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Question:

From Connecticut, USA:

My son was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes 1 year ago. He is 9 years old and is still in the honeymoon phase. His blood sugars are very stable. Once in a while they go a little high (200's) or a little low (60's) but it is always due to increased or decreased eating so it does not concern me. His last HbA1c level was 6.9% which I'm told is good. He is also a little overweight so we battle with the amount of food intake regularly but he is built like his father, not fat just a little overweight. He is 5 feet tall and weighs 115 pounds. He seems to grow 1 to 2 inches every 4 months!

My concern, which almost seems ridiculous, is that he is doing so well and all I keep hearing is that it will all end. His honeymoon will soon be over and his blood sugars will not be easily controlled. I keep hearing about the effect of puberty but he has already begun that period and still we're fine. When he is sick with a cold or a viral infection that has him throwing up or with diarrhea his levels are even better? Does this really have to end? Do some children just have an easier time than others? He takes 4 units Regular and 6 units NPH every morning and evening. He has never had a severe episode or woke up low during the night. So far this has just been a minor inconvenience. I know others who had developed it later in life and say they are not too worried. Incidentally, my husbands father was a type 1. He died of complications at the age of 62 but lived a full life.

Answer:

The honeymoon is a normal stage of diabetes and generally lasts, in a child like your son, a few weeks to months and sometimes longer (even years if his diabetes has not presented with ketoacidosis due to an early diagnosis) as probably it happened in your son's case. The diabetes is not going away, but the remaining beta cells are contributing to the normal blood sugars even during his early phase of puberty or during his infections. The honeymoon stage doesn't usually end abruptly but rather you'll see a slow increase in his need for insulin. There is no specific way to extend the honeymoon phase. Keeping very good metabolic control and continuing insulin therapy as you're doing may possibly help to prolong the honeymoon period.

MS

Original posting 23 Feb 1998
Posted to Honeymoon

  
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Last Updated: Tuesday April 06, 2010 15:08:56
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