Back to Ask the Diabetes Team Questions from Jan 1997

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  1. I recently read in a generic health magazine about a lady taking the new Humalog insulin by mouth. Could this be possible? As far as I know it only comes in vials like all of Eli Lilly's other insulins and is drawn into a syringe. (30 Jan 97)

  2. The literature seems to "take it for granted" that, when split shots of NPH and R are taken, the ratio is on the order of 70/30. For our daughter, the ratio is "inverted," (i.e., approximately 30/70). Do you have any feel for how common this "inverted levels" is? (30 Jan 97)

  3. My eight year old son was diagnosed with severe ADHD. Now because of certain behavior problems in and around mealtimes, they are questioning hypoglycemia. Could you please give me the normal levels I should be looking for when I do random glucose sticks on him? (30 Jan 97)

  4. I am a diabetes educator and can refer patients in need to indigents from anything from medicines to syringes except strips. What is an indigent patient supposed to do for a regular supply of blood glucose monitor strips? (30 Jan 97)

  5. Is it true that Lilly will soon stop manufacturing the Pork/Beef insulin? My wife doesn't do very well on Humulin. (30 Jan 97)

  6. I have been taking shots since the age of 11 months old. The problem I have is now that I'm 23, everytime I inject insulin, I bleed and it hurts. I've got so many bruises that my body looks like a road map. Any suggestions? (29 Jan 97)

  7. Our son was diagnosed with diabetes at age 9 1/2. What are the chances he will attain his full-potential adult height if the A1Cs stay in a decent range? (29 Jan 97)

  8. I took my five year old son in to the emergency room because he was having a pain in his side. His doctor noticed that his blood sugar level was 195. I am confused as to why some days it appears as though his pancreas is functioning normally and others it appears as though his pancreas is not working at all. (29 Jan 97)

  9. My thirteen year old daughter was diagnosed three months ago with Type 1. She is doing very well with giving her own injections, except every once in a while, she "hits something hard in there," and she says it really hurts. (29 Jan 97)

  10. We were away last weekend when my daughter complained of pain on urination. We took her to a walk in clinic and the doctor performed a urinalysis and said she had a urinary tract infection. [A follow up] urinalysis showed trace levels of ketones. Should I be concerned about diabetes? (29 Jan 97)

  11. My daughter is 5 years old. We have a target range of 65-165. Is this dangerous having tight control? She has had lows in the 30, 40 and 50 range. Why do some doctors feel lows are not dangerous and others do? Is there any evidence you can cite of how many children get brain damage from tight control programs? (29 Jan 97)

  12. We have been told by medical professionals that swabbing the injection site with alcohol prior to injection is not recommended, something to do with the alcohol and insulin reacting. Can you please advise? (29 Jan 97)

  13. Our son has been experiencing sporadic high and lows. With close monitoring we are keeping on top of them, but what we are curious about is whether there is any long term effects by him peaking to 16 or 18 mmol for a short period of time or a low of under 4 mmol. (29 Jan 97)

  14. What is the youngest a child can be diagnosed with diabetes? Are there any early signs and symptoms to watch for in a baby between 5 months and 2 years? (29 Jan 97)

  15. My 5 year old son was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes 6 months ago. I have been getting different advice on his diet. (29 Jan 97)

  16. My 17 year old son was diagnosed with secondary diabetes due to Cystic Fibrosis. He uses his thighs for injection and has developed itchy red bumps and a hardness beneath the skin at the sites. Could this be a reaction to the insulin? (27 Jan 97)

  17. What are chances of my son age 29 diagnosed at 14 with Type 1 diabetes passing diabetes to his children? (27 Jan 97)

  18. My 8 year old daughter has had diabetes for 2 years. We have always had a problem keeping her blood sugars between 100-150. She is always either high or too low (50-500). Would the new insulin Humalog be an option for her? (27 Jan 97)

  19. Is sorbitol "healthier" than sugar? (27 Jan 97)

  20. I was diagnosed IDD in mid 1996. For two years my endocrinologist had me on Novolin 70/30 twice daily and kept increasing the dosage. He switched me to variable Regular insulin three times a day mixed with Ultralente am and pm. Do I need to monitor each time when the amount of Regular varies so little? (27 Jan 97)

  21. I was recently diagnosed with diabetes and am trying to determine what type of physicians I should see. (27 Jan 97)

  22. I recently received an e-mail request for a free cassette tape for information on a new diabetic product. Has anyone heard of this cassette from a diabetic resource and research center? It doesn't sound above board. (26 Jan 97)

