When does the Honeymoon start?

When did most of you start experiencing your honeymoon period? I know it will almost certainly vary from one individual to the next- but just curious how soon after starting insulin that it started for everyone..

I think the actual Honeymoon experience is diffrent for everyone. I went from my deathbed to feeling better than I could remember feeling within just a few injections but my BG has never been easy to manage. My brothers BG went to normal for a long long time by just adding a few drops of basal insulin to his daily regiment.

I would say your Honeymoon started as soon as you supplied your body some external insulin.

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Hi palominovet. I've never actually seen "honeymoon" defined. I've always thought of it (in Type 1) as when a person started losing the beta cells up to needing to start insulin. I had an awful year or so when I was "sick", had no idea what was wrong. Finally diagnosed as a Type 2 (1993) and put on pills, which made me sicker. Then I went onto insulin taking not much less than I now take. I've always thought of that year before the diagnosis as the honeymoon -- anyway, it was slow onset Type 1, or LADA.

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I was diagnosed February 6, started me off on 25 units of Levemir at night, and 3 units Novolog before each meal. Novolog was accurate, but after the first day I had to drop Levemir to 10 units. That combo worked for about a week to two weeks, and let my pancreas get a break. After two weeks, my pancreas really kicked back in, Levemir dropped to 8 units, Novolog dropped to 1 unit pre-meal, then after a few days Levemir dropped to 4 units, and no bolus was given. Today, nearly two months after initial diagnosis, I am on no insulin, but I have to keep carbs around 50. If I go above that I need a little help from insulin. So I guess to answer your question, my true honeymoon began (I'm describing this as when my insulin dependency decreased to nearly nothing, yours may just taking a small basal or bolus) about 5-6 weeks after diagnosis.

I'd say mine started 2 months after I started Insulin. My Lantus is now 4u and my novolog is about 1:25

I'm not sure about mine. I've only been diagnosed since Nov and initially controlled by diet and exercise for 2 months. Went on a very small amount of bolus insulin the end of January and haven't had changes yet.

It depends on what one considers the definition of the honeymoon phase to be. I went on insulin immediately at diagnosis. Started out at 10u of levemir and the doc said to increase by 3 u every 2 days until fasting BGs were under 120. 6 days later I leveled out at 16u. Then my endo added in Novolog (3-5u per meal depending on when and what I eat) and took my Levemir down to 14u. That's been working pretty well so far. I haven't had any super low lows with 64 being the lowest I've been and (so long as I'm good about what I know I should and shouldn't eat) haven't had any super highs, nothing over 200 genearlly. So in respect to easily managed BG numbers I'd say I'm in a honeymoon phase with my pancreas still producing some, but not much insulin (c-pep was 0.34). I wasn't one who was lucky enough to have any period after dx without insulin though.

This little snipet is from HealthCentral.com (full text here):
"How do you know that you have entered the honeymoon period? Generally, once insulin is started, one notes that over the course of days to weeks, blood sugars and the variability of the blood sugars have decreased. Blood sugars that were formerly in the 200-300 range now have decreased to near normal levels in the 100s and even 70-100 range. To prevent lows, your diabetes team will start to decrease the amount of injected insulin. Generally, however, you remain on some insulin to deter future destruction of those islet cells. There are research studies focused on prolonging the honeymoon period. The honeymoon period also allows for the islet cells to rest as injected insulin is working as an assist. It is unclear how long a honeymoon period may last; it could be several months to more than a year. It is different for each individual with type 1 diabetes."

I am curious though, Not to hijack your thread, but everyone keeps saying that the honeymoon period starts when you start taking insulin.., so I wonder if having diabetes before this and not taking insulin delays the honeymoon period. For example, I have had diabetes for 3 years, but took no insulin until November when my b/g spiraled out of control. I started on 18u Lantus and 5u Novolog with meals... now I am on 4 u Lantus, and 1-4u Novolog with meals... seems like I didn't get a honeymoon until I actually started taking the insulin.

I think I've posted this on here before, and maybe someone would disagree, but I think those of us with LADA can't technically refer to a honeymoon. The whole nature of the LADA type of Type 1 is slow onset. The average time before needing insulin is from a couple months to 4 years. I think this is very different from a "regular" Type 1 who gets diagnosed with very high blood sugars, starts insulin and then a little ways down that road has a dramatic drop in insulin needs for awhile.

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I think that is correct Juliana. From what I know, the honeymoon period starts BECAUSE you start taking insulin. My doctor said that my body could have been attacking my pancreas for up to three years, but it is not until I only had about 10% of beta cells left did I start showing real symptoms of a diabetic. Once you only have a few beta cells left from the attack, it pretty much goes into shock. By taking insulin, it “rejuvenates” the remaining beta cells and they kick back in. So, even though you have had diabetes for awhile, you will not start honeymooning until you get on insulin. I would think (this is just my common sense, who knows if it is accurate) that the earlier you catch your diabetes, the longer your honeymoon because you will have more beta cells. I assume the length of the honeymoon depends on how many beta cells survived until you started taking insulin, which is why it varies so much from person to person.

