide diabetes patients with a wide range of information and support in these four key areas of diabetes management to help them achieve their personal goals," Novo Nordisk VP diabetes marketing Camille Lee said. "Whether you are newly diagnosed or have been living with diabetes for a long time, everyone needs ongoing support to stay engaged and on track with their diabetes care, and Cornerstones4Care was developed to do that."
When looking for reputable online resources for diabetes information, proceed with caution, advises Michael A. Smith, MD, senior health sciences specialist for Life Extension Foundation in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. "If you read a research article online, it should be referenced," he says. "It should have the name of the journal and the month and year it was published. If it does not have that, you need to question it."
One website he likes is the one he designed himself: innovative-diabetic-diet.com. The site provides information on how to eat better, the food pyramid, and tips on how to calculate your metabolic resting rate.
Getting information online can be helpful, but it's crucial to find accurate sources, says Joel Zonszein, MD, director of the clinical diabetes center at Montefiore Medical Center in New York City. "A well-informed patient who is engaged in the care of their disease is important," he says. "And the Internet can be an excellent tool." Besides the government websites from the Centers for Disease Control and the National Institutes of Health, Zonszein also likes diabetesselfcare.org, which is run by the American Association of Diabetes Educators.
Very helpful online resources are often those that have hospitals or professional societies such as the American Diabetes Association behind them, notes Spyros Mezitis, MD, an endocrinologist at Lenox Hill Hospital in New York City. "These are definitely more trustworthy," he says. "There is a lot of information about diabetes on the Internet, so you need to be careful."
Among the helpful websites run by individuals is ParentingDiabeticKids.com. Natalie and Jeff Kolok founded the site after their daughter, now 11, was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes at age 4. "We wanted to create a site that was warm and friendly, and that would tell our story," Natalie Kolok says. "Parents need a lot of support when their child is diagnosed with diabetes. We were trying to create support, so that when people go to our site feel nurtured and connected."
Feeling nurtured is important to those with diabetes and their caregivers. At Cornerstones4Care, individuals who have been diagnosed with diabetes as well as those who are concerned that they may have it can access a wealth of resources, from a blood sugar diary to menu planning tools to information about diabetes e-books. There's also a Patient Assistance Program that offers free medicine to qualifying individuals. It's a site worth checking out—for those who have diabetes as well as those caring for someone with diabetes.
"Patient Assistance-Diabetes Care." Cornerstones4Care.com
Dearment, Alaric. "Novo Nordisk develops Cornerstones4Care as diabetes resource." 13 January 2011. Drugstore News.
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