  23. Our twelve year old daughter has been hospitalized four of the last six weeks with blood sugars between 49 and 1097. Besides an insulin drip, she takes an average of 150-200 units of insulin daily. All injections have been drawn by nurses and observed during the administration. Have you ever seen this and how is it treated? (25 Jan 97)

  24. My son is 3 1/2 years old and was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes. One person has recommended chelation treatments. I would like to know more about exactly what chelation treatment is, what is the treatment's goals, and why most medical professionals believe it to be quackery. (25 Jan 97)

  25. We have a 10 year old daughter recently diagnosed diabetic. My wife was just diagnosed with Myasthenia Gravis. One of the treatments we are looking at is the removal of the thymus gland that produces antibodies. Since diabetes is an immune system problem the same as MG is, why have I not heard anything on the removal of the thymus gland for diabetics? (25 Jan 97)

  26. Our 3 year old son is a Type 1 diabetic for about 4 months now. We have talked to several other parents of diabetic kids of similar age about diet. Our son is on a no sugar added diet until age 6. Their kids are on either exchange or carb counting diets. Which is better? (25 Jan 97)

  27. I am a newly diagnosed Type 1 diabetic. Right now I'm just taking 7U NPH am and pm and trying to get used to monitoring, etc. Two questions: I have been taking insulin and eating right after; with NPH, is that okay? Also, what is the desired sugar level that I should be attempting to maintain? (25 Jan 97)

  28. I am 42 years old and have been diabetic for 2 years. On NPH and Regular insulin in the morning and at supper. I go to the gym three mornings a week. I do not have anything to eat or drink before I go to the gym to exercise. My blood sugar is higher after an hour's exercise than if I just get up and go to work. Why? (25 Jan 97)

  29. I can't get rid of my craving for cookies. (25 Jan 97)

  30. I am 36 years old, have 3 children. I was diabetic during ny first and second pregnancies. Now and the last 5-9 years I've been a severe brittle diabetic. Now I am on Buspar and my sugars have more than stabilized. Totally amazing, am I missing something else in my body that I don't know or haven't been told about? (25 Jan 97)

  31. I am a 16 year old male, Type 1, diagnosed at age 7. My morning shot is Humalog and NPH. Is it safe to make the evening shot Regular and NPH? (25 Jan 97)

  32. I have a 4 year boy who was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes 3 months ago. We are having great difficulty getting him to eat foods with protein in it. Any suggestions or ideas on how to get him to eat protein? (25 Jan 97)

  33. We have two children. They have been diagnosed since they were 2 and 3 years of age. We have no family history of diabetes on either side of the family, even generations back. Could you please explain what happened for our two children to get it? (25 Jan 97)

  34. If a person had a severe infection, could that cause the blood sugar to rise that much and would that constitute a diagnosis of diabetes? (25 Jan 97)

  35. Part of a recent answer stated that "food usually raises blood sugar, but water alone, or alcoholic beverages, usually lowers blood sugar." Can you explain the lowering effect of water alone? (25 Jan 97)

  36. I have an adult friend who just told me she was told by a doctor she had a blood glucose reading of 350 or so and was at "high risk" for developing diabetes. My son has Type 1 so I know that 350 is very high. Her doctor doesn't seem to be treating this aggressively. Any advice would be appreciated! (22 Jan 97)

  37. I have had Type 1 diabetes for many years. I have recently started on Humalog (Lispro), and I have heard that it has not yet been researched in pregnancy. I am considering attempting to become pregnant and I was wondering if I should go off Humalog and back to Regular? (22 Jan 97)

  38. I received an advertisment for the B-D Pen Needle and the Syringe with Ultra-fine II short needle. It gives a warning to consult your healthcare professional before using any 5/16 inch needle. Why would the shorter needle make such a difference? (22 Jan 97)

  39. My 5.75 year-old daughter has been experiencing some diabetes-like symptoms. Am a paranoid or should I have her tested? (22 Jan 97)

  40. I am a 34 year old female, 5'2", 115 pounds and run 10 miles per week. My mother was diagnosed with adult onset diabetes at the age of 47. Is there any reason we should avoid sugar intake altogether? (22 Jan 97)

  41. I am a 45 year old male Type 1 diabetic and have been a diabetic for 8 years. Recently I have gained a lot of weight. I am anxious to lose this excess weight but every time I try and diet I have the most terrible hypos. How do I overcome this problem of balancing insulin intake with reduced food intake? (22 Jan 97)

