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What is a Diabetes Support Group? Where Can I Find One in Gibraltar?

November marks diabetes awareness month and to raise awareness local charity Diabetes Gibraltar has written articles highlighting the symptoms, treatment and stories of those living with diabetes. The articles will run weekly on Fridays throughout the month of November.

Diabetes can be an exhausting condition. The demands of keeping your blood sugar under control can be overwhelming, and it is disheartening when, despite your best efforts, your blood sugar still soars and plummets.

It is tempting for many people to throw their hands up in frustration and give up. Managing physical health is difficult, and so is maintaining mental health in the face of everything happening.

It can be hard to communicate the depth of emotions and thoughts to someone who does not live with diabetes. Even when you do have someone in your life who is a great listener, they might not be able to give you the practical input you need or tips you can use to make management easier. For these reasons and more, diabetes support groups can be extremely beneficial.

A diabetes support group is, for many people, a vital part of their diabetes management. These groups are communities of people who are living with diabetes, and they can make a significant, positive difference in the lives of their members. People come together to share their stories and experiences and to learn how to cope with this difficult condition.

Participating in a support group just for people with diabetes can bring multiple benefits. Among them:
• Making connections with people
• Feeling less isolated and alone
• Gaining strength from other members (and you help others be strong, too)
• Sharing coping strategies
• Exchanging practical tips related to diabetes treatment.
• Gaining new ideas for meals and how to eat healthily.
• Inspiring each other to exercise, perhaps through friendly challenges
• Providing encouragement and motivation to stick with your management plan.
• Keeping everyone accountable for doing what they say they will do.
• Boosting mental health, taming strong emotions
• Experiencing trust through shared knowledge and experiences
There are many types of support groups; while different, they all offer the same general benefits. They are positive, supportive and useful and will provide a boost for your quality of life with diabetes. Diabetes Gibraltar is keen to open its doors to the ever-expanding diabetes community.

We have an ongoing Facebook support group with over 800 members with educational articles posted almost daily and members helping each other by sharing their stories and tips on living with Diabetes. Find us on Diabetes Gibraltar, please join if you have not already done so.

We now wish to reach out even further to the community and offer face to face support at our centre at 50 Line Wall Road (ground floor, in between the old Amar bakery and the Casino Calpe buildings). As the number living with diabetes grows, we wish to ensure that those newly diagnosed and those who are struggling with long standing diabetes do not find themselves isolated in the community.

Covid19, lockdown and restrictions has created a pressure on medical resources for the diabetes community and although we cannot replace your GHA primary care we hope to be able to offer support, advice and education. If you need support or advice, please feel free to visit our centre on Wednesdays and Fridays (10 am – 12 pm) where you can arrange to see Susan Edwards, retired diabetes nurse, or contact her directly by sending her a text on Messenger.

We hope that this initiative will be seen as a helpful way forward to combat diabetes and its complications in a community with Europe’s highest per capita incidence of Type 2 at 10% of the population.

Diabetes Gibraltar – 50 LINE WALL ROAD

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