March 13, 2002
Question from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA:
My two year old daughter was recently diagnosed with type 1 diabetes, and I am managing her blood sugar at home now. Is there a possibility that she will eventually be able to stop taking insulin and could start taking a pill?
In type�1 diabetes, the beta cells are destroyed so they can no longer make insulin. Therefore, it must be replaced with injected insulin because, at the present time, there is no other way available. The pills that are used to treat type�2 diabetes do one of two things. Some make the pancreas put out more insulin, and some help insulin work better. So, they are not used to treat type 1, except in a few rare incidences, and even there, insulin is always also part of the treatment. There is a great deal of research going on to find new treatments and hopefully a cure.
In addition, there are several things I think might help you:
Look through our previous questions about injections and blood glucose monitoring to find some ways to make things easier for you and your daughter.
Keep up with our What’s New, which has a lot of the latest research. Receive an e-mail copy of the What’s New page each Sunday evening by visiting the What’s New Subscription Page and filling out the registration form.
As a mother of a two year old who is newly diagnosed, you might find Sweet Kids: How to Balance Diabetes Control & Good Nutrition with Family Peace by Betty Brackenridge and Richard Rubin quite helpful. It includes a lot of advice for managing toddlers (as well as older children) and avoiding burnout.
I think you could also benefit by visiting our Chat Rooms. The rooms are busy 24 hours a day, seven days a week, and you’ll meet a lot of great folks to share things with. In all my years as a diabetes educator, I think I’ve learned the most from the parents of kids I work with!