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June 14, 2007

Diagnosis and Symptoms, Honeymoon

Question from United Kingdom:

I was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes two weeks ago after I was taken to the hospital with high levels of ketones in my urine and my blood sugar at 12.0 mmol/L [216 mg/dl]. I was told I was in DKA and hence diagnosed with type 1. However, after being discharged from the hospital, my doctor decreased my insulin from eight units to two and then, a week ago, I was told to stop insulin as my sugar levels dropped a lot. I have been checking my sugar levels seven times per day for the last five days and they are in the normal range. Is there any chance that I don't have type 1 diabetes or is it a so called honeymoon period? Also, what other conditions except diabetes can bring on DKA?


It is unlikely that you do not have diabetes after having an episode of diabetic ketoacidosis. What happens to explain your improved blood sugars is that the insulin-producing cells that remain and have not been destroyed are able to function more appropriately in a normal glucose environment. You are most likely in the honeymoon phase of type 1 diabetes. The good news is that the honeymoon tends to last longer with better glucose levels. Unfortunately, the underlying disease that destroys the insulin-producing beta cells usually destroys the remaining insulin-producing cells over time.