Other Names for this Disease
- Brittle diabetes mellitus
- Brittle type 1 diabetes
- Labile diabetes
Your QuestionI’m very familiar with Type1 diabetes but had never heard of brittle diabetes. How do they differ? Are the symptoms, causes and treatment the same?
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Questions on this page
The main symptom of brittle diabetes is severe instability of blood glucose levels with frequent and unpredictable episodes of hypoglycemia and/or ketoacidosis that cause a disruption of daily activities. Three clinical presentations have been described:
- Predominant hyperglycemia with recurrent ketoacidosis,
- Predominant hypoglycemia, and
- Mixed hyper- and hypoglycemia.
Patients with brittle diabetes have wide swings in their blood sugar levels and often experience differing blood sugar responses to the same dose and type of insulin. Complications such as neuropathy, nephropathy, and retinopathy are common. Most patients are females in their twenties of thirties, though any age or gender can be affected.
- McCulloch DK. The adult patient with brittle diabetes mellitus. UpToDate. August 17, 2012; http://www.uptodate.com/contents/the-adult-patient-with-brittle-diabetes-mellitus?detectedLanguage=en&source=search_result&search=brittle+diabetes&selectedTitle=1%7E6&provider=noProvider. Accessed 8/8/2013.
- Difference: Stable VS Brittle. Brittle Diabetes Foundation. http://www.bdtype1.com/#!bd-info/vstc8=difference;-stable-vs-brittle. Accessed 8/8/2013.
- BD Statistics. Brittle Diabetes Foundation. http://www.bdtype1.com/#!bd-info/vstc8=bd-statics. Accessed 8/8/2013.
- Brittle Diabetes Causes. Brittle Diabetes Foundation. http://www.bdtype1.com/#!bd-info/vstc8=causes. Accessed 8/8/2013.