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Question:

My 10 year old child is suffering from diabetes and depends on insulin. He is getting 10 units in morning and 6 units in evening of human 70/30 insulin. He is also suffering from weight loss and looseness of the skin. I want your suggestions for an insulin free life. Can we go for pancreas drafting or transplant? Any other new invention?

Answer:

It is difficult to be helpful without a lot more information, but if your son does indeed have Type 1A (autoimmune) diabetes, which is the most common form in children in North America, he will require insulin in some form or other for life. You might ask his doctor though if he had an antibody test done at diagnosis which would have confirmed this. It is probably too late to do this now. He is also on a rather low dose of insulin for an average 10 year old, and since he is losing weight, I think that you should also talk to his doctor about getting a thyroid test done. TSH is best, because hypothyroidism can be an associated autoimmune disorder which is quite often linked to type 1A diabetes.

It is very unlikely that your son would be accepted for either a whole pancreas or islet cell transplant. The shortage of donors, for the most part, limits this to older subjects who also have terminal kidney disease. In addition, the long term effects of immunosuppressive drugs have not yet been evaluated in children.

The only new thing I have to suggest is that your son might be helped by at least a single visit to an established pediatric diabetes care team that, as well as a doctor, has a nurse educator, a dietitian and a medical social worker. Amongst other things, they might be able to start him off on a rather more up to date insulin regimen and even help you consider an insulin pump.

DOB

DTQ-20001016093650
Original posting 15 Nov 2000
Posted to Research: Cure and Transplants

  
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Last Updated: Tuesday April 06, 2010 15:09:16
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