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Further information for parents
Further information for parents

How is it treated?

You will probably have been told that people with your type of diabetes have injections of insulin. All children who develop Type 1 diabetes need insulin injections each day to feel well and keep the amount of glucose in their blood at a healthy level.

There are different kinds of insulin, but most people use a type called HUMAN insulin. It’s made in laboratories from chemicals and it’s the same as the insulin your pancreas used to make.

Parent's Note

Parents' note

Some adults and, increasingly some children, develop diabetes but do not need insulin injections. They have Type 2 or non-insulin dependent diabetes. They can take tablets to make their diabetes easier to control. Unfortunately this medication doesn’t work for Type 1 diabetes.

More on Insulin and injections...

You may hear the diabetes team talking about the HONEYMOON PERIOD. They are talking about the first few months after diagnosis, when your pancreas is still making some insulin. When the honeymoon period ends, insulin stops being made and you may need a larger dose. When this happens, it does not mean that your diabetes is getting worse.

You and your parents will soon learn to give the insulin injections, and in time you will learn to measure the insulin dose and do it for yourself. Don’t worry, you have lots of time to practice this.

The diabetes specialist team decides how much and which type of insulin you will need at first. In time you may decide how much insulin to take by yourself. The amount of insulin you use changes as you grow. You may need more insulin if you are ill, or less insulin if you are doing lots of exercise. At home you will use your blood glucose tests to decide whether you need to change your insulin dose. You will find out about these tests later.

Your diabetes team will give you all the information you need about the insulin you are prescribed, including how soon to inject it before you eat and how long you can expect the insulin to last.

Parent's Note

Parents' note

The strength of the insulin your child will use is 100 units per millilitre. In the UK it is called U100. Insulin is available in vials (bottles), cartridges and pre-filled pens. Vials of insulin are for use with syringes, and cartridges are for use with re-useable pen devices. If you use a pre-filled pen, once the insulin has been used up you throw the pen away and start a new one.

Storing your insulin

Keep spare insulin in the door of your fridge at home (Not in the freezer compartment). Insulin you are using must be kept at room temperature, out of direct heat or sunlight. The expiry date of insulin kept at room temperature differs from that of insulin kept in the fridge (check with your diabetes specialist nurse).

What affects your blood glucose?

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What effects blood glucose

Parent's Note

Parents' note

Insulin options

There are many different types of insulin available with different durations of action.

  • Rapid acting insulins e.g. Actrapid®, Novorapid®, Humulin® S, Humalog®
    These insulins look clear and get to work shortly after they have been injected. They will last 3-8 hours.
  • Slow acting insulins e.g. Insulatard®, Levemir®, Humulin® I, Lantus®
    These insulins can be cloudy or clear. They work slowly and are designed to provide a background level of insulin in the body. They can last 12-24 hours.
  • Pre-mixed insulins e.g. Mixtard® 30, NovoMix® 30, Humulin® M3, Humalog® Mix 25
    These insulins contain a proportion of rapid and slow acting insulins. For example, Mixtard® 30 contains 30% rapid acting and 70% slow acting insulin.

For Parents

For Parents

Helpful information for parents who have children with diabetes Find out how and where you can get support, click here

A Monster breakthrough – the Gila Monster and diabetes

Gila Monster

In 2005 the US Food and Drug Administration approved a drug for the management of type 2 diabetes, Byetta (exenatide), a synthetic version of a protein derived from the Gila monster's saliva.

OsKar the hypo dog

OsKar the hypo dog

Elly Graham is the proud owner of OsKar, who can take credit for being the UK’s first Hypo Awareness Dog. Elly has had diabetes for 26 years, having been diagnosed as Type 1 when she was 13 years old.

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