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September 27, 1999

Insulin

Question from Phoenix, Arizona, USA:

My daughter is 6 1/2 years old and was diagnosed with diabetes Type 1 2.5 years ago. She weighs 33 kilos and her endocrinologist says she should be on 33 units of insulin but she is now on 47 units of insulin. Her A1c's have been running 9.2% at her last two appointments. At her recent appointment her endocrinologist said her body is rejecting the insulin. I have never heard of this and he even said that it is unusual but can happen. I would like some information on it if there is any.

Answer:

I’ve never heard of “rejecting the insulin.” What your endocrinologist may mean is that your daughter is having an unusual need for more insulin than most children her age. Most children require less than 1 unit per kilo during the first few years of diagnosis. This can easily climb to well above 1 unit/kilogram of body weight in the early adolescent years.

MSB