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What is the honeymoon period

Discussion in 'Ask A Question' started by cjohnson, Oct 7, 2008.

  1. cjohnson

    cjohnson · Well-Known Member

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    Hi folks

    What is the honeymoon period I keep seeing in the posts? Does it only apply to Type 1 or those taking insulin?

    Also since being diagnosed (7 weeks ago) morning bloods not really been below 8 and usually between 8 and 10 - is this normal for new diagnosis? Am on metformin 500 x 2 a day.

    Thanks for your help

    Chris
     
  2. Alba37

    Alba37 Type 2 · Well-Known Member

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    Hi Chris

    I have type 2 diabetes, controlled by diet & metformin. My son has not yet had a diagnosis but is being treated as type 1. (by insulin)

    My understanding on the honeymoon period is depending on how early the diagnosis is made insulin is still being produced by remaining working cells. Some people may appear to need little or no insulin to control their blood sugar at this stage as their pancreas contunues producing some insulin on it's own. This eventually stops, after weeks or months or sometimes longer, as the remaining working cells eventually stop working.

    I have not heard of a honeymoon period in Type 2 diabetes only Type 1, but I am no expert. I am sure someone more qualified will explain it better for you and correct me if I'm wrong.

    I can't remember what my morning bloods were after my diagnosis almost 3 years ago. But I now have my diabetes under control after losing weight, healthy eating and 1 500mg metformin a day. I was on advandamet then 2 x 500mg metformin and now 1. If I still have a good hb1ac at my next appointment I may be able to try and get off metformin altogether. Fingers crossed! There is hope.
     
  3. Stuboy

    Stuboy · Well-Known Member

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    the honeymoon period is when you body is losing it's ability to produce insulin... but is still producing some.

    A lot of the time, when someone is newly diagnosed with type 1, their blood sugar levels are very high. The higher your sugar levels are,the more insulin resistant you become. So naturally as your natural insulin levels decrease and your blood sugar levels rise, you become resistant to the little insulin that is still being produced. Once you are diagnosed and starting treatment, you sugar levels come back down and becasue they are lower, the resistance is also back to normal (hopfully to no resistance) and you body is able to use the little insulin that is still being produced. So you will find that you need to inject smaller amounts when you are first diagnosed.

    It can last from months to a year? Once the insulin producting stops completely, usually within a few months, then your insulin requirment for your injections will increase. You may also find that any control you have now will go out the window because you will need to find your new insulin to carb ratios which could change very often as your honeymoon period ends.

    From personal experience... i had better control during my honeymoon period... when it ended my control went out the window and i've never really gained the level of control that i did have.

    Hope that helps some?!
     
  4. DiabeticGeek

    DiabeticGeek · Well-Known Member

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    Usually when people talk about the "honeymoon period" they are referring to T1. In T1, the pancreas is producing progressively less and less insulin. However, if you adopt a diet and exercise regime that reduces the need for insulin then, for a while, the insulin that the pancreas can still produce might be sufficient (or, more commonly, it only needs to be supplemented with low doses). Eventually, the insulin production falls to a level where it is effectively zero and the honeymoon is over.

    The situation is rather different with T2. At least at first, T2 diabetics usually remain capable of producing their own insulin - the problem is that it is less effective. For T2 diabetics insulin therapy is only necessary if the damage to the pancreas becomes so severe that it can no longer produce enough insulin for glucose regulation, even when aided by drugs and diet. Usually this is the result of a long period of uncontrolled BG - such as in an undiagnosed diabetic. At this point, T2 becomes much closer to T1 in terms of treatment. You don't usually hear of a T2 honeymoon period, because there is usually either enough residual insulin production for the diabetes to be controlled by drugs and diet (i.e. it is "non insulin-dependent"), or there isn't - at which point insulin therapy is required.

    However, just because a T2 goes on insulin, doesn't necessarily mean that he or she will always be on insulin. Sometimes, when you start insulin treatment the beta cells of the pancreas recover. The theory is that since they no longer have to produce much insulin themselves, they get a chance to "rest" and can then recover some of their previous functionality. There are stories of T2 diabetics who get very good BG control after a period on insulin, who subsequently manage to wean themselves off it (e.g. there is one such story on this forum in the How far can you reverse diabetes type 2 thread). This isn't really a honeymoon period, though, because it isn't necessarily time-limited in the same way.
     
  5. cjohnson

    cjohnson · Well-Known Member

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    Thanks for the explanations folks, really useful, thanks.

    Chris
     
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