All About Babies and Toddlers with Type 1 Diabetes
All About Babies and Toddlers with Type 1 Diabetes
We're talking about the youngest people with type one diabetes: babies and toddlers. When you can't talk and you're barely eating solid food, the challenges of T1D rise to a new level. Stacey's guest is Pediatric Endocrinologist Henry Rodriguez, the clinical director of the University of South Florida Diabetes Center. Check out Stacey's new book: The World's Worst Diabetes Mom! The interview features everything from breast feeding, diluted insulin, pump and CGM use in babies and much more. Join the Diabetes Connections Facebook Group! Resources: Facebook groups: Learning to Thrive: Type 1 and Toddlers Diapers & Diabetes In Tell me something good. The other end of the spectrum: celebrating a long life with type 1 - 64 years since diagnosis and going strong. This podcast is not intended as medical advice. If you have those kinds of questions, please contact your healthcare provider. Sign up for our newsletter here ----- Use this link to get one free download and one free month of Audible, available to Diabetes Connections listeners! ----- Get the App and listen to Diabetes Connections wherever you go! Click here for iPhone Click here for Android Rough episode transcription (please forgive grammar, spelling & punctuation) Stacey Simms 0:01 Diabetes Connections is brought to you by One Drop created for people with diabetes by people who have diabetes. And by Dexcom take control of your diabetes and live life to the fullest with Dexcom. This week, we're talking about the youngest people with type one diabetes babies and toddlers. At that age, everything – food, sleep, communication has unique challenges, including what happens when you dose and they won't eat. Pediatric Endocrinologist Henry Rodriguez is the clinical director of the University of South Florida Diabetes Center. He's actually referring to the older insulins there, NPH and regular not commonly used anymore, but that situation certainly still happens. And we talked about everything from diluted insulin, breastfeeding and CGM use In Tell me something good. The other end of the spectrum celebrating a long life with type 164 years since diagnosis and going strong. This podcast is not intended as medical advice. If you have those kinds of questions, please contact your healthcare provider. Announcer: You’re listening to Diabetes Connections with Stacey Simms. Stacey Simms 1:42 Welcome to another week of the show. I'm your host Stacey Simms. So glad to have you along. And a special welcome to new listeners from the Greater Western Carolinas Dhapter of JDRF. I attended that summit over the weekend. So hello to anybody who found out about us there and is tuning in for the first time. And hello to all the moms and dads of little ones. You know, this is an episode focusing on babies and toddlers with type one that I've actually been trying to do for a very long time. It is hard to find an endocrinologist who really wants to come on and talk about this. I don't know why, but it's taken a while. So I'm so happy that Dr. Rodriguez decided to spend some time with us. Now as you know, if you're a longtime listener, the subject of babies and toddlers with type one is very near and dear to me. My son was diagnosed right before he turned two. So I want to tell you right now, this is a longer episode. But please stay with it. I mean, come and go. as you please, we will be here waiting for you. You can certainly pause and come back. It's a longer interview. But I wanted to really take advantage of having a person who could talk about this stuff and the interview transcription is available at the episode homepage, go to diabetes dash connections. com, click on this episode, and you will see the transcription just a little bit down the screen there. That's new for 2020 for the show. I know we're well into to January at this point, but my house is finally a little bit back to how normal is now I guess because my daughter just went back to college. She's been home for about a month which was fabulous, but she was definitely ready to go back to school and I don't know what I'm going to see her again and maybe just until spring break. Oh my goodness. And of course Benny is at regular high school so he's been back for a while now too. Very happy to have a new sponsor this year! Diabetes Connections is now brought to you by One Drop, and I spoke to the people at One Drop, and I was really impressed at how much they get diabetes. It just makes sense. Their CEO Jeff was diagnosed with type one as an Dult and One Drop is for people with diabetes by people with diabetes. The people at One Drop work relentlessly to remove all barriers between you and the care you need get 24 seven coaching support in your app and unlimited supplies delivered, no prescriptions or insurance required. Their beautiful