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From America On-Line:

My granddaughter (age 2) has been diabetic for over a year and I have a hard time to cope with it, mainly because I don't understand it. I did read all about it, but it is so confusing, everybody writes different things.

The main problem I have is the insulin injection. She has one in the morning and one in the evening. My questions:

  1. If her reading is normal in the morning or at bedtime why does she need insulin? They say that she need it during the day or night, but I don't agree.
  2. Her readings are all over the place from 3.3 to 26 mmol during the day (normally 5-6 readings per day); does this has anything to do with the insulin?
  3. She does not produce sugar, will she be on insulin forever?

The reason why I'm confused about all that, is that my son and his daughter got diabetes the same time, but after three month my son was okay. He is still testing but does not need any insulin anymore.


First of all, in type 1 diabetes (which your granddaughter has), the problem is that the body does not make insulin. This is a lifelong condition (until we find the cure). Yes, insulin is necessary during the night. The body needs sugar during sleep and gets it from sugar stored in the liver. The body needs insulin to use this sugar for energy.

Insulin must be given even if the blood sugar is normal, to prevent the blood sugar from going high over the next several hours. The goal is to get normal blood sugars with the correct balance of insulin, food, and exercise. If the blood sugar is normal, it means the balance of insulin, food, and exercise since the last shot was right. If your granddaughter's blood sugars are going up and down a lot, her family needs to review her complete management with a pediatric endocrinologist, dietitian, and if possible, nurse educator. This management plan needs to be changed frequently in a growing young child.

It is hard to say what is going on with your son. If he doesn't need insulin, either he has the other type of diabetes (type 2 or non-insulin dependent diabetes) or he is in the very early stages of developing type 1 diabetes and will eventually need insulin shots again.


Original posting 17 Oct 1998
Posted to Daily Care


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Last Updated: Tuesday April 06, 2010 15:09:02
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