Metabolic impact of puberty on the course of type 1 diabetes

Diabetes Metab. 2001 Sep;27(4 Pt 2):S19-25.


Puberty is characterised by important physiological and hormonal changes. In type 1 diabetes, abnormalities in the growth hormone/insulin-like growth factor-1 (GH/IGF-1) axis play a important role. Spontaneous hyper-GH secretion arises, with reduced circulating IGF-1 levels, both leading to a reduction in insulin sensitivity. From a clinical point of view, these abnormalities are linked to a deterioration glycaemic control, often more marked in females (in whom the degree of insulin resistance during puberty seems to be higher). These abnormalities in the GH/IGF-1 axis in may constitute a risk for the development of microangiopathic complications. Optimisation of insulin therapy has practical limitations and intensification of insulin therapy poses problems (weight gain, nocturnal hypoglycaemia). Several alternative therapeutic approaches have been explored to restore insulin sensitivity, either through a direct effect on the GH/IGF-1 axis, or through drugs with a direct insulin sensitivity effect, but all these approaches remain to be confirmed and the safety and acceptability of these treatments to be established on a long-term basis.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Blood Glucose / metabolism
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 1 / drug therapy
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 1 / physiopathology*
  • Hormones / physiology
  • Humans
  • Hypoglycemic Agents / therapeutic use
  • Insulin / therapeutic use*
  • Insulin Resistance / physiology
  • Puberty / physiology*


  • Blood Glucose
  • Hormones
  • Hypoglycemic Agents
  • Insulin