Diabetes Support Groups

By 2030, it is estimated that globally over 500 million people will be living with type 2 diabetes.

Receiving a diagnosis of type 2 diabetes and learning to manage your condition can be overwhelming and confusing. People with diabetes spend an estimated 8,000 hours per year self-managing their condition in addition to the time they spend within a medical setting. Support groups can be a helpful addition to your diabetes management team, along with guidance and care from your healthcare providers.

Read on to find information on select online and in-person support groups.

A person wearing a diabetes awareness ribbon.

photography by Kate Hiscock / Getty Images

Support groups for diabetes are not a replacement for professional medical care. It is important to research groups before joining them and always verify information received from support groups and their members.

Defeat Diabetes Foundation

Key Specs

  • Membership fee: Free
  • Structure: Search tool
  • Details: Allows you to look for contact information by state
  • Things to consider: It isn't a support group itself, but rather a tool to find a support group

Defeat Diabetes Foundation (DDF) has been in existence for more than 30 years. Its mission is to find sustainable solutions to help prevent, identify, and manage type 2 diabetes. It raises awareness of diabetes by providing research-based information to communities and individuals. DDF offers action-oriented steps everyone can take to help prevent the development of type 2 diabetes, including providing information on nutrition and exercise and sharing comprehensive resources on their website.

DDF provides outreach and helps people connect with community-based impact programs. In addition to information found on their website, they offer a sign-up newsletter and a search tool to find support groups.

American Diabetes Association

Key Specs

  • Membership fee: Varies by program
  • Structure: Individual programs, online information, diabetes education
  • Details: Extensive resource offering the opportunity for connecting with professionals and with peers
  • Things to consider: Covers a broad scope of aspects surrounding diabetes, including education, research, legal rights, and more

The American Diabetes Association (ADA) is a large organization consisting of a network of over 565,000 volunteers (as well as families and caregivers), more than 250 staff members, and a professional society of almost 16,000 healthcare providers.

ADA aims to prevent diabetes and improve the lives of those who are affected by diabetes. They fund research, provide services to communities, offer credible information, and advocate for the rights of those with diabetes.

The ADA runs a recognized diabetes education program facilitated by certified educators, which helps people with diabetes learn practical information about their condition and gain skills and confidence as they navigate living with diabetes. A referral from the healthcare provider managing your diabetes is needed to enter the program.

The ADA also offers an afterschool program for kids ages 5 to 12 called Project Power. The program promotes healthy lifestyle choices that can help prevent type 2 diabetes and empower children to develop healthy lifelong habits.

The program is free and offered in person or virtually. Check the website for available dates and times.

Beyond Type 2

Key Specs

  • Membership fee: Free
  • Structure: Online community
  • Details: An online platform that allows you to connect with other people affected by type 2 diabetes, find resources, ask questions, have discussions, etc. Available in English and Spanish.
  • Things to consider: You request to join by answering two questions (why you want to join and where you heard about them), then wait for approval

Beyond Type 2 is a program that stems from the nonprofit organization Beyond Type 1. Beyond Type 1 was founded in 2015 and launched Beyond Type 2 in 2019.

Beyond Type 2 provides a platform for people with type 2 diabetes to connect online with a community in which they can ask questions, share experiences, exchange ideas and resources, and more. The program is available in both English and Spanish.

Beyond Type 2 is supported by a partnership between The American Diabetes Association and Beyond Type 1.

Carenity: Type 2 Diabetes Community

Key Specs

  • Membership fee: Free
  • Structure: Online forum
  • Details: An online forum where members can ask for advice, seek and give support, and discuss topics surrounding diagnosis, treatment, and diet
  • Things to consider: Carenity is a general site for many health conditions. The type 2 diabetes forum is one community within the greater site

Carenity is an online community that offers a social network through a newsfeed, discussion forums, private messaging, and more.

Under the Carenity umbrella, there is a section specifically for people with type 2 diabetes.


Key Specs

  • Membership fee: Free
  • Structure: Online forum, online and in-person meet-ups
  • Details: Peer support and education for individuals with all forms of diabetes
  • Things to consider: This resource is for women only

Founded in 2008, DiabetesSisters is an organization managed by women with diabetes that offers education and support services to help women living with diabetes thrive. Peer support is a core component of the organization.

DiabetesSisters has an online forum through which women with diabetes can connect with each other.

DiabetesSisters also has a program called Part of DiabetesSisters (PODS) Meetups for women age 18 and up who are living with any type of diabetes, including prediabetes. You can look at the spotlight list on their meetups page, check their event calendar, or complete a PODS interest form to connect with a meetup.


Key Specs

  • Membership fee: Free
  • Structure: Online forum
  • Details: A collection of discussion boards separated by category
  • Things to consider: This site consists of discussions between members only, not expert advice

TuDiabetes is an online community for people with all types of diabetes. It is a program through the nonprofit organization Beyond Type 1 and is sponsored by the Diabetes Hands Foundation. As of 2014, it had more than 35,000 registered members.

