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Question:

From Norway:

My son of almost 4 has type 1. His blood sugar is very unstable -- a lot of high and lows every day. How old must he be before he can start using an insulin pump? Is the insulin pump the best form of treatment for the type of problems I described? We test him 6-8 times a day and he gets about 6 injections with a jet injector every day.

Answer:

Pumps are probably the best treatment for Type 1 diabetes. There are some parents and a few medical personnel who believe that insulin pumps are the answer to the type of control you describe. However, I personally do not believe that it is appropriate for a 3 year old. Currently, the pumps do not have the ability to monitor blood sugar and respond with insulin. (This is coming in the not too distant future.) Use of insulin pumps requires problem-solving and decision making several times a day to tell them the appropriate amount of insulin to deliver. A 3-year old certainly does not have the cognitive ability for this process. In addition, a 3-year old cannot be taught to push the right buttons on the pump when needed.

Consider that the problem may be the jet injector. The American Diabetes Association does not recommend the use of these devices because insulin is dispersed too quickly in small children. You might try giving insulin with a syringes and, perhaps, an Inject-Ease, and see if this helps the problem.

One additional thought: small children often do have wide fluctuations in blood glucose levels. If you are continually responding to the numbers instead of looking for patterns, you may never get him leveled out.

SS

Original posting 7 Nov 1998
Posted to Insulin Pumps and Daily Care

  
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Last Updated: Tuesday April 06, 2010 15:09:02
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