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October 2, 2001

Other Medications

Question from the United Kingdom:

Our 14 year old daughter, who has had diabetes for 11 years, needs vast amounts of extra insulin (more than 100 units daily), has high ketones and episodes of DKA [diabetic ketoacidosis] when her period is due. She is watched when giving insulin. Would the oral contractive pill help her?

Answer:

I am not sure because the role of the pill is usually to regulate the timing of periods rather than having any effect on symptoms, but it might be worth a try. If you know when it’s due and can anticipate the increased insulin requirement, then this may assist.

KJR
Additional comments from Dr. Bill Jones:

One of the benefits of oral contraceptives is to reduce that amount of hormone fluctuation associated with a normal menstrual cycle. Thus, if this cyclicity is causing fluctuations in glucose control, then the pill might be useful. If your daughter really wants to try and maintain a steady-state and totally stop having periods, then she might try taking the hormone containing pills continuously. In other words after completion of the first three weeks of pills skip the last seven days of placebo and start a new pack. Every six months, take the placebos as she normally would and have a period.

OWJ