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June 17, 2000

Blood Tests and Insulin Injections

Question from Ankara, Turkey:

My 12 year old son was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes 8 months ago. After a 3 month remission period, we were controlling his blood sugar quite well and it was always around normal levels. We started using an insulin pen as the doctor recommended in order to give him more flexibility while visiting his friends especially on weekends. However, when we started to use pen (with 5mm needle) instead of the injector, although all the other factors (diet, exercise, etc.) were same, we couldn't control his blood sugar. It became around 200 or 300 before breakfast which is very high. Is the insulin pen is suitable for children? Can it be the reason for the increasing blood sugar? What would you recommend for children?


Assuming good injection technique — which needs checking — pens are ideal for children your son’s age and there is no reason why their use should make any difference to control. If your son is big for his age then perhaps the 5mm needle is too short. You should also consider non-compliance with therapy when he’s staying with friends.