  42. Is diabetes recessive or dominant, and how is it inherited? A lot of my ancestors have diabetes and I wanted to know the chance I would get diabetes. (20 Jan 97)

  43. The son of a friend of mine is a diabetic, Type 1. He is 15 years old. Last year he suddenly experienced epilepsy. Is there any connection between diabetes and epilepsy? Can hypoglycaemia play a role in causing epilepsy? (20 Jan 97)

  44. My brother, age 14, was diagnosed about one year ago with Type 1 diabetes. Would it be a good idea for me, a non-diabetic, age 16, to take part in the DPT-1 trials? (20 Jan 97)

  45. My son is 3 1/2 years old and was recently diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes. Our pediatrician believes he is in a honeymoon period. Is there a means to extend that period? (20 Jan 97)

  46. I am the mother of a 16 year old teen, and an RN. I was less than happy with my son's last A1C. When I read about Lispro I was very excited and wanted to have my son try it. His doctor didn't want us to try it because he felt there was not enough research about using lispro. Without his consent we began using Lispro. (20 Jan 97)

  47. My 4 year old son was recently diagnosed and I have been told that control of 200 or below is adequate to minimize microvascular complications. Is this appropriate? I am very fearful of the complications. (18 Jan 97)

  48. I recently found out that a very good friend of mine has diabetes. Every time I don't see her at school I get scared that she is sick. Do you have any suggestions on how I should act around her? (18 Jan 97)

  49. I was given some "sugarfree" candy which listed Sugar Alcohol in its contents. What is Sugar Alcohol and what is its effect on a diabetic? (18 Jan 97)

  50. My 10 year son has had Type 1 diabetes since the age of two. We are very concerned about the long term effects of high readings as well as the effects of daily finger pricks. We have heard that non-invasive blood glucose monitors do in fact exist and are in use. If they do, what would be necessary to obtain such a device? (18 Jan 97)

  51. My 20 year old daughter was diagnosed with juvenile Type 1 diabetes two and one-half years ago. For the past two weeks she has been insulin-free and her glucose levels have been consistently within normal ranges. We believe she has been miraculously healed of this disease. (18 Jan 97)

  52. Can diabetes stunt growth? (18 Jan 97)

  53. My wife is 28 years old and has Type 1 diabetes since she was 5. She was very lax in her control of her blood sugars, not checking for many years. We just read that someone with high blood sugars, who gets themselves under control quickly, will do so to the detriment of their eyes! (18 Jan 97)

  54. Do you know of anyone using a constant dose of both Regular and NPH insulin, while using Lente on a slide scale basis with the Regular insulin injections? (18 Jan 97)

  55. My 13 year old son was diagnosed Type 1 five months ago. Overall control is good. The problem is bedtime highs. (16 Jan 97, updated 20 Jan 97)

  56. I had a baby two years ago, and during my last trimester I developed gestational diabetes. I have several questions that I have never been able to get answered. (16 Jan 97)

  57. Our 5 year old son has IDDM. I read about treatable Type 1 diabetes associated illnesses and have a concern that our son may have Graves' Disease. Would you please help us understand what the oral treatment and TSH assay involve? (16 Jan 97)

  58. My friend is diabetic and he has kidney trouble too. I am looking for a clinic or hospital or some places that he can get help. (16 Jan 97)

  59. Have there been any studies done concerning juvenile diabetes and functioning of the parasympathetic nervous system? It seems to me that it would be very beneficial to try methods of enhancing the parasympathetic nervous system like yoga, certain types of music, massage, diet, etc. (16 Jan 97)

  60. My 9-year-old son has been a Type 1 diabetic for almost two years. I am getting a lot of pressure from extended family to stop taking my son to our pediatric resident. Should we switch our son over to an endocrinologist? (16 Jan 97)

  61. For many years I was on beef and pork insulin. I developed atrophy in the injection sites. Now I'm on Humulin R and Ultralente. I have puffiness in all the areas that I inject into. What causes this? Is there anything I can do to stop it? (16 Jan 97)

  62. I am new at this (about 2 months now) and I would like to know what blood sugar is too low to take my insulin? I'm Type 1. (16 Jan 97)

  63. My son is 10 years old and has had diabetes since age 1. For many months he has had local cutaneous allergic reactions at the site of insulin injections. Therapy of intradermal and subcutaneous desensitization has been performed, but the cutaneous reactions have presented themselves again. Could you help me? (16 Jan 97)

