Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Wednesday, October 15, 2008 Karen Fridkis, Community Member, asks

Q: can the honeymoon period be prolonged thru following a low carb diet (16 yo newly diagnosed type 1)?

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Answers (8)
Ann Bartlett, Health Guide
10/16/08 5:19pm

I'm not in favor of a quick yes to this answer for you.  To begin you need to understand the honeymoon phase.  After initial diagnosis and treatment there is a period of recovery for the beta cells. As a result the remaining beta cells may be able to produce enough insulin to keep blood sugars relatively stable for weeks, months and even years.  Eventually beta cell function ceases and the insulin requirements go up.  So diet isn't the be all end all in stabilizing the beta cell function.  


There is a company called Macrogenics that is running trials for a protocol that looks to hold honeymoon periods and has reversed some cases of diabetes in very young children.  The best place for you, your parents  and your endocrinologist to decide what might be an option for you go to JDRF and scroll through research to clinical trials.  You could be a real candidate!  


Besides that exercise, eating well and understanding low carb dieting is very important information so you know how to take proper care of your whole body! 


Have you checked out diabeteens?  Lots of teens and college age kids talking about life with diabetes.  Ask your question to the expert: Dr. Cogan.  She's great, I know her very well and she would answer you with lots of information and honesty!


I'm very impressed!  You're asking all the right questions right from the start!

Keep us "posted" on how you are doing!



Ann Bartlett

kathy doura, Community Member
2/26/10 9:54pm

Hi, Ann


I'm really impressed by you as mother; I read your article just yesterday and i learned that you have a son with type 1 diabetes and your concerned about your other two sons.

As matter fact my son 4 years old and 11 months just got diagnosed a month ago with type 1 diabetes, i was told by the doctor that he is still in his honey moon period.

I'm very confused i don't know what to do as mother and i'm pregnant in my second trimester with the second child.

I will do what ever a takes to at least try to prolong his honey moon period.

Since you have knowledge than i do, so please I'm asking for your help if you can email me.




Gracie, Community Member
10/16/08 12:40pm


I suggest you get Dr. Bernstein's book. He is a type 1 diabetic who keeps his blood glucose at a normal range by eating low carb. ( Check with your library, they probably have it) . I'm a type 2, 54 years old, and keep mine under control by following Atkins. Good luck on your journey!

dreamgirl40, Community Member
10/16/08 1:00pm


Joan, Community Member
10/16/08 5:11pm

Hi Karen,


Our Endocrinologist told us not to try to use carb control to prolong the honeymoon phase.  My 8 year old was diagnosed 2 days after Christmas last year with Type 1.  Children are still growing and need carbs to keep their weight up.  You definetly don't want your child to lose to much weight due to carb controlling.  My childs honeymoon phase ended last month.

spanncakes, Community Member
10/16/08 10:47pm

I have a 16 yo, diagnosed 1year-5months ago. Since she was diagnosed she has been recieving chiropractic treatments, especially when her numbers seem to be climbing higher. Her endocrinology team says she is still in honeymoon period and are not sure why. They claim the older a person is at diagnosis, the shorter this period lasts. At her age in diagnosis, it is average 3-4 months of honeymoon. She is going on 17 months. I attribute this  to the chiropractic adjustments, which allow the nervous system to flow better, and possibly allow the pancreas to continue to produce some insulin still. Of course, this is only my opinion as a mom. So, I didn't answer your question at all-the girl loves carbs! SorryKiss

PaulW, Community Member
10/16/08 11:00pm

no. not for type 1 diabetes.

Old Diabetic Guy, Community Member
10/17/08 10:14am

Yes. Sure worth a try. I have tried everything to control BG's over my 35 years of diabetes. Low carb (meaning no quickly digested carbs) is probably healthier than the current high carb diet most people without diabetes eat. Remember, diabetes is defined as a disease that has little to no ability to handle carbohydrates. Injecting or pumping insulin just ain't the same as making it yoursellf so the less you can get away with using the better the control. I have been able to reduce my HGA1 from 8 to 9 to 6.2 by just following a lower carb diet. Everytime I have tried to eat carbs and match it with insulin it just plain does not work (I make no insulin anymore) no matter how good you are at carb counting. Your son has nothing to lose by trying to extend his honeymoon period with the lower carb diet which is rich is in vegetables. Wish I had the chance to go back and try it when I was diagnosed 35 years ago. Perhaps I would still be producing some insulin on my own. Who knows.  Good luck.


Old Diabetic Guy



Dr. Fran Cogen, Health Pro
2/27/10 3:43pm

Hi there: I am writing back to you after 2 of our fellow healthcentral bloggers: Ann and Beth, referred your question to me. I am Dr. Cogen, the type 1 diabetes expert for mydiabetescentral.com. Firstly, I am in agreement with Ann in regard to her previous post including consideration of the Protege trial if your child fits the criteria: age and weight are important factors. Secondly, for further information on The Honeymoon period, I would like you to take the opportunity to read one  of my recent blogs about the HP. In answer to your question if the honeymoon period can be prolonged by following a low carb diet, I have several comments. The honeymoon period can be prolonged by giving exogenous insulin by injections in order to "destressify" (my made- up word) your child's remaining living islet cells. By providing a low carb diet, in theory, the islet cells would perhaps be required to puff out less "bolus insulin" in a sense. However, adolescents require a balanced diet of carbohydrates (preferably complex), protein, fat etc. To eat ONLY a low carb diet would be difficult in terms of pubertal/growth needs/sports requirements etc. as well as adherence. (It would be really tough for a 16 year to follow such a strict diet, let alone follow all the diabetes self care skills your diabetes team suggests.) We, at Children's National Medical Center, do not routinely recommend our children and teens to follow a low-carb diet while in the honeymoon or thereafter because of the unique needs of growing children and adolescents. I hope this information is helpful.


Best of luck,


pgy, Community Member
4/ 7/11 6:46pm

Dear Dr Fran


I understand there are some research trials looking at very tight control of BGLs at time of diagnoses to prolong the honeymoon period.


Can you comment please.

Dr. Fran Cogen, Health Pro
4/ 8/11 9:09pm

Good evening: The research trials of which I am familiar include the Diamyd (GAD-65 antibody vaccine), PROTEGE /DEFEND trials (monoclonal antibody trials)and Antrypsin antibody trials. I do not specifically know about trials that involve tight control of blood sugars at diagnosis to prolong the honeymoon period. However, most diabetes teams work to try to get everyone in tight control immediately after diagnosis, regardless of whether or not someone is in the honeymoon period. If you know of specific trials, please let me know. I personally try to keep everyone's blood sugars within the tightest range possible in order to not only keep the beta cells puffing out insulin but to avoid future complications. Hope this is helpful.


pgy, Community Member
4/ 8/11 11:05pm


Dr. Fran Cogen, Health Pro
4/11/11 10:56am

I have reviewed the clinical trial and noted that there are 2 arms of the trial:

1. closed loop treatment in a hospital setting with intensive insulin management followed up with the insulin pump and cgm in the outpatient setting

2. standard therapy with insulin and routine glucose monitoring by glucometer. I have found no mention using a low carb diet in conjunction with the 2 interventions.

The primary outcome is to see if intensive insulin therapy can prolong the life of the beta cells (nothing to do with low carb diet). I hope this answers your query.


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By Karen Fridkis, Community Member— Last Modified: 11/01/13, First Published: 10/15/08