sleek meter fits in perfectly with the rest of your life. They'll also send you test strips with a strip plan that actually makes sense for how much you actually check. One Drop, diabetes care delivered, learn more, go to diabetes dash connections calm and click on the One Drop logo. My guest this week is Dr. Henry Rodriguez, a pediatric endo and the clinical director of the University of South Florida Diabetes Center. As Dr. Rodriguez confirms, as you'll hear, more younger people are being diagnosed with type one, a trend that seems to have started about 15 to 20 years ago, but there's not a lot of easily accessible information to help parents in this age group. I will link up some information in the show notes on the episode homepage, including a couple of Facebook groups I do recommend for parents of very young children. But when Benny was diagnosed, we really didn't know anybody with a child that young. And I felt like we were making up a lot of it as we went along. Now the good news there is that he's fine, although I certainly made a lot of mistakes. But when you're talking about babies and you real six months old, one year old, it's a totally different ballgame. So if you are new to the show, I just want to warn you. I think I talked more in this interview than I usually do. definitely get on my soapbox a few times, and you'll hear me pushing my opinions and pushing some of them on to Dr. Roger. Yes. And he pushes back a couple of times, which is great. I feel very strongly about this age group. I mean, this is my wheelhouse, but of course, I am not a doctor. So here is my interview with Dr. Henry Rodriguez. Stacey Simms 0:02 Dr. Rodriguez, thank you so much for talking to me. I'll be honest, this is an issue I've been trying to cover for a long time. And I'm thrilled that we're finally getting to talk about it. So thanks for coming on. Dr. Henry Rodriguez 0:14 Oh, it's a pleasure. Stacey Simms 0:15 I'm not even sure where to start. I mean, between my personal experience, and then talking to so many moms of babies and toddlers, let me maybe back up and ask you, as a pediatric endocrinologist when somebody comes into your office or you meet them at the hospital, and they have a child under the age of two, where do you go? What do you tell them? How do you start? Dr. Henry Rodriguez 0:39 Well, I think, you know, we certainly start with the basics in terms of, you know, we feel the etiology of Type One Diabetes is how we think, you know, develops. I think what we end up doing these conditions many times is, is you know, first addressing you know, I think, whatever challenges diagnosed with Type One Diabetes, even though we fully appreciate it providers that are treatable. You know, there's that sense of loss and morning. So I think acknowledging that, and then we try to really focus on, you know, the fact that, that it is a treatable condition. It is challenging, there is no question that life is going to be different as folks at home, but but it's it's manageable. And, you know, in our center, we have the luxury of a multidisciplinary team. And we're all about supporting that family, you know, is is the case, I think we fully realized that. I think there are two times of life, at least in the pediatric age group, that are particularly challenging. It's in the very young children. And then it's the children they get diagnosed around the time of adolescence. And so for the very young child, the bottom line is that I think it is extremely important that we tailor the therapy to the patient. It's true across the board, but I think particularly with the youngest ones, Stacey Simms 2:00 When you're talking about the youngest ones, I think as we go through this interview, we will kind of section it because obviously, there's a difference between a six month old and a 16 month old, you know, and a three year old. But my personal experience was was interesting. So when my son was diagnosed, our pediatrician he was he was not yet to it was about five to six weeks before he turned two. She said, Bring him in. It sounds like type one diabetes, but he's too young. I've never had a case of someone under the age of two. So bring him in. And let's roll it out. And luckily, you know, we did we brought him in. I mean, unluckily, we rolled it in, obviously. But is that something that was either common at that time, which is 13 years ago? Does it still happen that people think you can't possibly have type one if you're under a certain age? Dr. Henry Rodriguez 2:44 No, no, I think you know, what we encounter typically is at the other end of the spectrum, it's, it's adults that come in and the assumption is, well, you're an adult, you obviously have type two diabetes, you couldn't possibly have type one. But I will tell you that You know, and we we actually I oversee both adult and pediatric providers at our center. And, you know, historically, pediatric