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From Idaho:

I have a 16 year old son that has had diabetes for 2 years. His weight has been dropping and his blood sugars have been high; he is also growing 1.5 inches in 8 weeks.

Is there a chance that the growth hormones that are active now are creating his high blood sugars? If he is negative for ketones should I still be real worried about his weight loss? He takes 20 units of Ultralente in the AM and PM, and R with each meal and at bed time, if he needs it.The R is about 8 to 10 units at a time. He now weighs about 113 pounds. A1c is up for 7.4 to 10.5.


Sounds like a growth spurt. Yes, hormones could be doing it.

He probably will need an increase in his long-lasting Ultralente insulin. Talk it over with your Diabetes Team.


Additional Comments from Dr. Lebinger

During puberty, growth hormone increases, and more insulin is necessary to control the blood sugar and maintain normal growth. During the pubertal "growth spurt" (when the kids grow rapidly) insulin requirements may increase frequently. All teens who are in their growth spurt need more food. If you have diabetes, you will also need more insulin to use that food to grow.

If your child is losing weight, he is very out of control. You should contact your child's physician (preferably a pediatric endocrinologist) as soon as possible and meet with a nutritionist and not wait for ketones to develop. If ketones develop, it is a medical emergency and ketoacidosis could develop rapidly if extra insulin is not given.

Although it may be very difficult to keep the blood sugars normal at this stage, your child should grow normally and not lose weight if he is getting enough food and insulin. If he is losing weight, he is dangerously out of control.


Original posting 23 Apr 96
Additional comment added 18 Jan 97


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Last Updated: Tuesday April 06, 2010 15:08:52
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