From Connecticut, USA:
My 8 year old son was diagnosed 5 months ago with diabetes. After about 3 weeks he started to honeymoon taking only 2 After about 3 weeks he started to honeymoon taking only 2 units of short and 2 of long each morning and night. His levels are pretty stable with a 30 day average of approximately 120. I've been told to keep up with the insulin even though at times he really does not require any because there has been some discussion that giving daily injections of insulin may prolong the honeymoon period. Is there any validity to this?
When he was diagnosed his pediatrician was baffled. Only 4 months previous, he had a full physical and there was no indication of any abnormalities. Fortunately he was diagnosed early, he wasn't feeling sick at all. Could early detection and the honeymoon period be a sign that this period may be prolonged, or is there no correlation? Additionally, can Type 1 diabetics all have different control levels? We have friends with a son the same age as mine, and his levels are very difficult to control. On the other hand, I have grown up with Type 1 diabetics who have great control and have very little difficulty in managing their disease. Are they that varied and why? Does each individual's metabolism have anything to do with this?
Lastly, any suggestions on alternative therapy in addition to current approaches? Besides positive thinking and prayer we already do a lot of that!
It is generally recommended not to stop insulin therapy during the honeymoon (remission) phase as there is evidence, as you mention, that continued insulin treatment may prolong the honeymoon phase and possibly increase the chance of continued, prolonged production of small amounts of insulin even after the honeymoon ends. In my experience, patients who are diagnosed early, when the symptoms are mild, are more apt to have longer honeymoon periods, though this is not always the case.
You bring up a very good point which I personally don't feel is emphasized enough. For reasons not understood, there are patients who have a much harder time controlling their blood sugars even though they may try as hard (or even harder) than others with better control. I personally would like to see more research into why this happens. I think it is very important for people who have a difficult time obtaining optimal control not to feel guilty or inadequate and to remember that their efforts are still producing better control than if they did not try.
We've discussed alternative therapies in previous questions. At the present time there is not enough good scientific research to say whether any of them are helpful or harmful.
Original posting 1 Jun 97
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