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February 14, 2001

Diagnosis and Symptoms, Pills for Diabetes

Question from Leavenworth, Kansas, USA:

My three and one-half year old grandson weighs 72 pounds and has gained this weight within a year. He was diagnosed as having "inherited insulin resistance", and we cannot find any information on this illness. The doctor wants to give him Glucophage, but we are skeptical. Please help us.

Answer:

I guess your grandson’s doctor means insulin resistance, which is an impaired sensibility of cellular receptors of peripheral tissues towards insulin molecules. Biguanides (such as Glucophage [metformin]), are indicated to restore insulin sensitivity. Diet is the cornerstone for any treatment of an overweight person.

MS

[Editor’s comment: In my opinion, using a diabetes drug like Glucophage in a child who does not have diabetes should be considered only as part of a comprehensive program by a pediatric endocrinologist. If the doctor doesn’t fit this description, consider asking for a referral.

WWQ]