Honeymoon is no honeymoon!

Hi all,
I’m a pretty recent new Type 1 (since March 2008) and have been experiencing a crazy rollercoaster of changing insulin requirements. Three weeks ago, I needed about 1 unit of insulin for every 15g of carb. Two weeks, this abruptly soared to 1 unit for every 7g of carb (I had to double my bolus insulin, basically) and then a week ago, it dropped back down again and now I’m at about 1 unit of insulin for every 25g of carb.

Things are so inconsistent-- one day 3 units at breakfast will make me go low and the next day I soar up to 400 with the same dose/meal!! How long does this period of craziness tend to last and does anyone have any good tips for dealing with it while maintaining sanity?

Thanks ahead of time!!!

My honeymoon lasted around three months. But I was diagnosed pretty late in the process though.

This might not be the easiest change, but a low carb diet might make a big difference. Given that the boluses are such a guessing game, it might help to smooth things out. But since I don’t follow a low carb diet, it’s hard for me to tell others to do so!

I hope that you will find more consistency soon!

Hi Laura, honeymoon was not a nice period for us either and no one knows how long it lasts from one person to the next. We could not wait until it was over! At the hospital, they told us about some calculations you can do to see if you are still in the real honeymoon stage: take your weight, put it in kilos, and that number is about the total daily amount of units of insulin that someone who is not in the honeymoon stage should take per day. Divide the kilos in half, if your total amount of insulin units per day is under that number, than you’re still well in honeymoon, if your total is about half or more then your insulin production is starting to lessen. But that all depends on what you ate too and if you were in a normal range blood sugar wise that day :wink:

For the breakfast thing though, the inconsistency still is going on at our house… If he eats cereal for breakfast, he’s going to be ok after but if he eats toasts, OMG watch out for the high after!!! The difference is annoying to say the least!

Good luck!

Hey Laura, I’m also new to all this (just over 3 months). I started honeymooning about a week after I was out of the hospital, and boy, those were some crazy few weeks! I decreased my Lantus by one unit a day until finally getting to 2 units and waking up within range, and kept decreasing my carb to insulin ratio for a while after that. I ran on the low end for quite a while, but then things started to even out. Other than my numbers going crazy since I’ve been back at school (with a lot more stress), my requirements have been fairly stable–but I have no idea if that’s “normal” for the honeymoon, or just me, or just me for now. That said, with so many factors, even though I think my insulin requirements are fairly consistent, eating the same thing for breakfast two days in a row, one day I’ll be over 200 post-meal, then next in the low 100s.

And I’ve heard that the honeymoon can last anywhere from a few months to even in some cases a few years! So I guess it’s really hard to know what to expect…

Hi Laura,

Afraid I don’t have any words of wisdom, but I experience the same thing. No fun at all! I was diagnosed in late May. Reducing carbs does help. I’m guessing from your example of 3 units at breakfast that your breakfasts are around 45 carbs, unless you’re eating a lot of protein. You could try cutting your carbs in half to see if this slows the rollercoaster. Many people have extended their honeymoon for a long time by going low carb.

Every time I think my honeymoon is over, I experience lows. So many factors play into our insulin needs, in addition to food, that I wonder if I’ll ever get a real handle on correct doses.

The way I deal with craziness is to try accept that this is an ongoing learning experience. Sometimes I’m more accepting than at other times:)

I’m honey mooning as well (since July)… Kind of like Colleen, I slowly lowered my basal from 18 down and down until finally I take 3 every day. Alongside this I starting doing the low carb thing like Kristin recommended. I think low carbing has been vital, I think my control has been great because of it. I might miss my mark, but instead of spiking to 200, 135 is pretty high for me. Also, I haven’t been low in more than a month and half (knock on wood). I take one unit for every meal - 9 carbs for breakfast and 13 later on in the day. Good luck

When I was diagnosed, my Lantus was set at 35 units & I weigh less than 100 lbs! I now take 3 units in the morning & 3 before bed. My numbers were all over the place until I went low carb on my own. I still have the ups & downs with doses, but, like Sam said, the variations aren’t huge. Low carb has helped me tremendously with tighter control. I weigh food & it’s important to keep the amount of protein consistent from one day to the next. Some people keep a tight rein on carbs, but don’t figure in the protein.

