Your browser does not support javascript:   Search for gard hereSearch for news-and-events here.


Genetic and Rare Diseases Information Center (GARD)

Print friendly version

Brittle diabetes

Other Names for this Disease
  • Brittle diabetes mellitus
  • Brittle type 1 diabetes
  • Labile diabetes
See Disclaimer regarding information on this site. Some links on this page may take you to organizations outside of the National Institutes of Health.


Newline Maker

What are the symptoms of brittle diabetes?

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:[1]

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.[1]

Last updated: 9/26/2013

  1. McCulloch DK. The adult patient with brittle diabetes mellitus. UpToDate. August 17, 2012; Accessed 8/8/2013.