Brittle diabetes is also known as unstable diabetes or labile diabetes, meaning that blood sugar swings can be severe and frequent. This version is rare and happens mainly to people with Type 1 diabetes. Talk to your healthcare provider about management methods, possibly including special equipment.

Brittle diabetes is diabetes that’s especially difficult to manage and often disrupts everyday life. People with brittle diabetes have severe swings in blood glucose (blood sugar). The swings can cause frequent episodes of hypoglycemia (low blood sugar) or hyperglycemia (high blood sugar).


Brittle diabetes occurs when diabetes is especially difficult to manage-. Diabetes can be hard to manage for many reasons:

  • Celiac disease, an autoimmune disorder that affects the intestine
  • Drug or alcohol use
  • Eating disorders
  • Gastroparesis, a condition in which nerve damage prevents the stomach from emptying food properly
  • Hormonal imbalances, such as adrenal insufficiency and hypothyroidism
  • Problems in the way the body absorbs insulin or nutrients from food
  • Stress, anxiety, depression and other psychological issues that can make the body resist insulin


People with brittle diabetes experience sudden and frequent changes in blood glucose levels for no obvious reason. The swings lead to hypoglycemia or hyperglycemia.

Symptoms of hypoglycemia include:

  • Dizziness, weakness or shaking
  • Fast heart rate
  • Irritability or confusion
  • Pale skin
  • Restless sleep
  • Sudden hunger
  • Sweating

Symptoms of hyperglycemia include:

  • Blurry vision
  • Fatigue (feeling weak, tired)
  • Frequent urination (peeing)
  • Headache
  • Skin infections and slow-healing cuts
  • Thirst or hunger


Several treatments and technologies can help people with brittle diabetes managethe condition. They include:

  • Continuous glucose monitor.
  • Insulin pump
  • Islet cell transplantation, A healthcare provider takes healthy insulin-producing cells from a deceased person’s pancreas and infuses them into the liver.
  • Pancreas transplant, A surgeon implants a donated pancreas.

* Consult Your Physician For More Information & Best Treatment Options Available…