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March 5, 2001

Diagnosis and Symptoms, Honeymoon

Question from the United Kingdom:

Two years ago I was diagnosed with type 2 diabetes, but this changed after two months on an oral hypoglycemic agent because I was admitted into the emergency department with glucose reading of 40 mmol/L [720 mg/dl] and DKA [diabetic ketoacidosis]. When I left the hospital, my daily dose of insulin was 80 units (multiple daily injections), and it is now down to 26 to 34 units a day. When I was diagnosed, my hemoglobin A1c was 16.2%; today I work hard to keep it at 4.7%.Could I be going into a belated honeymoon period? Is this due to my total change of life style (loads of exercise and very few dietary indiscretions). Is it the amount of exercise, that I don't require so much insulin?.

Answer:

The reason why you don’t need as much insulin can be for various reasons: exercise, careful diet, possibly also weight loss. It is important that you keep on top of your diabetes and keep in regular contact with your diabetes team.

JS

[Editor’s comment: It sounds like you may have type 1B diabetes. See: a previous answer which describes a situation similar to yours.

SS]