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February 5, 2004

Honeymoon, Research: Causes and Prevention

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Question from Casino, New South Wales, Australia:

My daughter was diagnosed on August 20, 2003 at age 3 with a blood glucose of 31.7 mmol/L [570 mg/dl] and HBA1c of 10.9. Over a number of weeks, her insulin requirements dropped to nil (she was low even with 1 unit of protaphane) and for the last 12 weeks has had excellent blood glucose levels. Her antibody results were not carried out (they said insufficient blood to test), but we are having a full range of tests next month (e.g., thyroid antibodies, insulin antibodies, c-peptide, TFT, fasting Lipids/HDL and random glucose). My daughter is of Anglo-Saxon descent. Is it possible for her to have Type 1B diabetes, or is it more likely she is on the slide to full-on type 1 diabetes? She had been ill prior to diagnoses, leading the endocrinologist to state that her insulin requirements were greater due to illness, and that we had been diagnosed early. Also, are there any studies (even in the States or elsewhere) that are looking into the prevention of diabetes in those obviously greatly at risk? I feel we should be doing everything we can to prevent this.

Answer:

From: DTeam Staff

There is nothing in your daughter’s story that is at all unusual and I am sure that she has classical type 1 diabetes with subsequent honeymoon period. The latter (with low insulin requirement) may last a few months. With such a history there is no real need to do antibodies to support the diagnosis. This is a different issue than antibodies for other conditions, e.g., coeliac disease and hypothyroidism.

KJR
Additional comments from Jeff Hitchcock, CWD Founder and Editor:

We have a page with information about prevention studies.

JSH