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Toddlers’ choice: Yo-Yoing diabetes control or deci-unit insulin dosing?

Author(s): Sarah AA Abul-Ainine | Ahmad AA Abul-Ainine

Journal: World Journal of Diabetes
ISSN 1948-9358

Volume: 3;
Issue: 2;
Start page: 35;
Date: 2012;
Original page

Keywords: Child | Toddler | Diabetes | Insulin pen | Insulin mixture | Insulin dribbling | Deci-unit dosing | Deci-unit pen | Insulin U20 | Glycemic control

While the incidence of toddlers’ diabetes is soaring, their mainstay insulins were withdrawn, namely the weak 10% or 20% insulin mixtures (WIM), which were injected only once or twice daily. Consequently, toddlers are coerced to use an insulin pump, multi-dose insulin regime (MuDIR), mix or dilute insulins. This paper highlights the difficulties and proposes a simple solution. While an insulin pump is the best available option, it is not readily available for everyone. Mixing insulins is not sufficiently precise in small doses. Although diluting insulin would allow precise dosing and reduce the dose variability secondary to dribbling after injections, it, like insulin mixing, deprives children from using the pen and related child-friendly accessories. In MuDIR, we inject 4-5 small doses of insulin instead of 1-2 daily larger doses of WIM. Thus, on using a half unit (½unit) insulin pen, a dose of 0.5, 1, 1.5 and 2 units are adjusted in steps of 100%, 50%, 33% or 25%; unlike the advisable 5%-20%. This does not easily match the tiny erratic meals of grazing toddlers. Maternal anxiety peaks on watching yo-yoing glycemia. Carers have to accept either persistently high sugar or wild fluctuation. The risks of such poor glycemic pattern are increasingly recognized. Using insulin U20 in a ½unit disposable pen allows deci-unit dosing, with 5%-20% dose-tuning, greater accuracy on delivering small doses and reduction of dose variability from dribbling. Deci-unit dosing may help avoid wide glycemic swings and provide the affordable alternative to insulin pumps for toddlers. Deci-unit pen materializes the Human Rights of Children, a safer and effective treatment.
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