Social Media to Treat Type 1 Diabetes?

New guidelines suggest that young people with Type 1 who discuss their diabetes online stay engaged in their self-care.



Young people with Type 1 are finding social media a useful tool for managing their diabetes, so much so that it is now being recommended as part of a treatment plan by UK healthcare policy-makers.

A report by National Health Services (NHS) England suggests that healthcare providers utilize social media tools to keep young people with diabetes engaged in self-care. The hope is that social media can help young people with Type 1 stay informed about diabetes and keep them engaged in their quest to control blood sugar levels.

These recommendations were part of broader NHS guidelines designed to help young people with diabetes transition from child and adolescent diabetes care to adult care. The report listed several hurdles young people with Type 1 face, in addition to diabetes, including increased risk of eating disorders and mental health struggles. Any tool that can keep young people engaged in diabetes self-care should be used during this critical transition time, the report states. The guidelines encourage healthcare professionals to utilize texting, Skype, Facebook, and other new technologies to keep young people with diabetes engaged.

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Emma Dunn is a Writing, Literature, and Publishing student at Emerson College in Boston. Besides writing for Type2Nation and Insulin Nation, she also writes for the online publication, The Odyssey.