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Maybe allergic to Levemir and Novolog

Discussion in 'Parents of Children with Type 1' started by bbirdnuts@aol.com, Dec 29, 2009.

  1. bbirdnuts@aol.com

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    The allergist says Carolina's allergic reaction is either insulin or food. I am jerking and shaking inside trying to type this. Her prednison was decreased from 40 mg to 20 mg today. She took 10 mg twice today. Her hands are a little swollen now. I will wake her and give her benadryl throught the night. The allergist put her on zyrtec twice a day. She has taken one dose. Scared! Are some people allergic to human insulin and not animal insulin? Is there a long acting animal insulin?
     
  2. bbirdnuts@aol.com

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    Can't sleep having to check blood sugars at 2, 3, and 4 hours after meal.
     
  3. buggle

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    I suppose she could be allergic to insulin analogs (most insulin, except Regular, is an analog -- meaning it has slight alterations from our naturally occurring insulin). But I'd think it'd be more likely to be the preservatives. Can the allergist test her for the preservatives in the insulin? You should be able to get a full list of the ingredients.

    It sounds rough. I hope you're able to figure out what's causing the reaction soon.
     
  4. wilf

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    Insulin allergies are very rare, but not unheard of. Food alleries are much more common, and I suspect that that is what she will end up having.

    What makes you think it's the Levemir or Novolog?
     
  5. wilf

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    Why are you testing 2, 3, and 4 hours after meals? Lows typically will occur in the first 3 hours, so it would make more sense to test 1,2,3 hours after meal if there is a concern there.
     
  6. StillMamamia

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    Can Prednisone be replaced with something else?

    I think it's the meds, not anything else.

    Good luck.
     
  7. selketine

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    I agree the insulin allergy is very rare - I've seen posts about it but they are few and far between. I think it was rude for the allergist to throw that out there unless they were going to tell you right away how they were going to test that theory and find out asap. I would call back the allergist and ... well.... demand some answer to that question on how to find out. I don't think he/she realized how scary of a thought that is to a parent of a kid with TD1.
     
  8. bbirdnuts@aol.com

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    Let me try to explain as much as possible. Carolina had food, animal, and enviromental allergies prior to the extreme diet she was on for 2 1/2 years. While on the diet the allergies went away. The absolutely only problem she had was with pecans and walnuts. She would throw up and it was over.

    Back when she was 4, the allergist told us to never feed her mustard or any foods in the mustard family. That was based on an allergic reaction and allergy testing. While on the extreme diet she ate foods in the mustard family daily. The allergist believes that it would take time for her to react to a food after the diet change back to the standard american diet. Here is one possibility.

    We found a Publix white cheese pizza with spinach that did not spike her blood sugar. Over the past two months she had the pizza two different times. Then last week she ate the same pizza on Wednesday and again on Thursday. When I gave her the dinner injection on Thursday she had some rash on her front torso. A short while after eating she was covered with a rash and it continued to be very aggressive. My hope and prayer is if it must be something that it be the spinach because it is in the mustard family. Please Lord don't let it be the insulin.

    Carolina is being weaned off the prednisone and the allergist has her on one Zyrtec twice a day and Benadryl as needed. The allergist can test her and try to determine what caused this reaction, but they have to wait for 2-3 weeks. The current situation must be under control and she will have to be off of Zyrtec and Benadryl for a 5 day minimum.

    Wilf, sorry about the blood sugar check confusion. Blood sugars have been checked anywhere between 1-4 hours and everything inbetween. What has happened with the Prednisone on board is blood sugar may be acceptable at the 2nd and 3rd hour and by the 4th hour she is way up. We have used more Novolog than Levemir. Meaning she has eaten every 3-4 hours and we have corrected her throughout the day and night. I knew last night from the pattern if I checked her blood sugar that I had approx. 1 1/2 hours I could sleep and I desperately need the sleep.

    The allergist said it could be insulin or food. His thought with insulin is how aggressive this reaction has been and when he saw Carolina yesterday morning her face was beet red with the remnant spots all over her body. At 12:30 this morning she had swollen hands and feet. I gave her benadryl and the swelling went away. I gave her the second dose of Zyrtec around 6 am and still no swelling. Hopefully getting on the Zyrtec will keep this allergy at bay.

