Learning you, your son, daughter, or a loved one is living with type 1 diabetes is a daunting experience that can leave you feeling helpless and isolated. The Internet has helped connect people from around the globe and created a diabetes online community, built on social media and blogs. We have selected ten blogs that each stand out in particular categories relating to life with type 1 diabetes, providing support, insight, and advice.
Keep reading to find out which Type 1 Diabetes blog we recommend for:
- Musings: Type 1 Writes
- Advocacy: Diabetogenic
- Parenting: Death of a Pancreas
- Emotive: Our Diabetic Life
- Wit: Every Day Ups and Downs
- Research: Current Research into Cures for Type 1 Diabetes
- Real Life: Test, Guess, and Go
- LADA: My Diabetic Heart
- Sport: Life, Sport, & Diabetes
- Travel: Dream Big, Travel Far
Best Type 1 Diabetes Blog – Musings: Type 1 Writes
Given Frank’s most used tag on Type 1 Writes is ‘Diabetes Musings,’ it seems like the best way of describing his blog. A keen writer, Frank launched Type 1 Writes having been diagnosed as a young adult in 2010.
I first read Frank’s blog last year and subsequently asked him to contribute to a Christmas-themed post, a request to which he kindly obliged.
Type 1 Writes started life in 2015 as was largely focused on lifestyle, in particular food and nutrition. Since then, however, it has evolved to cover just about any topic you care to think of. His patient advocacy is much-discussed, including his work with Diabetes Australia and attending events such as the Australian Diabetes Congress.
Frank is one of the most active and prominent members of the diabetes online community while also contributing to Diabetes Daily.
Frank’s passion for writing and talent are clear to see in his blog posts, while the fact he is at the forefront of the latest happenings in the diabetes world means he has an endless supply of insightful and interesting topics to discuss.
Those factors combined make Frank’s musings worthy of your time.
“I guess my blog documents my journey from living in relative isolation with diabetes, to a place where I am well connected and supported in living with it today.
“Sharing the information I’m lucky enough to learn from diabetes events is a mission that I truly believe in.
“I continue to write with the hope that others reading my blog might not feel so alone.”
– Frank Sita, Type 1 Writes
Best Type 1 Diabetes Blog – Advocacy: Diabetogenic
Like Frank, Renza Scibilia hails from Australia and is tireless in her advocacy and mission to raise awareness of type 1 diabetes, both in her native land and worldwide.
Renza was diagnosed with diabetes as a young adult in 1998 and began writing blog posts for Diabetes Australia Victoria in 2010 before starting Diabetogenic the following year.
She is a keen advocate of the Nothing About Us Without Us mantra, which encourages the notion that policies should be made with the full and direct involvement of those affected by it.
In 2011, she wrote: “there seem to be a lot of people who like to be the voice of people living with diabetes. Strangely enough, a lot of the time, these voices don’t actually have diabetes themselves.”
In the seven year since, her advocacy work has taken her to conferences around the globe and she is an active member of the diabetes online community, all in an effort to ensure the voices of people living with diabetes are heard at the highest level.
In addition to writing about advocacy and her daily life with type 1 diabetes, Renza was asked to keep a diary for a diabetes website when she was pregnant in 2004. While the website no longer exists, Renza has the diary published on her blog. It is worth a read for anyone curious about the affects of pregnancy on diabetes management (and vice versa).
Her blog is a great place to learn about what patient advocacy involves, how it helps, and how anyone living with a condition – be it type 1 diabetes or otherwise – can help influence policy and raise awareness.
Best Type 1 Diabetes Blog – Parenting: Death of a Pancreas
Joanne and her husband, Fred, learned that their daughter, Elise, had type 1 diabetes while celebrating her first birthday.
A decade has passed since that day, during which time Joanne has faithfully scribed her blog, Death of a Pancreas.
In doing so, Joanne has kept a record of her own experiences in raising a child with type 1 diabetes and everything she has learned along the way. In her opening post she wrote: “I want this blog to be a source of encouragement to others who are walking the same treacherous road.”
Joanne does not shy away from discussing difficult issues, but regardless of the topic there is an infectious positivity in her writing that would surely hearten any parent of a child with diabetes. She also shares plenty of hints and tips she has picked up along the way.
With Elise now 11 years old and an older sister to Mattias and Lucas, Joanne is still in the thick of parenting and continues to share her own development and that of her family.
Ten years’ worth of posts to browse through, combined with words of wisdom that are yet to come, makes Death of a Pancreas the perfect blog for anybody looking for a first-hand account of raising a child with type 1 diabetes.
“When Elise was first diagnosed, there was nothing out there for me as the parent of a baby with type 1.
“I don’t ever want anyone to feel the hopelessness that I did 10 years ago.”
