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Question:

From St. Petersburg, Florida, USA:

Can Type 1 diabetes come and go in the early stages of the disease? Are there any side effects of synthetic human insulin that is not common with beef and pork?

Answer:

Autoimmune Type 1 diabetes mellitus is a slowly and irregularly progressive chronic autoimmune disease characterized by a long preclinical phase (prodrome stage) when only the serological markers of the autoimmune process are present, which leads ultimately to the destruction of pancreatic beta cells. In fact, is actually later on in the process that insulin secretion begin to decline, and blood sugar levels go up.

During the early stages of the clinically apparent disease, there's a period, variable in length, after the initial diagnosis when there is a gradual improvement of the metabolic control along with a striking change in insulin requirement (the honeymoon period). It lasts for a while (weeks or months in children, sometimes even years in adults) but it does end: most important over this time is to stick anyhow to the insulin therapy to assure a better residual endogenous insulin secretion for future days and possibly a better metabolic control.

Regarding the second question of any side effect of synthetic human insulins compared to beef and pork insulins: some years ago (after the initial entry of human insulin to the market) there was a raging debate about an higher risk towards "hypoglycemia unawareness" (less warning symptoms of hypoglycemia) in people switched to human insulins than those on animal insulins but this concept wasn't confirmed in larger follow up studies. Nowadays million of diabetic patients worldwide are using human insulins without any particular side effect.

MS

Original posting 26 Feb 1998
Posted to Honeymoon and Insulin

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