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From Colorado Springs, Colorado, USA:

My friend's son (age 3) was just diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes. His little boy is really having a problem with the shots twice a day. Is there any other way he could receive the insulin other than a shot?


At this time, the only way to take insulin is by injection. Insulin is a protein, and if taken by mouth, would be digested and not work. There is ongoing research to find other ways to take insulin.

If you are thinking of other people with diabetes who take pills, those people have a different type of diabetes (Type 2). The pills that they take are not insulin, but rather pills to help their pancreas and their own insulin work better. Children with diabetes almost always have Type 1 diabetes, where they are not able to make insulin due to their bodies having destroyed their cells in the pancreas that make insulin. The life saving treatment for them is to replace the missing insulin.

As far as the difficult time the family is having with the shots: Usually after a short time, children and their families get used to the shots. Most people say the shots are not real painful, but rather a "nuisance." Have your friend talk with a pediatric diabetes educator for help with the injections. By the way there are some developmental stages where young children usually give their parents a real hard time with the shots. Patience and perseverance are usually needed (easy for me to say!) but kids will grow into a new stage where they are very cooperative with the shots.

Best of luck to your friend.


[Editor's Comment: Many children find the B-D ULTRA-FINE II Short Needle Syringes more comfortable than longer needle syringes for their injections. JSH]

Original posting 12 Jul 97


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Last Updated: Tuesday April 06, 2010 15:08:54
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