If my numbers go high for a couple days in a row, I check my insulin because I’ve had my basal & rapid acting go bad.

I suppose I’m one of the lucky ones . . . about 2-3 weeks after diagnosis, my insulin requirements started dropping (I was set at 10U Lantus 2x daily and 10U Humalog before meals) to the point that, after even one unit of Humalog was dropping me low (in the 60s, but with symptoms of hypoglycemia), I stopped taking the humalog and have been bouncing around 2-3U of Lantus at night. I’ve been keeping it pretty low carb and trying to exercise, which seems to help matter, though the Jewish holidays are kicking my butt in that regard :slight_smile:

Of course, every time I see a “high” number (you know, like 130 2 hours post, or a 118 fasting when I have a cold), I start to worry about it. It’s more the psychological impact of it than the actual impact - even if I was running 130 2 hours post and 120 fastings permanently, it wouldn’t affect treatment at all!

I agree, however, with the low carb/“good carb” recommendation - I found that a bowl of Kashi cereal for breakfast, salad and chicken or meat for lunch, and a high protein dinner (perhaps with sweet potato fries) worked pretty well. I try to avoid going over 30g of actual carbs a meal - discounting fiber, sugar alcohols, etc. Since I’m not calculating for insulin dosage, I figure the “net carbs” method is good enough, especially since this is all a crapshoot anyway.

You’ll also want to look at the glycemic index of the carbs you do eat. It does suck significantly, but it also, at least for me, seemed to keep things in much better control.

The other thing, as Gerri pointed out, is to check your insulin’s age. I find that, toward the end of a pen’s life, the insulin seems to get weaker. Perhaps that effect is more noticeable on small amounts, but it’s a consideration. Which, come to think of it, probably explains why I just had to go up to 3U from 2 . . . .

I can’t remember ever having a “honeymoon” period, so I couldn’t tell you exactly what it was like for me. However, it’s completely different for everyone so there’s no way to judge how long it will last for you. All I can say is, hang in there and good luck!

Once again, I am amazed at how helpful everyone on tudiabetes is! Thanks for the suggestions, everyone! Yes, going low carb to get through this period sounds like a really great suggestion.

Just out of curiosity, I know some of you have said, but I’m curious how long have people’s honeymoons lasted? Mine kicked in about a month and a half after I was diagnosed and has been going for about 5 months before the recent crazy started.


The longest that I heard of is two years! (eek!)

Honeymoon sounds great, but it adds another variable that is hard to predict…

But the one nice part of honeymoon phase is that your highs are not so high. When I was honeymooning, I used to freak out about a blood sugar of 140. One day, I woke up with a blood sugar of 400. I officially declared the end of my honeymoon and doubled the insulin that I took. Now I celebrate 140 :slight_smile: So while the honeymoon is hard too-- there are some perks!

Mine didn’t last long (a couple of months), though some days I have to wonder. When I saw my morning numbers really high, I figured that was the end. No matter what I seem to do (eat before bed, not eating before bed, increase Lantus, decrease Lantus) my morning phenonmenon is extreme. I’ve even tried changing the time I wake up. It doesn’t seem to matter what my BG is before bed. I used to obsess about this until I realized it didn’t make any difference anyway. Wish there was a way to handle this.

Laura, My son’s honeymoon did not last very long, but, I have a friend who has different carb ratios for every meal. Breakfast ratio may be 1 unit: 25 carbs and dinner ratio is 1 unit: 10 carbs. I do not know why this is, but it has worked well for them and he has been able to be very steady since. Just thought I would throw that in the mix for you.