Back to Ask the Diabetes Team Ask the Diabetes Team

From Los Angeles, California, USA:

My 14 year old son was diagnosed with type 1 in April, 2003. At that time he was 5 feet, 5 inches, and weighed 115 pounds, having lost about 15 pounds in the month before he was diagnosed. Eighteen months later, he is 5 feet, 10 inches and 170 pounds He is using just 17 units of Lantus per day, injected at night, and no insulin with food. This has been going on for about six weeks. Before that, his ratio was about 1 unit per 60 grams of carbohydrates and he rarely used more than 22 to 25 units per day. He consumes about 400 grams of carbohydrate per day. He is a very serious athlete, a fencer, ranked second in the U.S. in his age group, and trains approximately two to three hours per day, five days a week. Do you think he is in a very extended honeymoon period? Does his volume of exercise account for his low insulin dose? Does he still has some pancreatic function?

Perhaps it is relevant to note that, at diagnosis, his blood sugar was above 600 mg/dl [33.3 mmol/L], but he had no ketones.


It is somewhat unusual for so little insulin needed in a teenager, but this much activity certainly reduces insulin requirements and could be the explanation. As long as you are doing pre- and post-prandial blood glucose checks and the values are entirely normal, I wouldn't usually make any dose changes. It's likely that, over time, his insulin requirements will increase and/or pancreatic function decrease, so this also shouldn't be surprising. All should be based upon actual blood glucose readings done frequently coupled with advice from your diabetes team, A1c readings etc. Your diabetes team can do more sophisticated pancreatic reserve testing (i.e. C-peptide levels) but the blood glucose readings indirectly provide similar information.


Original posting 14 Nov 2004
Posted to Insulin and Exercise and Sports


  Back to Ask the Diabetes Team Return to the Top of This Page

Last Updated: Tuesday April 06, 2010 15:10:00
This Internet site provides information of a general nature and is designed for educational purposes only. If you have any concerns about your own health or the health of your child, you should always consult with a physician or other health care professional.

This site is published by T-1 Today, Inc. (d/b/a Children with Diabetes), a 501c3 not-for-profit organization, which is responsible for its contents. Our mission is to provide education and support to families living with type 1 diabetes.
By using this site, you agree to our Terms of Use, Legal Notice, and Privacy Policy.
© Children with Diabetes, Inc. 1995-2018. Comments and Feedback.