When you first search “diabetes” on TikTok, one of the first videos that pops up includes a catchy remake of Meghan Trainor’s “Made You Look” with lyrics inspired by living with the disease.
TikTok account @sugarcoatedsisters, a musical duo that rewrites the lyrics of popular songs into comedic ballads, was inspired to re-craft the hit into a “Made You Look: Diabetic Version.”
“I could have my Dexcom on,” the lyrics go. “I could wear my insulin pump. But even with nothing on, I’m diabetic. I have sugar on me everywhere (She’s so sweet!) Sometimes people love to stop and stare. But this is me every day of the week… I’m diabetic!”
Since then, other TikTok users have incorporated the song into their own videos, with TikToker Soph Mosca recently posting a video about National Diabetes Awareness month that gained more than 2.2 million views.
The videos offer a glimpse into a growing community on TikTok of patient influencers who use the platform to discuss living with what many call an “invisible disease.”
Influencers with diabetes detail everything from daily glucose monitoring to diet plans to the mundane moments when they take insulin shots. These patients even delve into some of the mental health issues that come along with diabetes as well.
Given the significant prevalence of diabetes in the U.S., which affects more than 38 million people — it should be no surprise that plenty are engaging with this content on social media.
Here are 10 of the most prominent diabetes influencers on TikTok.
1. Jillian Rippolone
Jillian Rippolone has been living with type 1 diabetes since she was diagnosed as an eight-year-old and has subsequently built up a large online community of followers.
Some of her most popular videos on TikTok — with one gathering more than 14 million views — feature her showcasing how she uses her Dexcom device to monitor her glucose levels throughout the day.
In other videos, Rippolone delves into meticulous accounts of her personal journey with type 1 diabetes, including instances where she may experience a blood sugar crash while out doing errands, for example.
“This one came on pretty sudden,” she says in the video. “This one just hit differently… I had a tiny mini pack of Skittles in my bag. And I felt I needed a little bit more than that, so I also had an Auntie Annie’s fruit snack. My legs just feel like Jell-O. I found this random chair, so I’m just sitting and waiting it out, because it’s just so bad.”
In another video, Rippolone posted a video in honor of National Diabetes Awareness Month using the hashtag #NDAM, in which she gives some background on her condition.
Rippolone has made an impact on her followers throughout the years, with one commenter noting, “You were one of the first people I found in the diabetes online community probably almost 10 years ago.”
2. Type 1 Amy
Amy, who goes by @type1amy on TikTok, calls herself “your type 1 diabuddy.”
Armed with more than 10,000 followers, Amy’s approach to being a patient influencer is to offer words of wisdom and inspirational messages to people who may be struggling with the same diagnosis.
One of her videos lists the bravest things a person can do after a type 1 diabetes diagnosis.
“Accept your lifelong condition,” it reads. “Find your inner strength to be resilient, and to stay strong. Believe you can manage your blood sugar well after frustrations. Try again and again after failures. Become completely open about your diabetes.”
Type 1 Amy also posts humorous videos that hop on popular TikTok trends – including one stating that “Diabetes math is ‘accidentally’ taking extra insulin to justify snack after meal’ #diabetesmath.”
3. Charmaine Dominguez
Charmaine Dominguez has made a name for herself on TikTok by helping her audience choose which foods can help “reverse type 2 diabetes.”
In particular, Dominguez focuses on a plant-based diet and breaks down where foods fall on the glycemic index, which is a measure of how foods that contain carbs make glucose — or blood sugar — rise.
Foods with a low glycemic index release glucose slowly in the body, which can make it easier to control diabetes.
In one video, Dominguez takes her viewers to the grocery store to showcase food options that can help people with type 2 diabetes. She points to dragon fruit, cherry tomatoes, berries, cucumbers and Napa cabbage as all good options that have a low glycemic index.
“For someone that doesn’t like plain tofu, these marinated tofu are perfect,” she adds in the video. “Green tea for lowering blood sugar, and get some barley because they’re great for your blood sugar.”
In another video, Dominguez gives a rundown of what a newly-diagnosed type 2 diabetes patient should do. She notes it’s important to start making dietary changes as soon as possible, such as cutting out highly processed, high fat foods as well as eating more plants.
4. Brenda Rae Garcia
As a wife, mom, teacher and type 2 diabetes patient, Garcia has accumulated more than 35,000 followers on TikTok. She has committed to sharing her diabetes story and staying on top of her own treatment in order to motivate others to do the same.
“When I was first diagnosed with type 2 diabetes, I was in complete denial,” Garcia notes in one video. “I was very angry, and I didn’t want to accept the fact that was my diagnosis. For a long time, I ignored it… I ate like there was nothing wrong with me.”
Meeting with a physician who warned of the long-term complications of untreated type 2 diabetes – like eye problems, heart attack, stroke and kidney issues – helped spur her into taking action.
Still, she’s not afraid to share her struggles with maintaining treatment, especially when it comes to giving up certain favorite foods.
“It’s the pasta, it’s the rice, it’s the tortillas,” Garcia explains. “Everything we have, especially in the Mexican-American culture – we have lots of carbs in our diet.”
