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November 19, 2003

Honeymoon

Question from Miami, Florida, USA:

My daughter was diagnosed with diabetes a month ago. She started on two shots a day. In the morning she used to take 22 NPH and 14 Humalog and in the evening she used to take 10 NPH and 8 Humalog. Now her doses are more than cut in half, and even with this done, she still gets low blood glucose levels at least once a day, and has to add an extra snack to her initial meal plan to keep her from going into hypoglycemia. I know that she is still going through the honeymoon period, but I'm getting hope that she might make a full recovery from diabetes. Is that possible? Are there any things that she can do to remain in the honeymoon period longer?

Answer:

Sounds like a honeymoon phase. The best research suggests there is no cure for diabetes and the honeymoon phase does not have to happen — and also is highly variable. The best way to prolong the honeymoon seems to be to maintain blood sugar levels as close to normal as possible so that this “saves” the damaged islets. This is done usually by continuing close monitoring, meal planning and appropriate insulin doses to avoid high and low blood glucose values. The insulin dose during the honeymoon phase may be quite low and if the low blood glucose levels persist, then changing the time or the amount of insulin is usually required — and all based on blood glucose readings. Stay in close contact with your diabetes team and they should be able to guide you through these next months.

SB