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Question:

I am a RN at our hospital's Wellness Center and I supervise the chronic illness exercise program as well as doing a lot of education with the participants.

I am having difficulty finding resource information on the "Honeymoon Phase" that can occur with individuals with diabetes, specifically Type 2. Could you please share any information with me? (I have numerous books from the ADA which have little or no information on this topic.) I am looking for information that is understandable to the lay-person that I may use as a handout.

Answer:

The terms "honeymoon" or "remission" are used to describe the temporary decrease in insulin requirements (and temporary increase in the body's own production of insulin) which occurs frequently after stabilization of Type 1 (Insulin Dependent) Diabetes. We have discussed this extensively in previous questions. (I have never heard this term used in conjunction with Type 2 (non-insulin-dependent) diabetes).

TGL

[Editor's comment: Type 2 diabetes has a different sort of situation, somewhat similar to the honeymoon: obese Type 2 patients may go into a prolonged remission if they can lose weight. There's really no well-defined term for this situation; sometime it's called "diet-controlled Type 2 diabetes," but it might be loosely called a honeymoon by some people. During this remission of Type 2 diabetes, like the Type 1 patient's honeymoon, it may be impossible to detect any high blood sugars, but the disease is still there: it'll come back under the stress of illness, or if the person regains their weight and becomes obese again. The mechanism of this remission is said to be related to resensitization of the body's insulin receptors, rather than what's discussed above for Type 1 diabetes, but superficially, either group of patients looks the same: prior diagnosis of diabetes, sticking with a meal plan, and little or no medication needed after having used it before. And in either case, the remission is temporary. WWQ]

Original posting 28 Mar 97

  
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Last Updated: Tuesday April 06, 2010 15:08:54
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