  64. Can you explain any relationship between Down's Syndrome and Diabetes Mellitus? (16 Jan 97)

  65. We seem to be entering a new phase in the saga of our ten year old's "problems" with diabetes. For the last week, he has been running very low. His blood sugar levels have been 50-80 after eating enough to fill a horse. Do we worry about the low sugar levels like we worry about the high ones? (16 Jan 97)

  66. Recently my 4 year-old son went to his first dental appointment and we discovered one of his molars (which he will keep until 12) had lost most of its protective enamel. A friend had mentioned this could be a sign of diabetes. (15 Jan 97)

  67. Is fructose is a "legal" substitute sweetener for diabetics? (15 Jan 97)

  68. Do you have any information on glycohemoglobin test accuracy? (15 Jan 97)

  69. Our daughter is 7 and was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes last year. We continue to have frequent leakage from the upper arm injection site. We use the BD 29 gauge, 1/2 inch needle and 7 units total insulin. Our daughter really wants to continue this site. Any suggestions? (15 Jan 97)

  70. Does one unit of the new Humalog "cover" the same amount of carbohydrates as one unit of Regular? (15 Jan 97)

  71. My son is 32, Type 1, and has proliferative retinopathy. I'm trying to find help on nutrition classes. I have seen information for 3 classes requesting US$1200.00. There has to be a training area in this, without costing a lot of money. (15 Jan 97)

  72. My daughter will be 15 shortly, and has IDDM since age 5. She would like to stop taking her AM NPH and use the Humalog throughout the day, just using NPH at bedtime. Is this a possibility? She doesn't like to worry about lows at school. (15 Jan 97)

  73. My son will be 14 in March. We have received a Mini-Med 507 insulin pump, and are starting to use it but it will be another month before we can see the doctor. Do you have any suggestions on how to adjust his basal rates after he starts back to school? (7 Jan 97)

  74. I have a nine year old son who has been showing large ketones in his urine in the morning. His blood sugar in the morning has been elevated. I give him extra Regular and am basically "chasing" the ketones away. I don't like doing this but am forced [to] because my insurance doesn't take effect until Feb. 1. Any suggestions? (6 Jan 97)

  75. In one of your questions and answers you mentioned that there are herbal and dietetic "meds" for people in poor countries because they can't afford traditional medications. There must be a body of work available from them over the last 50 years or so - aren't they controlling the disease? Or do they simply not control the disease at all? (6 Jan 97)

  76. I am 42 years old and diabetic for 1 year. I would like to know that how safe is the use of sugar substitutes, like Nutrasweet. (6 Jan 97)

  77. My father has Type 1 diabetes, is 62 years old, and was diagnosed about 20 years ago. He got an itchy rash that moves all over his body. Could he have developed an allergy to Humulin insulin that is causing the rash? (6 Jan 97)

  78. 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? (6 Jan 97)

  79. May I know how can I grow fatter? (6 Jan 97)

  80. I have a one year old daughter and I want to know the symptoms of diabetes. (6 Jan 97)

  81. My daughter, age 10, has been diabetic over the past 8 years (she's been diabetic since she was 22 months old). Is there any relation between the growth of the mammary glands (or the production of Growth Hormones, in general) to blood glucose readings? And if so, what to do? (6 Jan 97)

  82. I have read the statistics you have provided in response to other questions regarding the hereditary nature of diabetes. What would be the difference in the percentages related to the length of time the father has been diabetic? (4 Jan 97)

  83. I have heard rumor of pancreas transplants in [a major United States city]. My information is that such transplants are a cure for diabetes. Please advise. (4 Jan 97)

  84. I am a fifty year old white female who was diagnosed with type II diabetes one and one half years ago. Early episodes of low blood sugar included tingling in my limbs and lips and near collapse. Later, I had several episodes of violent shaking which lasted several hours. Is this common? (4 Jan 97)

  85. Our son is enrolled in the Barbara Davis Center for his diabetes; we gave our daughter (who doesn't have diabetes) the BCG vaccination at 9 months, and she continues to be autoantibody negative. It seems that there must be other families who have also given the BCG vaccination (perhaps for other reasons) and it would be interesting to look at the outcome. (4 Jan 97)

  86. My two year old daughter was recently diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes. I have accertained that the kidney threshold is lower than 180 (I mean that the glucose in the urine appears when the blood-level is about 140). What does it means? (4 Jan 97)

