Honeymoon phase in diabetes: What you need to know

Table of Contents

  1. What is the honeymoon phase in type 1 diabetes?
  2. Is there a honeymoon phase in type 2 diabetes?
  3. Honeymoon period duration
  4. Blood sugar levels during the honeymoon period
  5. Diabetes management during the honeymoon period
  6. Outlook

Type 1 diabetes

Type 2 diabetes

Duration

Blood sugar levels

Management

Outlook

When someone is first diagnosed with type 1 diabetes and insulin treatment starts, their blood sugar can stay at near-normal levels, and their diabetes symptoms vanish.

This near-normal blood sugar condition is achieved with decreasing amounts of insulin, and some people manage to come off insulin temporarily. This status quo is known as the honeymoon phase.

In this article, we take a look at the honeymoon phase in diabetes, and how long it might last. We also examine how it affects blood sugar levels and diabetes management.

What is the honeymoon phase in type 1 diabetes?

Woman with diabetes injecting herself with insulin during honeymoon phase.After an initial diagnosis of diabetes type 1, a honeymoon phase may occur.

The honeymoon period occurs in some people with type 1 diabetes right after their initial diagnosis and once insulin treatment is started. During this time, a person’s diabetes may seem to go into remission or disappear.

Type 1 diabetes is the result of an immune attack against the pancreas, which is the organ that produces insulin.

When a person is first diagnosed with type 1 diabetes, some of their insulin-producing cells still function. With these cells continuing to do their job, the body retains some ability to produce insulin.

The need for synthetic insulin may decrease initially once treatment with insulin has begun. Some people may come off shots altogether.

This period, known as the honeymoon phase of diabetes, may last from a few weeks to several months but will eventually end.

Unfortunately, when a person with diabetes experiences the honeymoon phase, it does not mean that their diabetes has been cured. After a while, their remaining insulin-producing cells will stop working, as indicated by blood sugars rising again and an increasing need for synthetic insulin.

Once the insulin-producing cells die, the pancreas can no longer produce insulin and the honeymoon period ends.

After this happens, a person with type 1 diabetes will not have another honeymoon period and will depend on external insulin.

Is there a honeymoon phase in type 2 diabetes?

Healthy tofu quinoa bowl.Eating a healthful diet and exercising regularly is usually recommended for those with type 2 diabetes.

While some people may experience a reduction in their type 2 diabetes symptoms after they are diagnosed, this is not the same as a type 1 honeymoon phase.

Doctors may advise someone with prediabetes, or a person who is first diagnosed with type 2 diabetes, to modify their diet and lifestyle. This may include getting regular exercise and eating a healthful diet.

These changes can lower a person’s blood glucose levels. However, if they stop these healthful habits, blood glucose levels can rise again.

Can type 2 diabetes become insulin dependent diabetes?Can type 2 diabetes become insulin dependent diabetes?
The idea that people with type 2 diabetes can develop type 1 diabetes when they take insulin is a myth. Learn more with this article.
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Honeymoon period duration

There is no standard time for a type 1 diabetes honeymoon phase to last, and no guarantee that each person with type 1 diabetes will experience this phenomenon.

Each person who goes through the honeymoon phase after a type 1 diabetes diagnosis will experience it differently, and for differing amounts of time.

The honeymoon phase usually occurs in the first 3 months after diagnosis.

Over a period of weeks to as much as a year or more, the immune system will continue to attack the pancreas and kill off the remaining cells that are producing insulin. As more insulin-producing cells die, the honeymoon period comes to an end.


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