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September 25, 2001


Question from Youngsville, New York, USA:

Can a child, age nine, newly (three months) diagnosed with type�1 diabetes develop a tolerance or immunity to insulin? Increases in insulin bring blood glucose levels down for two to three days, but then the levels creep up again.


The answer depends upon the insulin dose per kilogram of body weight. An increase in insulin dose is the norm at this duration of diabetes as the honeymoon period ends and doses move up towards the complete replacement requirement which is about 1 unit of insulin per kilo of body weight per day in a pre-pubertal individual. If the current dose is above this and there is no doubt about compliance with therapy, then this would be regarded as insulin resistance in a nine year old.


[Editor’s comment: Also make sure that you are using insulin that has been opened for less than a month. After a month, insulin tends to loses its potency resulting in labile blood sugars.