  87. My 3 year old cousin was diagnosed with diabetes. He lives in Mexico and has fallen into a coma 2 months ago and into another just recently. Could you possibly help me get information on treatment for my cousin or literature in Spanish so we may send it to my aunt in Mexico? (4 Jan 97)

  88. In this era of cost containment, what would be optimal for a stable diabetes, Type 2, person to self monitor his blood sugar? Should we spend money on strips to monitor blood sugars to test 2 or 3 times daily? Once/week? or only when the patient feels strange? (4 Jan 97)

  89. Can our six year old daughter take one dose of insulin instead of two? She currently is taking a Regular and NPH dose in the morning and only NPH at night. Why not use a combination with a possible longer acting insulin (Ultralente)? (4 Jan 97)

  90. My 11 year old son eats more candy now than before he was diagnosed. I don't mind him eating some candy, but he thinks of it as a way to control his blood sugar, and wants it more because he knows he can't have it. Any suggestions? (4 Jan 97)

  91. I have had diabetes for nineteen years and recently have had my blood sugars fluctuate between 2 and 20 mmol/l [36-360 mg/dl]. Do you think if they bounce around like this that it could be rebound? It just seem that no matter how much I increase my insulin, nothing works. (4 Jan 97)

  92. I have been an IDDM since age 13. I am now 45. I experience an insulin reaction, unexplained by food, medication or exercise, shortly (12-24 hours) before my periods start. Is there any link between the hormonal changes during the menstrual cycle and the sugar levels? (1 Jan 97)

  93. I am a 20 year old engineering student from India. I was diagnosed as IDDM in August 1995 after a prolonged period of illness. Now I am taking 20 units of human Mixtard (70-30 ratio) insulin a day. I would like to know if I could be controlled on oral hypoglycemics. (1 Jan 97)

  94. Our daughter has just recently switched her insulin to Humalog® [lispro insulin]. She is 18 years old and is living away from home. We asked her what the adjustments are with this new insulin for sick days. She did not know. Do you have any information on this subject? (1 Jan 97)

  95. My 5 year-old son has had Type 1 diabetes since he was 15 months old. Two years ago, he woke up about 5:00am with what we thought to be a low blood sugar. I noticed the right side of his body was not moving and he could not walk. The doctor in the ER said that this was Todd's Paralysis. (1 Jan 97)

The Diabetes Team

Bill Jones, MD (Specialist in the management of diabetes during pregnancy, member since April 1997)
Marco Songini, MD (Italy) (Pediatric, adolescent, and adult endocrinologist and diabetologist, member since April 1997)
Larry Deeb, MD (Pediatric Endocrinologist, member since July 1998)
John Schulga, MBChB MRCGP MRCP FRCPCH (UK) (Consultant Paediatrician in childhood and adolescent diabetes and endocrinology, member since July 1999)
Stuart Brink, MD (Pediatric Endocrinologist, member since October 1999)
Matthew Brown, MD (Pediatrician and a Pediatric Diabetologist, member since January 2000)
Jim Lane, MD (Adult Endocrinologist, member since November 2000)
David Schwartz, MD (Pediatric Endocrinologist, member since May 2001)
Andrea Scaramuzza, MD (Italy) (Pediatric Endocrinologist, member since October 2003)
Fran Kaufman, MD (Pediatric Endocrinologist, member since August 2006)
Linda DiMeglio, MD (Pediatric Endocrinologist)

Barb Schreiner, RN, MPH, CDE (Diabetes Nurse Specialist, member since July 2002)
Jane Seley, RN, GNP, MPH, MSN, CDE, CHES (Diabetes Nurse Practitioner, member since August 2002)
Joe Solowiejczyk, RN, MSW (Family Therapist, member since April 2010)
Linda Mackowiak, RN, MS, FNP, CDE (Diabetes Nurse Specialist)

Jill Weissberg-Benchell, PhD (Medical Psychology and Psychiatry, member since January 2000)

James Michael Schurig, MS, RD, LD, CDE (Dietitian, member since December 2000)

Exercise Physiologists
Rick Philbin, M.Ed., A.T.C., C.S.C.S (Sports Medicine, member since July 2004)

Lois Schmidt Finney, RD, MPH, CDE (DPT-1 Research Coordinator, member since July 1998)
Heather Speer, MPH, CCRC, CDE (Clinical Diabetes Research and Education Coordinator, member since July 1998)

Social Workers
Debbie Butler, CDE, MSW, LICSW (Licensed Clinical Social Worker, member since October 2004)

And Our Occasional Experts

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