Content on the message boards is curated by members and should not be used as a primary source of information but as a place to start your search or as a complement to expert advice.

Diabetes Daily

Key Specs

  • Membership fee: Free
  • Structure: Online forum
  • Details: Discussion boards separated by topic
  • Things to consider: The website and its forums address all types of diabetes, so you will need to look specifically for topics and information that pertain to type 2 diabetes

Diabetes Daily was founded in 2005 after one of its founders was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes and saw a need for community-based support for people living with diabetes.

Diabetes Daily has online forums through its website and also helps people connect through Facebook, Twitter, and email. Their online community is made up of almost 1 million members.

The Diabetes Daily website posts information about diabetes, including recipes.

Online vs. Local Groups

Both online and in-person local diabetes groups foster a community that includes aspects such as:

Some benefits of an online support group include:

  • Easier access
  • More flexibility in terms of when and how the community is accessed
  • An opportunity for anonymity for those who want it
  • The ability to quietly observe without participating for those not ready to share
  • Cost-effectiveness

There can be downsides to online support groups as well, such as:

  • High access to misinformation, some of which can be harmful
  • Potential privacy and security risks
  • Less personal
  • Greater potential for harassment and bad behavior due to “the online disinhibition effect"

In-person support groups can be more difficult to plan as they require a venue (such as places of worship, classrooms, or community centers) and occur on a schedule that must be worked into the participants' calendars.

While less convenient, some people may prefer in-person groups as they allow for a more personal face-to-face connection. They can also foster relationships with local people who may have common interests outside of their condition. In-person groups also provide the opportunity for social activities and guest speakers.


Support groups can help people with type 2 diabetes connect with others who have the same condition. These groups allow for peer support, sharing information and resources, venting frustration, offering encouragement, and more.

Support groups can exist in-person or online (such as on online forums or social media).

Information found in support groups is not always accurate and should be verified. Support groups are not a substitute for professional medical care.

A Word From Verywell 

Whether you have just received a diagnosis, or have been living with type 2 diabetes for a while, you may find a support group beneficial.

Do your research before joining an in-person or online group to make sure they are a credible resource, and talk to your healthcare provider before applying the medical advice you receive from other members.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • Where can I find online support groups for diabetes?

    Looking at credible diabetes organizations such as the American Diabetes Association and Beyond Type 1/Beyond Type 2 is a good start. Check the community links on these websites for online forums or links to support groups.

  • How can you best support someone with diabetes?

    There are a number of ways you can help support someone with diabetes, including:

    • Educating yourself on their condition
    • Seeing them as an individual with unique needs
    • Attending their appointments (if they want you to)
    • Asking what they need and listening to what they say
    • Recognizing that managing diabetes can be time-consuming and allowing time for checking blood sugar and other necessary procedures during your plans together
    • Respecting their boundaries and not expecting them to share everything about their condition or experience with you
    • Understanding that changes in blood sugar can cause mood shifts
    • Engaging in the same lifestyle choices and activities they are, such as a healthful diet and physical activity
    • Knowing how to recognize the signs of low blood sugar and what to do about it
12 Sources
Verywell Health uses only high-quality sources, including peer-reviewed studies, to support the facts within our articles. Read our editorial process to learn more about how we fact-check and keep our content accurate, reliable, and trustworthy.
  1. Beyond Type 2. Home.

  2. Litchman ML, Walker HR, Ng AH, et al. State of the science: a scoping review and gap analysis of diabetes online communities. J Diabetes Sci Technol. 2019;13(3):466-492. doi:10.1177/1932296819831042

  3. Hilliard ME, Sparling KM, Hitchcock J, Oser TK, Hood KK. The emerging diabetes online community. Curr Diabetes Rev. 2015;11(4):261-272. doi:10.2174/1573399811666150421123448

  4. Defeat Diabetes Foundation. The tools you need to win the fight to defeat diabetes.

  5. American Diabetes Association. Home.

  6. Carenity. Diabetes (type 2) forum.

  7. DiabetesSisters. Home.

  8. TuDiabetes. Home.

  9. Diabetes Daily. Welcome to Diabetes Daily!

  10. Herrero N, Guerrero-Solé F, Mas-Manchón L. Participation of patients with type 2 diabetes in online support groups is correlated to lower levels of diabetes self-management. J Diabetes Sci Technol. 2021;15(1):121-126. doi:10.1177/1932296820909830

  11. diaTribe. How and where to find in-person support groups and social activities for young adults with diabetes.

  12. Centers For Disease Control and Prevention. Friends, family & diabetes.

By Heather Jones
Heather M. Jones is a freelance writer with a strong focus on health, parenting, disability, and feminism.