Not sure what the honeymoon period is. After about 2 months with symptoms of stomach cramping and weight loss I saw a doctor and was just diagnosed Type 1. I am struggling with lows now as I am beginning the juggling act of insulin and carb intake. I hope this isn't my honeymoon period. What are your symptoms and what is your sugar/A1C?
The honeymoon period is a time after your dx where your body recovers some to alot of beta-cell function. Follow this link to see the graph I will refer to. Whatever the insult to your body is that triggers the autoimmune destruction of the beta cells causes a decrease in insulin secretion and a decrease in the beta cell mass (number of beta cells). At a certain time there is not enough insulin around to handle normal serum glucose and then the body gets hyperstressed, which causes the cells to die off even faster, hence the steep curve at time of diagnosis. Once insulin is prescribed the beta cells can "breath and relax" and will start to work again. When this happens the amount of insulin needed can decrease dramatically or only a little bit or not at all. The duration of the honeymoon period is very individualized and can be extraordinarily variable in length. During the honeymoon period T1DM can be fairly easy to manage compared to the initial phases and certainly once the honeymoon phase is over. This is because the beta cells are secreting insulin and glucagon which help to prevent the highs and lows that are common once the beta cells are gone.
rossm you will pry notice in the next while that your insulin needs may decrease if you are very good at controlling your BG. the only thing that has ever been shown to increase the duration of the honeymoon phase is very tight control of the BG and decreasing the stress in your body. The more stress, the higher the systemic inflammation and a more active immune system. This also the area that is being targeted my numerous clinical trials like DEFEND-2 where they are trying to modify the immune system to salvage the remaining beta cells.
I never answered your question. Mine lasted 5-6 months. I have never had a repeat c-peptide measured, which is the only way to truly define the end of the honeymoon period. I just guessed at the time when my BG became very difficult to control and the only way to stop a high or low, or raise or lower my BG was through an external mechanism was when the honeymoon ended.
Mine lasted 2-4 months (the last two months were kind of fizzling out, so really more like two months). In fact, I just made a blog post about it a week or so ago.
I have read that the honeymoon tends to last longer the later you are diagnosed with Type 1. I have also read that the tighter control you can achieve during the honeymoon stage the longer it will last. So if you were diagnosed as a late teen or young adult and kept good control with today's tools, I think it's entirely possible to still be honeymooning a year after diagnosis.
Mine didn't end abruptly. I assume now I am at the end since I have had the same insulin needs for a good 6 months. In total my honeymoon was like 10 months, so almost a year. Everytime I figured out my insulin rates and ratios and got settled in, they changed! It was so frustrating. So at first I barely needed that much insulin...I think my Total Daily Dose (TDD) was like 12 units (bolus and basal). Now, its 25-30 depending on carbs, so that is quite an increase. The main thing that ended my first spurt of honeymoon was when I got some sort of virus. I was pretty sick and my numbers went really high and it was hard to bring them down. After I got better my insulin needs never went back and that was my first major change in dosages. Sorry to ramble on, haha. Long story short----10 months!
Mine lasted about 3 months. I don't have any scientific evidence to prove this, but I think that the length of the honeymoon is somewhat related to the length of time that you went undiagnosed and how you were diagnosed. Given that I was diagnosed in DKA after many, many months of walking around with very high blood sugars, I think that I had burned out most of my insulin production and the honeymoon didn't last long, but that is just a theory ... and there are surely many exceptions :)
Also mine ended fairly abruptly. In the first months with diabetes, my numbers generally stayed under 150 and I would panic if they went higher than that. One morning, I woke up with a blood sugar above 400 and figured that I faced a new game. We (gradually) doubled my insulin doses and I realized that it didn't take much to send me much higher than 150.
I know that lows in the honeymoon can be tough and unpredictable, but I still recommend maintaining the honeymoon as long as possible (through tight control). It's also good practice at learning how to manage your blood sugar while "highs" are not as high.
Boy I am glad I joined this discussion. My wife and I have been having the conversation for about two days as I am now getting some pretty bad lows (as opposed to my A1C from 2 weeks ago of 12.1). So it sounds like you just know the honeymoon is over based on needing more insulin? Funny how the endo never told me this. Is this why my islets were "normal" but I had positive GAD?
I think I just started this month phasing out of the honeymoon period....im having difficulties controlling my bg and much more insulin is needed :(...anyways that would have kept me in the honeymoon period for one year.... I think the divorce period is kicking in :)
for me it was about 6-9 mo, gradual, and my ratio went from 1:20 to 1:15. My basal went up and down for awhile 15, 13, 10, and now up to 12. Tight control isn't for me and I'm still on a learning curve with these great disease.
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