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October 8, 2003

Daily Care

Question from Pakistan:

My daughter, diagnosed with type 1 diabetes seven months ago, takes 8 units of premixed insulin before breakfast and 4 units of premixed insulin before supper. Her sugar level is maintained at 70-160 mg/dl [3.9-8.9 mmol/L], sometimes less. Is this okay?

Answer:

Without knowing your daughter’s age or weight, I can’t tell whether her total insulin dose of 12 units a day is appropriate or not. The normal need after the ‘honeymoon’ period is around 0.8 units per kilogram of body weight /day. If the diagnosis has not been confirmed by an antibody it is possible that she has some other type of diabetes with different insulin needs.

The blood sugar levels seem to represent very good control, especially if she has no evidence of hypoglycemia, but a good judge of this is the hemoglobin A1c test, which you should talk to her doctor about.

DOB