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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.


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.


[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.