endocrinologist, pediatricians will assume it's type one until proven otherwise. And on the adult side, it's the opposite. So, you know, I think we are in in less danger of mismanaging, so to speak a young child because, you know, our, our kind of default is to treat those children with insulin and then, you know, figure out the rest afterwards. elevated blood sugars, you know, can can occur transiently in a child who's Ill know in the midst of stress of illness and we can kind of say, well, Mom, okay, well, let's just see how how things don't obviously if you have a child that has an extremely high blood sugar that has, you know, positive ketones, possibly acidosis well, then then, you know, you know it's insulin deficiency and So you proceed in that regard. But you know, for a child that comes in with, let's say RSV pneumonia and you get a few older blood sugars will let that slide, so to speak. But, but for sustained high blood sugars, you know, we always resort to insulin therapy. Stacey Simms 4:17 Okay, so it was just maybe my pediatricians personal experience hadn't borne that out. It wasn't some something common. And before I move on from that, is it. I had heard anecdotally, again, that there are more cases of younger children with type one in the past 10 to 15 years than there were, say 30 or 40 years ago. It's true. Dr. Henry Rodriguez 4:38 Yeah. Yes, it is true. Unfortunately, we know that overall, the incidence of Type One Diabetes is increasing. And that increase is really most affected children less than five years of age. I should mention before we move on, you know, and we will come into the youngest individuals as you said, but for children less than six months of age, one thing that always factors into the equation, particularly if there's any kind of, you know, multiple family members that are affected by quote type one diabetes, we also have to think about monogenic diabetes. So those are individuals who have a genetic mutation that has affected the machinery as it were, that's necessary to monitor the blood glucose to you know, make the insulin, store the insulin, release the insulin, all those things. Now, it's far less common. But we have to think about those things in the youngest individual. Stacey Simms 5:42 And I will say will, as you listen, we will link up information about monitor genetics, diabetes in the show notes, you'll can find it on the website, and I'm actually doing a show in just a couple of weeks with a family that thought the child had type one thought the parent had type one, but it turned out it was monitored now. So we'll be talking more about that in a future episode but more information because as we're talking about the youngest kids here, that is something you absolutely have to keep in mind. Alright, so let's talk practical, because most of the questions that I have taken from other parents, and then I had myself I remember when my son was diagnosed, we're about precision of dosing. I mean, it's so hard, right? I mean, when baby was diagnosed, he was he was a bigger kid, luckily, so we were not using diluted insulin, which I'll ask about, but we were drawing up quarter units, which are not measurable. They don't make up you know, there's no lines for quarter units. At least there weren't a syringe. There wasn't even a half unit pen at that time. How do you advise people to do these itty bitty teeny weeny doses for kids? Dr. Henry Rodriguez 6:49 Honestly, I am so mentioned we were get to it, but I'm not a great fan of diluted in so I think you can do that. I perhaps you could accuse me of a bit of paranoia, but I'm always concerned that they're there, either, you know, less likely on the part of the period but, you know, another caretakers so forth an error at that level of the pharmacy. I'm always concerned when when you dilute insulin, think about it. Stacey Simms 7:16 I'm sorry, I cut you off. I got excited. Yeah, I mean, Dr. Henry Rodriguez 7:18 it, you know, if you're diluting the insulin tenfold and for some reason, you you make an error and you develop those, you deliver the full strength insulin. That's 10 times the dose you had intended giving. So that that is as I said, there may be a little paranoia on my part. I tried to get away from that. I, I will tell you, as you mentioned that, you know, even with the syringes, there are now insulin syringes that half half unit increments. And when you say you're going to measure a quarter unit, you have to understand that you're getting between zero and you're not giving the unit units Stacey Simms 7:55 was not my husband's quarter unit. We knew that we were just trying to Bad tech. Dr. Henry Rodriguez 8:01 But I think that's where I generally move towards, in fairly rapid progression. Move towards insulin pump therapy. Stacey Simms 8:12 Okay, wait, but before we do, because there jumped you jumped? Right? Let's