– Joanne, Death of a Pancreas
Other posts you may be interested in on the MyTherapy blog:
- The 10 Best Type 2 Diabetes Blogs to Read in 2018
- Living with an Invisible Illness: 6 People Share the Realities of Daily Life
Best Type 1 Diabetes Blog – Emotive: Our Diabetic Life
Meri has four sons with her late husband, Ryan, three of whom live with type 1 diabetes.
They go by the online monikers of M, J, B, and L - ranging in ages from 23 years old to 14.
Meri has been writing Our Diabetic Life since 2009 when her youngest, L, was five years old, meaning she has built a significant archive of entries detailing life as a parent of three children with diabetes.
In comparison to other blogs relating to parenting, Our Diabetic Life is not so much a place where Meri offers practical ‘how-to’ advice or tips, but poignantly encapsulates her feelings regarding her topics of choice with remarkable emotional depth.
Given her youngest son is now the age her eldest was when Meri began writing her blog, it has covered – and continues to cover – their transition into adulthood and the challenges that arise during that development.
Meri also writes about the tragic loss of her husband, Ryan, who passed away in September 2012, three years after she began the blog.
She has since married Doug, who has five offspring of his own, with the Our Diabetic Life chronicling the continued development of Meri and her family.
Meri is a gifted writer, with a style that is often poetic in nature. It is this style, combined with Meri’s openness about her life and feelings, that helps make Our Diabetic Life such a profound and emotive blog.
Best Type 1 Diabetes Blog – Wit: Every Day Ups and Downs
If I could highlight a single post of Mike Kendall’s that encapsulates the nature of his entire blog, it would be one he wrote at the tail end of last year called CGM, diabetes time travel, and lessons learned from go-karting.
Mike begins with an information-filled introduction into his experiences with glucose monitors over the year, detailing some of the pros and cons that would no doubt be insightful for anyone wishing to learn more about CGM.
However, it is when Mike goes on to relate his experience with CGM to time travel and go-karting that his unique methods of portraying information shines.
He describes both analogies as thinly stretched, yet it is his creative style that helps make his writing memorable. Comparing how he refined his initially ham-fisted go-kart driving style to his diabetes management is surprisingly revealing.
As I mentioned, this post is indicative of his entire blog (his is the only one I have read with a specific ‘analogies’ tag). Regardless of the topic he is addressing – be it the British healthcare system, the devices he uses, or simply day-to-day life – he does so in an engaging manner splashed with a drop of dry humour.
He does this all while projecting an awful lot of useful information, resulting in a most readable and interesting all-round package.
“We began writing the blog as a family, with each member posting their own experiences of living with the ups and downs of my diabetes.
“Fairly quickly the others ran out of material, but I have found several more years’ worth of things to waffle on about amid the endless frustrations, occasional victories, new technologies, vibrant diabetes community, and exciting possibilities of future diabetes management.”
– Mike Kendall, Every Day Ups and Downs
Best Type 1 Diabetes Blog – Research: Current Research into Cures for Type 1 Diabetes
The world of medical research is as vast as it is complicated.
Regarding type 1 diabetes specifically, there is perhaps no better place than Joshua Levy’s blog to keep up with the latest trials, successes, failures, and everything in between. Specifically, he follows research that may lead to a cure and is focused on clinical data.
Joshua is father to a daughter living with type 1 diabetes, which explains his motivation for continuing to keep the blog he started over ten years ago.
He is a fellow with the Juvenile Diabetes Cure Alliance (JDCA) and his daughter has enrolled in clinical trials. He is keen to stress, however, that his writing on the blog is completely impartial and not externally funded in any way.
The beauty of Joshua’s blog is his ability to make research papers, which are often complicated beasts, more accessible without over-simplifying their content. He is extremely analytical and not afraid of sharing his opinions regarding the value of certain trials or challenging the conclusions of researchers.
His posts are interesting, insightful, and thoroughly well thought out.
Joshua clearly spends a lot of time carefully forming each post he publishes, resulting in a fascinating blog that anyone wishing to stay informed about research into a cure for type 1 diabetes would be wise to follow.
Best Type 1 Diabetes Blog – Real Life: Test, Guess, and Go
Laddie Lindahl has lived with type 1 diabetes for over four decades and has been writing her blog prolifically for the last five years.
Her wealth of experience and her extensive library of posts combine to create a blog that is packed full of information about, well, life. Specifically, life with type 1 diabetes.
The name of her blog, Test, Guess, and Go refers to the fact that no matter how frequently she tests, there is a large element of guesswork when it comes to predicting how her diabetes will behave on any given day. Nonetheless, it doesn’t stop her. As she wrote in the post in which she deliberates over the name: “I went yesterday. I go today. And gosh darn it, I’m going to go tomorrow!”
