Diabetic Lipodystrophy is a rare condition that is caused when the body sees the insulin as foreign and destroys the sub cutaneous fat and sometimes the underlying muscle at the injection sites in an attempt to destroy the insulin. Lipodystrophy in Diabetics was more common years ago when patients used porcine insulin, but was eradicated with the advent of the newer human insulin. The human insulin’s are more like that produced in the body of non diabetics and have fewer side effects in it users. Although human insulin is all that is readily available nowadays, some people still have reactions to it and don’t have any alternative but to put up with them and keep using it.
For sufferers of Lipodystrophy it is very common for the medical profession to not acknowledge that they are having problems and in most cases the patient is told that it is Lipohypertrophic (hardening and lumpy tissue from not rotating injection sites), when in fact it is quite the opposite.
My son developed Diabetic Lipodystrophy within a few weeks of his diagnosis of Type 1 Diabetes at the age of 14 months and we have had a long battle with his doctors and specialists over the past 8 years to get something done to manage his condition and give us control of his Blood Glucose Levels. We have tried all of the synthetic Human Insulin on the market and still continued to get wastage. We were able to convince his Endocrinologist’s to let us try Porcine insulin, which did still cause wastage but at a much slower rate the human insulin. The problem then was porcine insulin was no longer available in Australia and we had just used all there was.
Over the years my son went from injections to an insulin pump and back to injections as we ran out of viable injection sites on his tummy, bottom and hips to site a pump cannular. We were able to inject into his arms and calves and shoulder blades, but also had wastage in those areas too.
During this time we had even mixed Dexamethasone with his insulin to try to maintain a site for a bit longer than a week. This did have some success but was not helping his general health. Although we could use the site for that bit longer it became saturated, and developed a hard lump under the skin and prevented the absorption of the insulin, thus creating another problem. He had no regeneration in the areas that we lost due to the Lipodystrophy and after 7 years we are still not using his tummy, hips and buttocks regions. We have run out of options and need to find and alternate delivery method, fast.
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