What diabetes influencers actually made a difference in the way you managed your health? We asked our community that very question, and we got a ton of responses. We thought we’d share the answers with you.
November is Diabetes Awareness Month, but you know what? If you’re reading this, you’re probably already very aware of diabetes. Let’s make this month about us and how we can live our best lives. So this year, we decided that we’re going to concentrate on tips and advice to help you thrive. And to do so, we’re leaning on our greatest resource: you. The Diabetes Daily forums and Facebook page are full of helpful smart people with type 1 and type 2 diabetes. There’s someone who’s been through everything, and they’re usually ready to help.
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Here are the influencers — whether they use YouTube, Instagram, TikTok, or something else entirely that — whom Diabetes Daily readers turn to:
Dr. Richard Bernstein
Dr. Bernstein — or Dr. B, as he’s fondly known — is best known for the high-protein and low-carbohydrate diet that he recommends. Bernstein’s masterwork is a tome titled Dr. Bernstein’s Diabetes Solution: The Complete Guide to Achieving Normal Blood Sugars, and it must be one of the most influential books ever written on the topic.
Bernstein also holds court on YouTube, where he regularly posts video seminars that he calls Diabetes University sessions. It’s been years since Dr. B updated his indispensable book, and YouTube is the place to go for his freshest takes on modern trends in diabetes management.
Dr. B’s knowledge and influence go far beyond low-carb eating — back in the 1970s and 80s, he was the single loudest advocate of blood sugar self-monitoring and intensive use of mealtime insulin, a diabetes management philosophy that would eventually become universally accepted. He was probably the first person on planet Earth to regularly test his blood sugar at home, and in 1993, when the Diabetes Control and Complications Trial (DCCT) definitively proved that intensive blood sugar management was best, the New York Times published the following headline: “Vindication for a Diabetes Expert.”
Bernstein has lived with type 1 diabetes himself since 1946 and is still going strong.
The JuiceBox Podcast
By far the biggest podcast in the type 1 diabetes world, the JuiceBox Podcast has now recorded over 1,000 episodes. The host, Scott Benner, typically interviews people with type 1 who have interesting stories to tell. You also better believe that they’ve done deep dives into just about every diabetes topic imaginable.
Even better, the JuiceBox Podcast’s “Pro-Tip” series is devoted explicitly to learning how to better manage diabetes. Nutrition, mental health, insulin pumps — they’ve covered everything, in an engaging and approachable style that fans really appreciate.
For a wildly different approach from low-carb, try Mastering Diabetes, a program that emphasizes exercise and a fruit-heavy vegan diet. Mastering Diabetes was founded and run by two gentlemen with type 1 diabetes. They get great results with the counterintuitive strategy to eat tons and tons of fruit, though it’s probably just about the most delicious way to try a low-fat diet.
Mastering Diabetes is active all over social media — they have a podcast and release original content to both Instagram and YouTube.
TikTokker Insulinresistant1 has nearly one million followers, and another half million on Instagram. Justin Richard is his name, and he’s got a simple process — he eats stuff on camera and shares the results from his continuous glucose monitor (CGM).
Richard is game to test out silly trends and health claims, as in a recent video where he endeavored to learn whether eating pickles would blunt the blood sugar spike from rice.
Let Me Be 83
Low-carb inspiration for parents caring for children with diabetes. Let Me Be 83 is a Facebook page from mom Bethany and her son River. River is growing tall and strong and thriving with a Dr. Bernstein-inspired low-carbohydrate diet and plenty of exercise. Let Me Be 83 has become a hub for like-minded parents who want to compare notes on how to help their kiddos with diabetes reach their potential in a world laden with distracting, unhealthy sugars.
The Diabetic Fighter
Shawn Wicks, a kickboxer with type 1 diabetes, is The Diabetic Fighter on Instagram. He shares wisdom and memes, and he has a popular podcast where he gives his tips on blood sugar control, nutrition, and body recomposition (strength building and fat loss).
Taking Control of Your Diabetes (TCOYD) is run by two doctors with type 1 diabetes, Steven Edelman and Jeremy Pettus. These two experts (and friends of Diabetes Daily) have seen it all, both as clinicians and as patients, and they bring a silly positive attitude to everything they do. TCOYD has a podcast, creates YouTube videos, and hosts online seminars and conferences.
Last of all, we offer one of the popular answers: nobody.
Many Diabetes Daily community members are justifiably skeptical about the whole health influencer world, and prefer to take counsel from their doctors or, more often, from their own experiences. The experience of living with diabetes is certainly different for everyone, and motivated patients can easily become world experts in their conditions. We believe that there’s a lot of wisdom to be found across social media and the diabetes daily community, but can’t blame anyone for confidently ignoring the tips you find on Instagram, TikTok, or elsewhere.