Much of the content discusses Laddie’s perspective and experiences regarding topics such as equipment and insurance. Flick through the archives, and you will find anything from pregnancy to her pet dog, Abby the black lab.
Test,Guess, and Go is quite simply an interesting, diverse, and well-written blog, kept by an active and endearing member of the diabetes online community.
Best Type 1 Diabetes Blog – LADA: My Diabetic Heart
Admittedly, LADA – Latent Autoimmune Diabetes in Adults – is not strictly speaking type 1 diabetes. It is often referred to as type 1.5, as the age of onset and symptoms are often similar to type 2, but the underlying autoimmune mechanisms are more closely aligned to type 1.
LADA is often misdiagnosed as type 2 diabetes because of the similarity in symptoms, the fact it occurs in adulthood, and various other reasons specific to each individual case. In fact, it is estimated that 10% of people diagnosed with type 2 actually live with LADA.
Mike Durbin is one of those people who received a misdiagnosis, living with the belief he had type 2 diabetes for seven years before a new endocrinologist was able to correctly diagnose him with LADA. Mike’s blog is fascinating as it documents a large chunk of the seven years he believed he lived with type 2, the time he found he had been misdiagnosed in 2016, and his subsequent life with LADA.
He had become a well-known and respected advocate over those seven years and suffered something of an identity crisis in the wake of the re-diagnosis. His writing on this issue is indicative of another key topic he covers candidly: mental health.
Mike also lives with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), which he attributes to his diagnosis of congestive heart failure – received at the same time as his type 2 diagnosis – and other traumatic events that occurred in his life. His battles with depression and anxiety are detailed throughout his blog.
Mental health, advocacy, and difficulties with treatment are a handful of the reasons My Diabetic Heart will resonate with many people living diabetes, regardless of which type. However, it is Mike’s experience of being misdiagnosed – a story all-too-common when it comes to LADA – that makes My Diabetic Heart particularly insightful.
“I began my blog, My Diabetic Heart, at first as a way to document and process what I was going through, and later continued to write in hopes that it would help someone else going through the same thing to not feel so alone.
“Nearly 10 years later, I’m still sharing my story because it has touched and inspired people to strive to make the most of their health and life.
“I live by my mantra, ‘A Little Heart Can Do Big Things’, and hope to impart that message to everyone.”
– Mike Durbin, My Diabetic Heart
Best Type 1 Diabetes Blog – Travel: Dream Big, Travel Far
The stress most people experience while traveling is often exacerbated for people living with chronic conditions.
Regarding type 1 diabetes specifically, questions such as how do I keep my insulin cold while traveling? and what is the best travel insurance? are the type of issues Cazzy Magennis and Bradley Williams address in Dream Big, Travel Far.
The pair met while at university and the former, Cazzy, lives with type 1 diabetes.
They are on the adventurous end of the travel spectrum, backpacking everywhere from the temples of Southeast Asia to the mountainous wilderness of Patagonia.
While not everyone’s travel desires may be quite so far-flung, the upshot is that they have experienced some of the most extreme locations and scenarios one can imagine, all while managing Cazzy’s diabetes.
As a result, they have insight that can benefit almost anyone traveling with diabetes.
Dream Big, Travel Far is first-and-foremost a brilliant travel blog that my just ignite your wanderlust. The fact they have traversed the globe while managing Cazzy’s diabetes means it is also packed full of hugely valuable information.
Best Type 1 Diabetes Blog – Sport: Life, Sport, & Diabetes
Life, Sport, & Diabetes. The name of the blog is nothing if not descriptive.
Its author, Melanie Stephenson, has lived with diabetes since the age of 13. She has run competitively for her native Wales at 100m and 200m distances and was chosen as a torch-bearer in the build up to the 2012 London Olympics.
It goes without saying, therefore, that Melanie knows her stuff when it comes handling the dual demands of diabetes and physical exercise.
Her blog is a great way of gaining insight on how she does so from a nutritional perspective, as well as some of the gear she uses that is specifically designed for people living with diabetes.
While Melanie competes in the upper echelons of the athletics world, her wisdom and knowhow can be useful for people at any level.
Melanie has worked with a number of companies, such as Nike, Abbott, and Toe Tec, and her blog provides an interesting look at the work they are doing when it comes to diabetes and sports.
For anyone living with type 1 diabetes wanting insight into the sporting world, Melanie’s blog provides it in abundance.
“I’ve found doing sport to be such a rewarding experience, since being diagnosed with diabetes and I wanted to share what I’ve learned along the way so that others could benefit.
“Starting my blog 6 years ago was a great way to share experiences and I’ve been humbled by the diabetes community’s lovely response to it and hope that they continue to feel empowered about managing diabetes and getting involved in physical activity in the future.”
– Melanie Stephenson, Life, Sports, & Diabetes
Take a look at some of the other posts on the MyTherapy blog: