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December 8, 2000

Daily Care

Question from New Zealand:

My 11 year old daughter has just been told she may be insulin resistant because she needs higher and higher doses to control her numbers. She is currently on 57 units of Actrapid and 30 units of NPH per day. I have been told just to keep increasing units until her numbers decrease. What is the long term effect on her health? Would a Humalog be better? Is there a limit to what her body can handle? It just seems that I have to increase and increase all the time.

Answer:

Assuming that your daughter is actually taking all the insulin prescribed (and many children her age don’t), then the most likely reason for her insulin resistance is puberty. It is perfectly normal to require more insulin while the body is producing many hormones that, among other things, push the blood sugar up and are ‘anti-insulin’. In this context, extra insulin is required and, far from doing harm, is essential if good blood glucose control is to be maintained.

KJR