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February 18, 2010

Daily Care, Insulin

Question from Deltona, Florida, USA:

Our almost 13-year-old grandson comes and spends some weekends with us. We always have to call his parents to find out what to give him for shots. Is there some type of formula for this? Our grandson weighs 115 pounds and takes NovoLog, Novolin and Lantus. He also takes pills for ADHD.

Answer:

Thank you for the great question. Although there are starting points for insulin dosing, there is no simple formula. Frequently, a person with diabetes will take into account a usual dose and then add or subtract an amount of short-acting insulin to that dose based on current glucose level (and recent pattern of glucose), food intake, exercise in the past hours and anticipated exercise coming up, illness, etc. It can be quite individual.

As your grandson starts to take on more responsibility for his diabetes care, perhaps you can also work with his parents to learn how they would determine the dose and, with experience, have more of a role. It is always a delicate balance for a parent of a child with diabetes to be able to provide great care for the child but, at the same time, help the child be age-appropriately independent. By allowing their son time away from home with you, it shows their confidence in your care. In the meantime, it is wonderful that your grandson can spend time with you and enjoy the time together, while keeping him safe and healthy from a diabetes perspective.

LM