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If you are dealing with a chronic health condition, widen your circle of support by going online.

Having a strong support system can help make living with a chronic condition a bit easier. In a recent study, 74 percent of people who participated in an online diabetes discussion group felt they were better able to cope with their disease after taking part in online discussions. In addition, 71 percent of participants felt more hopeful about their condition after connecting with others online.

Internet Bulletin Boards 

Condition-specific Internet bulletin boards provide an easy, convenient means for people living with chronic conditions to connect with others and garner support. To minimize the chance of receiving misinformation, look for online communities that are moderated by healthcare professionals, such as doctors, nurses, dietitians and psychologists. Keep in mind that information gathered from online discussions should never be a substitute for diagnosis and treatment by your personal healthcare provider. And although there is a wealth of valuable information available on the Internet, check with your doctor before incorporating any online advice into your treatment plan.

The Diabetes Educator 2005 Nov-Dec;31(6):825-836.

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Reprinted with permission from the Canadian Adventist Messenger, July 2006. Copyright © 2006 by GraceNotes. All rights reserved. Use of this material is subject to usage guidelines.

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