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From South Carolina, USA:

My friend has a 2 year old son who has Downs' Syndrome and has Type 1 diabetes. He was diagnosed with diabetes at age 13 months. Can you give me any advice on how to regulate his blood sugar that ranges from 43 to 483 in a 24 hour period?

She tests his levels 4 times per day and he receives basically morning dosage 4 units of Regular insulin diluted 10 to 1, 4 units NPH, afternoon dosage is 1 unit Regular diluted 10 to 1, 2 NPH, blood sugar still falls with low dosage. How long is the "honeymoon period?"

His mother is at the end of her rope and because of the anxiety associated with her child's illnesses, is now suffering from high blood pressure and the "screaming meemees." She is concerned about his blood sugar levels affecting his abilities to function as normal as expected in a child with Downs'. Is there any specific reading materials available concerning diabetes in the Downs' Syndrome child?


It can be very difficult to manage diabetes in a young child, and even more difficult when the child has a developmental delay. Often only after considerable trial and error do you come up with the "best" plan, which still usually does not produce "perfect" blood sugars.

I would suggest the following:

  • Work closely with the child's physician, nurse educator, and dietitian.

  • Try to avoid frequent low blood sugars. If you have to choose between too high a blood sugar and too low a blood sugars, unless the child is sick with an infection or spilling ketones, probably high blood sugars are less apt to negatively affect development.

  • If the child needs diluted insulin, at the present time, trying to give Humalog after meals according to how much the child ate or how high the blood sugar is not yet an option as there still is no diluent for Humalog. I understand that Eli Lilly is presently working on a diluent for Humalog. When available, this may be another option to try.

  • Consider obtaining some professional counselling. Having a young child with diabetes and Down's Syndrome is extremely demanding and can lead to significant personal and family stress. Professional counselling can be very helpful to manage coping with these stresses.


Original posting 1 Jun 97


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