Justin Delgado is husband to Kacie Doyle-Delgado, diagnosed at age 11. After more than a decade together, he considers himself to be an expert carb counter and Dexcom inserter. He graduated with his Master of Science in Finance from the University of Utah in 2013 and has been working in commercial banking since then. He attended his first Friends for Life conference in 2015 and is looking forward to volunteering with the teens.
June 30, 2007
Question from Lawrenceville, New Jersey, USA:
My 18-year-old son was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes about one and a half years ago and is still producing some of his own insulin, according to the pediatric endocrinologist. His A1cs have ranged from 5.7 to 5.0 with the latest reading being 5.2 in May. He is tall and weighs 185 pounds, but only uses about 65 units of NovoLog per day via the insulin pump. According to an article I read on the Joslin Diabetes web site, which I now cannot find, it is believed that people who have diabetes for many years (50 years) without any complications are making small amounts of their own insulin. This ability to produce even small amounts of insulin persists throughout their lives. Is there any truth to this news? Have you heard of this research? Is it possible that my son might fall into that category due to his excellent control and reduced need for insulin?
The study you remember is a long term complications study from Joslin in Boston. Eighteen months in a late teen is just not enough time to know this answer for him as an individual, but the A1c and stability of day to day blood sugar readings would suggest that he is in a honeymoon phase with some of his own insulin produced. There is not much reason to know this definitively, but there is a test called C-Peptide that could answer this question. The clinical description you provide, however, says that this is highly likely. We also know that less “stress” on the already damaged pancreas is not only likely to sustain such a honeymoon phase but also to decrease any long term complications as well so all efforts to make this happen would be highly desirable.