Here is some information from Joslin: "In type 1 diabetes, patients sometimes experience what physicians have come to call a "honeymoon period" shortly after the disease is diagnosed. During the "honeymoon period" diabetes may appear to go away for a period of a few months to a year. The patient's insulin needs are minimal and some patients may actually find they can maintain normal or near normal blood glucose taking little or no insulin. Scientists now think that it is important for people with newly diagnosed diabetes to continue taking some insulin by injection even during the honeymoon period. Why? Because they have some scientific evidence to suggest that doing so will help preserve the few remaining insulin-producing cells for a while longer."

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They will go into 'shock' from the glucose toxicity... by taking insulin, you are giving them a break. I'm just wondering how long it takes most to START the honeymoon... not how long the honeymoon will last. I seem to need more and more insulin, but it probably has to do in part with the stress from school exacerbating the situation

I think it would be interesting if they figure out more of the genetics... I have wondered if I had a slower onset than they've even thought.

I can remember feeling 'crappy' as far back as spring a year ago, and the fall even before that. I attributed it to school. I was just in general exhausted all the time, but didn't have any other symptoms until after the clinical year started.

But, never having had bloodwork performed in my life... or even thought about checking my BG... who knows. Just something I wonder, and it would be interesting if they determine enough about the genetics to prove it. Though I know it wouldn't change a thing about the treatment.

I was taking a total of around 20 units a day after diagnosis. 5 weeks later I only need a small bolus anytime I eat more than 50 carbs. Its subjective, but I would say within the first 3 weeks my insulin needs dropped dramatically.

My honeymoon started very soon after starting insulin, probably within one week. My honeymoon lasted about a year, and my I:C ratio in that first year was about 1:30 (now it is 1:20 except in the a.m.). I have always wondered if I still have some remnant beta cell function after all these years, since I use so little insulin (TDD = 18-20 units) and I am not some skinny little thing.

It's been almost 6 weeks for me, and it seems my needs just keep inching upwards.

I just don't want to keep inching upwards if my pancreas decides to kick in.

I don’t think you have to worry about it being unsafe. When that happens, you will feel it, eat a few more snacks, and know it’s time to start decreasing bit by bit. I see what you are saying, but I don’t think you have to worry about that…

Palo, this post needs to go under your latest one about the genetics, but my browser isn’t working very well so it’s stuck at the end. Anyways, I totally agree. I read in the book “Thinking Like a Pancreas” that when the blood sugar level goes over 180, the body starts dumping sugar into the kidneys, thus causing frequent urination. Now to what extent, I don’t know, but frequent urination was my first symptom, and I started having that a month and a half before I had to go in. When I say frequent, I mean every hour to two hours I had to go for a month and a half. So for me, I think it is easy to pinpoint at least when my cells got below the point that they couldn’t hold my glucose level down, and gave up, thus sending my sugars through the roof. A month and a half after those initial symptoms, I had a fasting of 300+. I know you think you are LADA, but I bet if you could ever pinpoint when you started having that symptom, then you could estimate when your levels started being consistently about 180…

I don't think I'm LADA. I've been diagnosed T1 officially.. it doesn't matter either way, because I'm insulin dependent and that's the bottom line. It's just the 'scientific' side of me wondering out loud.. and wanting to classify everything.

I know when I started having PU/PD (polyuria and polydypsia); that was back in August. However, the threshold for dumping sugar into the urine in humans, as you said it, is around 180. Incidentally, that is the same in dogs.. So your levels can be increased prior to that without you having the PU/PD. You can have elevated sugars and feel crappy though, even before that.

No one could understand why I wasn't in DKA in February when I came in.. but it's probably because the beta cells are not completely gone and I was also drinking gallons a day (I'm not joking). I should have gone to the doctor sooner, but I think sometimes we don't want to face the inevitable bad news. I also didn't want to have to make up missed time on clinics (that was stupid).

I was exactly the same. Actually, you and I were diagnosed on the same day benjamin. About a month and a half or 2 before I finally went to the doctor I was running to the bathroom literally every hour. Same thing throughout the night as well and I just couldn’t get enough to drink. My fasting levels were well above 300(sometimes over 500 and that’s what finally got me to go to the doctor) and even after cutting out fasting nearly all carbs for two days my fasting levels were still close to 300. However, my insulin needs have remained steady but my BG levels have been very managable. I seem to be kinda in the middle of your situation and palominovet’s. Not sure if I’m even having a honeymoon. It certainly doesn’t seem like you are, palomino. =/ From the little research I’ve done it seems like a honeymoon kicks in pretty fast if it is going to.