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Question:

From Glen Allen, Virginia, USA:

My son was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes, for which he had all of the typical symptoms, at five years old. We were told that he would go through a honeymoon period of two months to two years. Well, in May, he will have had diabetes for four years and his average A1c is between 7.1 and 7.3, blood sugars averaging around 160 mg/dl [8.9 mmol/L]. The endocrinologist seems to be baffled as to why he is still in his honeymoon period as are we. She mentioned a possible third type of diabetes, but didn't elaborate. Is it possible that he will remain in this period for good? We keep him on a strict regimen and count his carbohydrates, like we should. But, I find it hard to believe that just because we have followed the regular course of action for treatment of this disease that he should still be in his honeymoon after this long. Any thoughts?

Answer:

In my experience, the "typical" diabetes honeymoon lasts about one to one and a half years. I have seen one last only two weeks (in a teenage boy who did not follow directions and whose parents did not supervise). But, I have seen three others (and you might be the fourth) which have lasted about four years. The trick? I don't think it is "lucky" diabetes. I think it reflects real, conscientious attention. An A1c slightly greater than 7% to me smacks more of "pretty darn good control" but not still a "honeymoon" where the A1c is even much more close to normal at under 6.5 to 7%. But, it could be.

I don't think I really know the "third type" of diabetes to which your diabetologist referred, unless she meant "Maturity Onset Diabetes of the Young" (MODY). These rare forms of diabetes, of which there are six known forms, has a typical familial inheritance and, in fact, can often be treated with oral agents. It would not be likely that your son has MODY. It is more likely that you are really terrific parents who "keep him on a strict regimen and we count his carbs, like we should."

Sorry, but I don't think you can bank that he will remain in this glucose pattern for good. Count your stars, don't look a gift horse in the mouth, and whatever else optimistic cliche you like. Good job!

DS

DTQ-20060106174432
Original posting 9 Jan 2006
Posted to Honeymoon

  
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Last Updated: Tuesday April 06, 2010 15:10:04
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