Annenberg Radio News

Podcast Diabetic Bestie aims to destigmatize and educate on the disease

USC student works to educate friends and family on diabetes followed with tips on how to be conscious during the upcoming holiday season.

The podcast is called Diabetic Bestie.

This podcast was created by USC student Nicole Barron, who was diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes in 2020, and premiered this past September. The podcast has a new episode every Monday and covers topics such as diabetic social networking apps, continuous glucose monitors, and insulin pumps.

Nicole Barron: “I started your diabetic basically because I initially looked for podcasts that were about type one diabetes, but a lot of them were geared. towards like older audiences. I wanted to create one that was more targeted at Gen Z diabetics and something that their friends and their loved ones could listen to and not feel so overwhelmed by the heavy topic that it can be.”

She offered some advice for those friends and loved ones.

Nicole Barron: “Just like don’t tell someone what they can and can’t eat and then if someone is struggling just prolly just be there for them. And you can always offer support but just be careful about how you approach it.”

Another tool for diabetes data and advice comes directly from USC researchers. Mark Harmel is a research coordinator at USC’s Keck School of Medicine and USC’s Westside Center for Diabetes. The Center conducts extensive clinical trials and technological reviews to transform how diabetes is treated today. Although navigating the holiday season with diabetes can be difficult, Harmel offers advice to those who might need it.

Mark Harmel: “You’re going to be eating different foods. You need to do a lot more checking. So people who are using a glucose meter, make sure y ou bring extra test strips and bring your meter with you. And then we recommend people have continuous glucose monitors because continuous glucose monitors are really important to to pay attention to what your glucose levels are during the day. The trick of managing diabetes is to sort of balance out your medications and exercise with the carbohydrates that you’re bringing in to sort of keep it all in balance.”

With the CDC reporting that 28.5 million United States adults are diagnosed with diabetes and 96 million adults possess prediabetes, the general education of symptoms and blood sugar levels is of paramount importance as a season of holiday dinners is underway. Keeping the dialogue open during this time of the year helps keep diagnosed diabetics from feeling isolated and can even save lives.