Diabetes Self-Management Blog

Ever since Facebook hit the scene seven years ago, social networking sites for specialized communities have proliferated. Nowhere is this truer than in the area of diabetes, where there are seemingly countless options for people looking for support, information, or just a sounding board of other people with diabetes. But as a recent study makes clear, diabetes-specific social networks vary considerably in their setup, oversight, and sponsorship status.

That study, published late last month in the Archives of Internal Medicine, was the subject of a Reuters article on social networking options. As the article points out, the study reviewed 15 diabetes-related social networking sites ranging in membership from about 3,000 to more than 300,000. Of those 15 sites, 12 accept advertisements from drug or medical device companies and are partially or fully funded by such companies. Exceptions include TuDiabetes and the forums of the American Diabetes Association; these sites rely on donations and foundations to sustain their operation. Some sites, such as Diabetes Daily, receive funding from a mix of commercial sponsors and nonprofit sources.

Most diabetes networking sites, according to the study authors, have minimal if any involvement by a doctor or other medical professional. Some do, however, have a moderator who checks forums for medical accuracy. According to the study’s lead author, Dr. William Shrank of Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston, some people with diabetes may feel more comfortable in a forum that is not overseen by a doctor but instead consists primarily of people with diabetes giving advice to each other. Others, however, may be looking for a professional opinion in between doctor visits. Regardless of the credentials of any moderator or overseer, he or she cannot give a diagnosis or prescribe a course of treatment, but rather only convey information.

Do you belong to any diabetes-focused social networks or regularly participate in diabetes discussion boards? What do you, or would you, look for in such a site? Do you see social networks as fulfilling a purpose similar to, or different from, medical information sites like DiabetesSelfManagement.com? Leave a comment below!

Editor’s note: Diabetes Self-Management has a presence on both Facebook and Twitter. All comments on our Facebook page are moderated by editors to ensure compliance with our page guidelines.


  1. There are no comments at this time.

Post a Comment

Note: All comments are moderated and there may be a delay in the publication of your comment. Please be on-topic and appropriate. Do not disclose personal information. Be respectful of other posters. Only post information that is correct and true to your knowledge. When referencing information that is not based on personal experience, please provide links to your sources. All commenters are considered to be nonmedical professionals unless explicitly stated otherwise. Promotion of your own or someone else's business or competing site is not allowed: Sharing links to sites that are relevant to the topic at hand is permitted, but advertising is not. Once submitted, comments cannot be modified or deleted by their authors. Comments that don't follow the guidelines above may be deleted without warning. Such actions are at the sole discretion of DiabetesSelfManagement.com. Comments are moderated Monday through Friday by the editors of DiabetesSelfManagement.com. The moderators are employees of Madavor Media, LLC., and do not report any conflicts of interest. A privacy policy setting forth our policies regarding the collection, use, and disclosure of certain information relating to you and your use of this Web site can be found here. For more information, please read our Terms and Conditions.

Potatoes: Good or Bad? (10/20/14)
Sandwich Trouble (10/15/14)
Soda Surrender? (10/08/14)
Marketing to Kids (10/01/14)



Disclaimer of Medical Advice: You understand that the blog posts and comments to such blog posts (whether posted by us, our agents or bloggers, or by users) do not constitute medical advice or recommendation of any kind, and you should not rely on any information contained in such posts or comments to replace consultations with your qualified health care professionals to meet your individual needs. The opinions and other information contained in the blog posts and comments do not reflect the opinions or positions of the Site Proprietor.