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August 25, 2004

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Question from Michigan, USA:

What is the correlation between growth hormones and type 1 diabetes?

Answer:

There is no correlation between growth hormones and diabetes. When more growth hormone is being secreted, i.e. during childhood growth spurts, usually there is an increased need for insulin. Since this does not occur smoothly, childhood is generally considered a difficult time for insulin delivery. If glucose control is suboptimal, there is less growth, lower IGF-1 levels from the liver and thus short stature, which is associated with very poor overall glucose control. In some scientific research studies, growth hormone itself has been implicated in some of the blood vessel complications of diabetes such as retinopathy.

SB