Brittle diabetes may be in the form of hyperglycemia (high blood sugar) or hypoglycemia (low blood sugar) and sometime it may be both. However, after a thorough research some of its characteristics have been noted, which usually helps in the diagnosis of this condition in type 1 or type 2 diabetics.
- Most patients with brittle diabetes experience recurrent episodes of hyperglycemia or hypoglycemia. However, occasionally patients may experience both conditions of brittleness.
- Brittleness is more common in women diabetics rather than men. However, for type 1 diabetics it occurs mostly during puberty in both men and women.
- Diabetics with brittleness are highly at risk of premature deaths.
- Brittle diabetics are more vulnerable to common diabetic complications and it can be highly related to poor metabolic control.
Usually, there are no certain causes for brittle diabetes; however, there are certain conditions that have been found responsible for brittleness in diabetics.
Causes of brittle diabetes
As stated earlier, it has been found that in most of the cases the reason for brittleness in patients is more psychological rather than physical, though poor metabolic condition may put a diabetic at high risk of developing brittle diabetes. Some of the causes for brittleness in diabetics are stated below:
- High amount of stress and depression are two of the major factors responsible for brittleness. It often happens that this kind of psychological issues lead to negligence in self care, which is truly imperative for a diabetic patient. If due to psychological problems a diabetic lose interest in maintaining a healthy diet plan or fail to manage the blood glucose level, brittle diabetes is most likely to occur in those instances.
- Hormonal imbalances may also be responsible for developing brittleness as well
- Young women, who are overweight as well as type 1 diabetic, are most likely to develop brittleness.
- It can also be related to chronic cryptic infections
- People suffering from hypothyroidism and adrenal insufficiency are often tend to develop brittleness as well
- Gastrointestinal absorption problems may also be responsible for brittle diabetes in patients.
Now that the causes for brittle diabetes have been established, let’s focus on why brittle diabetes is different from stable diabetes.
Difference in brittle and stable diabetes
Usually the blood glucose levels of stable diabetics do not show frequent fluctuations, though in some occasions diabetics may experience some abnormal changes in their blood glucose level. But it certainly does not hamper their daily activities and they tend to live a healthy normal life if the blood sugar is controlled and properly managed. On the contrary, in case of brittle diabetes, the scenario is completely different. Due to frequent episodes of large swings in the blood glucose level it becomes difficult for a diabetic to perform daily activities, let alone live a healthy, normal life.
Impact of brittle diabetes
The overall impact of brittle diabetes on the patient as well as on the family of affected person is huge. It not only affects a person psychologically but also financially as the people suffering from brittle diabetes often need hospitalization for proper monitoring and treatments. The affected person tends to miss out on simple daily activities and remain depressed all the time. It simply hampers the life of the affected and his or her family. Not only that; it also puts a financial burden on the affected person’s family as well.
It has been found that almost .3% of all type 1 diabetics are diagnosed with brittle diabetes, which certainly makes it a little bit rare if the statistics are taken into account. However, for the affected, it can be a serious issue and the mortality rate of this condition is pretty high as well. So people with brittle diabetes need special care and proper assessment of their mental and physical conditions in order to stay fit as a fiddle. Psychotherapy has been seen as a great help for brittle diabetes, though not a complete cure, but it helps diabetics manage their condition. So in order to stay healthy and out of harm’s way, every brittle diabetic must follow the guidelines provided by his or her health care provider and take optimum care of his or her health.