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July 3, 2007

Insulin Analogs, Research: Cure

Question from Kuwait:

My sister was diagnosed two weeks ago with type 1 diabetes. She is 13.5 years old and never suffered from diabetes problems before. She had sudden symptoms two weeks ago, drinking a lot of water and going a lot to the toilet. She also suffered from a continuous fatigue. On last Monday, June 11, they tested her blood sugar and urine and found a high level of sugar and ketones. They did not perform a comprehensive test on the hormones yet. They started giving her insulin doses of NovoRapid and Lantus four times a day. Her sugar level did not stabilize during the week she was in the hospital. Now, she has been released and is taking five units of NovoRapid and 10 units of Lantus via injections. Has anyone ever been cured of type 1 diabetes? Do her dosages sound appropriate? Her blood sugars are around 4 mmol/L [72 mg/dl] to 8 mmol/L [144 mg/dl].

Answer:

Sorry that there is no known cure for type 1 diabetes, but there are many research scientists working hard to answer such problems. Your sister is being treated nicely. You should be checking blood glucose levels before and after each meal and have her take the NovoLog 15 to 20 minutes before each meal as well as taking bedtime Lantus. The Lantus will give her background or basal insulin through the night and between meals while the NovoLog will give her mealtime coverage boluses. All this should be decided based upon frequent blood glucose testing which is called MDI: multiple daily injections, part of an aggressive insulin regimen. This tries to save the damaged pancreas and produce as many normal blood glucose levels as possible while always trying to minimize or prevent hypoglycemia. The frequent blood sugar readings are the key.

SB