How to Click Into Online Support for a Chronic Condition
Allison Caggia, 41, felt her type 1 diabetes was well-controlled through dietary changes and daily blood sugar checks, but she wanted to take the next step by exercising in a way that was safe for her medical condition.
Not surprisingly, the Internet was packed full of advice, but she skipped the standard Google search and went instead to a source she knew she could trust: her online community.
Within a day, she had personal stories about diabetes and working out from her online friends, comparisons of cardio versus strength training, and extremely valuable tips about blood sugar management before and after workouts.
Finding your people
Even if you never meet community members online, that feeling of someone having your back and knowing what you’re going through is exactly the same in cyberspace as it is in real life, Caggia believes.
“These are people fighting the same thing that you are,” she says. “They’re there for you, and it makes a huge difference.”
Although a social network like Facebook might be helpful for informing friends and family of your treatment progress, it’s condition-specific sites that can be especially helpful for building a strong base of support, says Caggia.
These include sites like Inspire.com, healtheo360, and HealingWell.com. Many associations also run online communities, such as those managed by the American Diabetes Association and the American Heart Association.
Caggia found her online community about four years ago, when she was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes. No one among her family or friends had the condition and despite doin Continue reading