From Laguna, California, USA:
Our 14 year old daughter has had type 1 diabetes for almost four years, and we are constantly in fear that her 10 year old sister will develop diabetes. We even check her blood sugar in the middle of the night so that we don't frighten her about it. We heard through your site a few years ago about experimental therapy with newly diagnosed patients. A drug treatment was used to "stop" the antibodies from attacking the pancreas. Is there anything new on this treatment front?
Assuming that your eldest daughter does indeed have type 1A (autoimmune) diabetes, which is by far the most common form in Caucasian children in North America, then the chances of her young sister getting this too are only about 5%. This year two of the big studies that were designed to prevent insulin dependance in antibody positive first degree relatives of people with type 1 diabetes came to the conclusion that neither nicotinamide nor small doses of insulin subcutaneously had any beneficial effect.
There are still a number of similar studies under way, but none are near the point of convincing benefit. You might however like to call 1-800-425-8361 to see if your second daughter might still be a candidate for the oral insulin component of the DPT-1 trial. This would have the advantage in that they would carry out an antibody test, which if it was negative might do much to relieve your anxiety and make night time blood sugar testing unneeded.
[Editor's comment: Nighttime blood glucose testing in a child without diabetes is unnecessary, and a waste of money (and of your sleep!). If your 10-year old daughter is to develop diabetes, the best time to test to uncover the diagnosis would be when she's physically ill (for example, with a cold or flu) -- when the stress of the illness would cause elevated sugars. Please reconsider this testing -- even if you're awake during the night to test your diabetic daughter. WWQ]
Original posting 8 Oct 2002
Posted to Research: Causes and Prevention
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Last Updated: Tuesday April 06, 2010 15:09:38
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