From University Park, Illinois, USA:
My eight year old daughter has newly diagnosed type 1 diabetes and has begun insulin injections twice a day, but it just seems so cruel to inject a young child on a daily basis. Are there any other alternatives? Is this something that she will possibly grow out of one day? Is there a specialist you can recommend who is highly versed in this disease?
If your daughter comes from a Caucasian background there is a 95% chance that she has type 1A (autoimmune) diabetes and that she will require insulin supplementation in some form or another for the rest of her life. For the present, much can be done to mitigate the trials of giving insulin and blood glucose testing by using ultrafine needles and one of the new essentially painless glucose monitors like the FreeStyle or One Touch® Ultra.
Inhaled insulin has had some success, but the apparatus is cumbersome, and the most promising device the oral insulin spray with which an insulin analog is absorbed in an aerosol form from the mucosa of the mouth. It is not yet approved by the FDA for any age group, but early clinical trials suggest that it will be before long. In the long run the hopes are that porcine sells can be encapsulated in such a way that they act as a transplant, but won't require either human donors or continued immunosuppression. There are also some very ingenious technics in molecular genetics that suggest that an insulin gene, made responsive to blood sugar levels, can be introduced into a cell that is not vulnerable to autoimmune destruction.
Original posting 26 Jun 2001
Posted to Daily Care
Last Updated: Tuesday April 06, 2010 15:09:21
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