“Something I wish I had heard early on in my diagnosis would be that, ‘Hey, you’re not alone,’” she adds. “There’s lots of people with [type 2 diabetes]. When I started sharing my journey on my social media platform, I just threw myself out there… and I felt so much support. [My audience] motivate[s] me as much as I motivate them.”
5. Mary Ellen
Mary Ellen is a dietitian who knows how to craft the ideal meal for a patient with type 1 diabetes — because she’s one herself.
Her TikTok with more than 209,000 followers is designed to provide “content for all types of diabetes,” she notes in her bio.
In a video that has gathered more than 150,000 likes, Ellen offers an easy tip for baking desserts that reduces the overall carbohydrate intake and boosts fiber and protein at the same time. She suggests substituting regular all-purpose flour with equal parts almond flour and ground-up oats for baked goods to make them “blood sugar friendly.”
Ellen helps her audience build more “blood sugar friendly” plates for delicious meals — even for a Thanksgiving dinner — so they can enjoy their favorite foods while maintaining blood sugar levels.
If you’ve ever felt alone with a diabetes diagnosis, TikTok user Peyton, or @peytonnn202, is here to make you feel a bit less lonely.
One of Peyton’s most popular videos is quite simple. In it, she changes her Dexcom on her arm, that’s it.
However, the video went viral in 2020, garnering more than 1 million views and if the comments section is any indication, her audience members feel seen.
“Sometimes I forget other [people] have diabetes,” one commenter notes.
“It’s so nice to see that other people are still scared of putting on the sensor EVERY time like it’s the first time,” another one writes.
“I have diabetes too and people need to remember most of us have been doing this our whole lives so it really doesn’t hurt,” a third adds.
Since then, Peyton has built up an audience posting diabetes “vlogs” in which she showcases how her blood sugar goes up and down throughout the day and how she handles it.
7. Raquel Baron
For a diabetes influencer who provides a lighthearted take on managing the condition, enter Raquel Baron — a TikToker with type 1 diabetes who is also the founder of diabetes educational resource Type One Together.
Baron has gathered more than 12,000 followers on her account, which she uses to connect with audience members who have the condition, including other diabetes influencers.
In one video, Baron and friends run through a list of diabetes-inspired jokes.
“We’re diabetic, we’re going to complain about insulin prices,” she says in the video. “We’re diabetic, we’re going to be best friends with the pharmacist. We’re diabetic, if someone asks us if we ate too much sugar as a kid, we’re going to punch you in the face.”
However, the end of the video contains Baron’s goal — “We’re diabetic, we’re going to make friends with anyone else with type 1 diabetes.”
Indeed, Baron’s TikTok is filled with videos of her diabetes influencer friends meeting in real life — one of the tangible benefits of the online community.
8. Mary.type 1
One of Baron’s diabetes influencer friends is Mary — a TikToker who goes by @mary.type1 and has gathered more than 400,000 followers.
Some of her most popular videos — dubbed “A day in the life as a diabetic teacher” — have gone viral, establishing her as one of the preeminent voices about diabetes on TikTok.
In one viral video with more than 1.4 million likes, Mary shows how she had to switch out her Dexcom monitor during the school day, as well as check her sugars while her students “didn’t even notice.”
Thanks to TikTok’s algorithm, the reach of Mary’s videos extends far beyond the diabetes community and are likely to show up in other people’s feeds.
“Why am I on diabetic tok?” one commenter adds under her video. “I don’t even have diabetes… I guess it’s kinda interesting.”
“Honestly diabetic tok has taught me so much, I’m not diabetic but I’m a pharm tech and y’all’s videos and comments have helped me learn so much,” another adds — a sign that “patient influencers,” indeed, have significant sway over health literacy.
9. The Kreugers
If one diabetes influencer isn’t enough, the Kreugers’ TikTok page offers a view into how an entire family lives with the condition.
Dubbed “your diabetic siblings (since our fam has six),” the Kruegers post videos that often go viral showcasing the humor that a household of diabetics might entail.
Still, the videos also offer a glimpse into the chaos of a family with six diabetics — from planning meals to “getting in the pre-bolus mood” before a meal.
In one of their most popular videos, the Kruegers show the “things in my family of six diabetics’ house that just make sense,” from insulin taking over the fridge, drawers full of snacks and juice boxes, diabetes supplies everywhere, and “everyone’s night stand stocked with low blood sugar snacks.”
10. Jasey Doria
Jasey Doria is a good follow if you’re looking for entertaining videos about living with type 1 diabetes.
Doria has a video series dubbed a “Day in the life of a T1D,” or type 1 diabetes patient — a video diary that allows the audience to see how Doria manages the condition.
In one viral video, Doria plays on a TikTok trend “come get ready with me,” and switches it to “come replace my transmitter and sensor with me.”
Among her other videos, Doria takes a humorous approach when discussing common diabetes difficulties, which appears to resonate with the audience.
For a February 2024 post on TikTok’s GLP-1 influencers, click here.