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October 9, 2003

Insulin

Question from Hueytown, Alabama, USA:

My daughter, diagnosed about five months ago, is only taking 1 unit of NovoLog mixed with 4 units of NPH in the morning, 1 unit of NovoLog at supper, and 1 unit of NPH at bedtime. If we have to call after hours and speak to other doctors, they seem really confused because she is only on this amount of insulin. Is this an unusual amount of insulin for someone at this stage?

Answer:

Depending on the age of the child and her weight, and her other health considerations, the amount of insulin she currently takes may not be unusual at all. I wonder if, in your location, the physicians who sometimes must cover call at nighttime may not be pediatric providers (or specifically, pediatric endocrinologists). If that is the case, you may want to ask for a referral to a pediatric endocrinologist in your region. There are not too many pediatric endocrinologists, but there may be someone in a larger regional pediatric referral center or at the regional children’s hospital.

DS