Let's continue that because I do think it's worth talking about we never used it. I didn't even know it was an option at that time. But when I see people talk about it, they seem very enthusiastic about it before we go any further and I'm happy to, as you said, on the one hand is the paranoia on the other end of the parents who do think it works well. But let's start with the facts. What is it? I mean, you're not diluting insulin at home, are you a pharmacy? Oh, my goodness. Dr. Henry Rodriguez 8:39 So you can go Yeah, you can go one of two ways. I mean, the manufacturers do. Provide them you can purchase a diluent it's essentially the solution that insulin is prepared in and you you can dilute that insolent. Some folks do that for is, again you can you can segue to off of the pump their baby deal with the pump as well. But, you know, you dilute the insulin and it's it's something that my preference if you're going to go that route is to get a reliable pharmacist to do that for you. But there are some individuals that do it at home. Stacey Simms 9:24 And okay, so this sounds like a very foolish question, but I don't we're just at the beginning here. How do you do it? I mean, do you literally take a regular vial of insulin and then dilute it at home with you pull it out? You put I try to think of how I would do that. Dr. Henry Rodriguez 9:39 Well, I mean, you have a while of the diluent. And then you introduce however many units of insulin internet, we used to do this back in the old days request from our therapy, you know, we could tailor the concentration to provide a volume that was reasonable to inject it sir doable, but, you know, we, I generally prefer to go with simpler, not never going to be foolproof, but making it less likely that an error is going to occur. Stacey Simms 10:17 I know that people really have good success with it, but it would make me very nervous as Dr. Henry Rodriguez 10:24 I share that Stacey Simms 10:26 was just a go. I mean, insulin we know has a shelf life, so to speak, you know, out of the refrigerator for 28 days and in the refrigerator for the date that's on the packaging, just diluting it change that. Dr. Henry Rodriguez 10:39 It shouldn't but obviously, as you indicated, I mean, you want to do it, and then this sterile fashion as possible. So you know, it I, and again, I'm stating the obvious here, but, you know, we think 28 days, it's not because on the 29th day, the insulin no longer functions, it degrades over time. And considering particularly when you're dealing with small doses like this, and considering the accuracy that we try to achieve with regards to dosing for the individual carbohydrates for the correction doses, you if if on day 45, your insulin is 90% as effective as it was in day one. That's not ideal. So that's why we generally encourage people to rotate out the vial over the 10 every 28 days now, in a child that isn't using very much insulin, you know that that means you're disposing of a lot of insulin. And so you know, there is a certain level of waste there. What we typically try to do is, you know, your pens hold 300 units, your vials hold a full thousand units. I think, if you're looking at it from an economical standpoint, even if you cannot use the pen to the The video says you can draw from the pen with a syringe. However, I think it's incredibly important that folks understand that once you've done that with a pen, you're going to potentially introduce error to any insulin you deliver with the pen mechanism. In other words, you're changing the volume within that cartridge in such a way that if you then turn around and use that pen, the way it's intended, you run the risk of inaccuracies in the dosing. So we always tell folks, once you've drawn from a pen with a syringe don't revert to using that pen has as an injection device by itself. Stacey Simms 12:37 Yeah, yeah, we do that we actually pulled insulin out sometimes to using the pump from a pen. But then you cannot use that pen to inject as a pen. That's it. It's done. If now it's just a big dumb vial. You can't use it anymore. Dr. Henry Rodriguez 12:50 It's a little it's a little Stacey Simms 12:51 it's a little dump file. Um, okay. You mentioned instead of diluted insulin, that you would prefer the precision of an insulin pump. And this isn't an editorial statement, but I'm just thinking when I remember when my son was on the insulin pump, he was two and a half. And I see these babies that are on insulin pumps, and the babies are so teeny tiny, you know, and the pumps are so large, this isn't really a medical question. But they really do okay on them. Dr. Henry Rodriguez 13:20 They do they, I mean, you you make allowances I mean, if you think about So, so here is where your choice of pub is important. You know, the easiest pump is is the only pot I mean in terms of educating people how to use it, in terms of...