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From Franklin, Wisconsin, USA:

My 11 year old daughter has had type 1 diabetes for four years, and her hemoglobin A1c is usually under 8%. She weighs 82 pounds and receives 50-54 units of insulin per day. Her doctors say she may be becoming insulin resistant. Is this true? Is there anything we can do/not do to help prevent this?


I think that insulin resistance is a relative term. A "rule-of-thumb" dose of insulin ranges from about 0.5 to 1.5 units of insulin per every kilogram of body weight. So at 82 pounds (37.3 kg), your daughter's daily insulin dose approximates 1.4-1.5 per kilogram per day. Many would see this as being "somewhat" insulin resistant., but it is not the same degree of insulin resistance seen in type 2 diabetes and is not severe enough to make me think of more unusual and worrisome forms of insulin resistance, in which patients receive/require hundreds of units of insulin daily.

Certain situations can make someone with type 1 diabetes relatively insulin resistant. The first (and most common) is poor attention to meal planning: more carbs consumed leads to more insulin requirements. The next likely scenario is the child who is going through puberty and the pubertal growth spurt. That is a very dynamic process that requires more fuel (food) and insulin to cover it!! Other illnesses or some other hormonal imbalances (like hyperthyroidism) can alter the insulin requirements.


Original posting 6 Dec 2001
Posted to Insulin


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Last Updated: Tuesday April 06, 2010 15:09:28
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