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August 30, 2003

Daily Care

Question from Puxico, Missouri, USA:

I have had type 1 diabetes for 11 years, and my blood sugars run in the 500 mg/dl [27.8 mmol/L] and higher range constantly even though my doctors and I have tried everything from injections, to an insulin pump, and even two islet cell transplants. I only weigh about 122 pounds, I take over 180 units of insulin per day, and my blood sugars never come down. The doctors did discover why my diabetes is so hard to control. I have anti-insulin and anti-islet antibodies and I also have an absorption problem. I was just wondering if anyone had any advice or ideas I could try. I don't have much damage due to my diabetes yet, except neuropathy in my legs, and I know the good Lord is taking care of me. I am only 23 years old and I was just wondering if anyone out there had problems like I do. If so, I'd like any advice or ideas in helping my diabetes.


Insulin antibodies are capable of inducing insulin resistance. However, it is very uncommon. It has been described that steroids can be given with a subsequent fall in your insulin requirements. It has also been noted that spontaneous remission of the problem is the usual scenario. Obviously, that has not happened in your case. I would only have your diabetes doctor talk to you about using a dose of steroids to decrease the amount of these antibodies.