    Looking forward to the last dose of prednisone. The last dose will be around midnight tomorrow night. This has been awful for everyone, but especially precious Carolina.
     
  9. buggle

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    Spinach isn't in the mustard family. Spinach food allergies are really rare. But since she's had more spinach than usual, maybe she's one of the rare people who gets it. Also check the pizza packaging for food additives. Maybe she's allergic to something other than spinach in the pizza.

    I hope that your allergist can figure this out. Is he pretty certain it's a food allergy? Has she gotten into any lotions or anything new like that? I have a friend with a child with several very severe food allergies and she reacts from contact with things like shea buttter in lotion.
     
  10. bbirdnuts@aol.com

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    You're right, my brain is tired. So much for that theory. He thinks it could be insulin. I hope not. No new lotions, soaps, detergents, etc.
     
    Last edited: Dec 29, 2009
  11. Toni

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    I really hope it is not the insulin but if it is, there must be a solution. I would not let the allergist worry you further; would call the endo ASAP so you can get more info. just in case.
     
  12. sammysmom

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    I do know of one child that is allergic to insulin. She had to go on an insulin pump becuase it is infused slowly and in small amounts, that lessened the effect of the reaction. She would get huge welts when the insulin was injected by syringe.
     
  13. Diana

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    My son used to get red welts at the injection site when he was on Humalog. The endo said he'd never seen anything like it, but thought maybe my son was having an allergic reaction to the preservatives in the insulin. The weird thing was that it wasn't every injection, so they also decided it may just be a problem with injection technique. We never tried Benedryl - I'm not sure why.

    We eventually switched to Novolog and never got another welt, so I lean more toward the allergy. Obviously, our experience was much more mild than what you are going through, but maybe switching insulins - even for a while - would help.
     
  14. TheFormerLantusFiend

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    I think it's likely that if it's an allergy, it's one of the insulin's preservatives, and that the allergy would be too only one of them. I have read about five stories of people who developed allergies to specific insulins and only one about a person who was actually allergic to the insulin itself rather than a preservative- http://damdiabetes.blogspot.com/
     
  15. Sarah Maddie's Mom

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    I would be very suspicious of any allergist who would even hint at an "insulin allergy" in a type 1 kid without first eliminating every other possible cause. Especially in a child who has a history of food allergies and has recently broadened her diet. IMHO, time for a second opinion.
     
  16. Amy C.

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    I tend to agree with this.
    As I remember, your daugter started eating new foods and getting insulin all at the same time. It would make sense that if she was allergic to foods before, she would still have that allergy rather than have developed an allergy to insulin.
     
  17. Emma'sDad

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    When Emma was DX at the hospital, we introduced Lantus as a basal, she immediately broke out in hives all over her body. I couldn't even recognize her face! We took her off of that in 'favour' of NPH and everything cleared up. When it came to choosing the basals again, we decided on Levemir and she didn't have any strange reactions to that one. Nobody can say for sure that the Lantus is what did that rash, but my poor baby!!
     
  18. BrokenPancreas

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    I read somewhere about someone being allergic to insulin.

    The quick fix was taking out the preservative that the person was allergic to.

    I agree with Maddie's mom, the allergist shouldn't have said this without a definitive diagnosis.

    What did your endo say? You should bring her in TODAY as the endo would be able to look at your daughter and KNOW FOR SURE.\

    ETA: just saw Jona's post, exactly what I was saying.
     
  19. Jilleighn

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    How long as your daughter been on insulin? Did the reactions start when she started the insulin? Both my girls have food allergies and my kiddo who has Diabetes had a flare up during the time insulin was still new. Our allergiest never mention insulin as a source of the allergy and ran a full panel on Loren.
     
  20. Becky Stevens mom

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    I agree with this absolutely. your daughter isnt newly diagnosed is she? If she wasnt breaking out immediately from the insulin like Tims daughter then I would very much doubt that is the problem. It may be an ingredient in the insulin that is the culprit, in which case they should break it down and test each part for a reaction.

    I think that all the fast acting insulins and levemir and lantus are made up of slightly different ingredients so Im sure that there will be an insulin or several that doesnt cause problems. I had a reaction to penicillin many years ago after taking it for years. The pharmacist said that its possible that the penicillin and another food that I was eating at the time caused the reaction together.
     

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