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Fragile diabetes mellitus (or labile diabetes) is a term used to describe type 1 diabetes that is particularly difficult to control.
Those who have brittle diabetes will experience frequent and extreme changes in blood glucose levels, causing hyperglycemia or hypoglycemia.
How is brittle diabetes developed and what is it associated with?
Fragile diabetes has several potential causes.
It can be caused by absorption problems in the intestines. This includes delayed stomach emptying, drug interactions, insulin absorption problems, and malfunctioning hormones.
Very low blood sugar levels can also create thyroid and adrenal gland problems.
Gastroperesis, the delay in emptying the stomach, can affect the rate at which food, glucose and insulin are absorbed into the bloodstream.
Fragile diabetes is often associated with psychological problems such as stress and depression.
Is diabetes brittle different from stable diabetes?
All people with diabetes will have a certain level of fluctuation in their blood glucose level. However, when these changes are not extreme or too frequent, they do not affect the ability to lead a normal life.
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However, with brittle diabetes, fluctuations are more serious and tend to result in frequent visits to the hospital, interruption of employment and can often contribute to psychological problems such as stress.
Life expectancy with brittle diabetes
The life expectancy of a person with brittle diabetes is not different from that of a person with type 1 or type 2 diabetes.
In fact, brittle diabetes can also be described as poorly controlled type 2 diabetes.
Is brittle diabetes common?
Fragile diabetes is rare but serious. About 3 in every 1,000 people with type 1 diabetes mellitus will develop brittle diabetes.
Will I have brittle diabetes?
People who suffer from psychological problems, such as stress and depression, face an increased risk of developing brittle diabetes. This can be as simple as the psychological problems that cause the abandonment of diabetes care (such as quitting eating healthy, taking medications or exercising regularly).
Control of blood sugar quickly becomes less regular, and imbalances in metabolism can exacerbate this.
In addition, psychological problems can worsen, causing a synbiotic cycle that reinforces brittle diabetes.
Fragile diabetes is more likely to affect overweight women, between the ages of 15 and 30 years.
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