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From Brazil:

My daughter is 9 years old and got Type 1 diabetes at 8 years of age, after getting chickenpox. She takes 15 units of insulin in the morning and 5 units at night, plays sports and eats a balanced diet. What relationship is there between chickenpox and diabetes? What should I do if at times she has high blood sugar levels (380)?


When I first started caring for children with diabetes, we all thought a recent "event", stress, sickness or something triggered the diabetes. Were we ever wrong! We now know that the autoimmune trigger for diabetes starts a long time (years) before the diabetes.

We do see children who have the diabetes diagnosed around an illness. It makes sense, since in these cases, the pancreas has little insulin, and stress, which causes everyone to need more insulin, makes the blood sugar just a little higher and make the diagnosis easy.

Treat high blood sugars with extra insulin. Check with your team to determine the best type of insulin. If the events are random, short acting insulin. If they become a pattern, the longer acting insulin is perhaps appropriate.


Original posting 4 Apr 1999
Posted to Research: Causes and Prevention


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