Someone I care deeply for has BRITTLE diabetes

By peachy4372 Latest Reply 2011-01-26 09:15:17 -0600
Started 2011-01-24 13:20:10 -0600


My ex boyfriend (who is the love of my life) has this. The only time he sees a doctor is when he goes into a coma and goes to the hospital. They told him that he is not a canidate for transplant or anything…that he is too far gone. I love this guy and will for the rest of my life even though we may never date again and I won't accept this.

I'm going to try and make him see a doctor on a regular basis.

I don't feel like he takes care of himself and eats right…he says he does and I know he is the one living it but I have to do something. I cannot lose him.

The doc says he pancreas is basically gone/shriveled up and that he has a year to live. Can this be true..surely that would make him a canidate for a pancreas or islet implant.

Thank you Joni 55 for suggesting this site!

11 replies

peachy4372 2011-01-25 12:45:01 -0600 Report

Thank you soooo much Gabby! Joni said you would be a lot of help!

GabbyPA 2011-01-26 09:15:17 -0600 Report

I wish I knew more about how to help. Please keep us posted on how things go. We are here to celebrate the victories and cry with you in the defeats.

GabbyPA 2011-01-25 09:33:05 -0600 Report

Hello Peachy and welcome to the community. Joni told me a little about your situation and I am so sorry for you to suffer this with him. It is good that he is not alone and I hope you have been able to read some of the other discussions on brittle diabetes. It seems such a shame one so young to endure this.

My advice is to be there for him and not get naggy. Learn new things you can share with him and be excited about together. I am sure a lot of his "giving up" comes from doctors that don't know what to do with him. He must keep looking for that right connection. There is a doctor out there that will work with him, and I hope together you will find that person. Loving him will be the best thing for him. You cannot live his life for him, but hopefully your love will inspire him to try again and work at what he needs to do.

I will not lie. It will be frustrating and it will be a lot of hard work. But love makes those efforts easier.

MAYS 2011-01-25 08:15:02 -0600 Report

Welcome to Diabetic Connect !

Brittle Diabetes is a term used to describe what is known as uncontrollable Type 1 Diabetes.;

As explained below :

Brittle diabetes, also called labile diabetes, is a term used to describe uncontrolled type 1 diabetes. People with brittle diabetes frequently experience large swings in blood sugar (glucose) levels. These cause either hypoglycemia (low blood sugar) or hyperglycemia (high blood sugar), which is more common and sometimes extreme.
The person with brittle diabetes is frequently hospitalized, misses work and often has to contend with psychological problems. All of these factors place additional emotional and financial stress on family members.

How Often Does Brittle Diabetes Occur?

Brittle diabetes is relatively rare. Less than 1 of people who have insulin-dependent diabetes patients experience brittle diabetes. However, those who do are often troubled by frequent medical problems and hospital admissions. Overall, three in 1,000 (0.3 of) people with type 1 diabetes will develop brittle diabetes.

Who Gets Brittle Diabetes and Why

People with psychological problems, such as stress and depression, are at highest risk of experiencing brittle diabetes. In some cases, these psychological problems lead them to neglect self-care for their diabetes. For example, they may stop maintaining a healthy diet or may not manage their blood sugar). As blood sugar control wanes, metabolic imbalances further complicate and often worsen the underlying psychological problems, causing a repetitive cycle of brittle diabetes.

I hope that this helps.

" Mays "

joni55 2011-01-25 10:48:33 -0600 Report

Thanks for the information Mays. I would like to add that if a person is severely depressed they may neglect their health deliberately, maybe as a result of feeling hopeless and self-destructive.

chimpanda 2011-01-24 23:14:21 -0600 Report

Depending on what the full story is with the doctors saying in the hospital, him having a short life span may be somewhat accurate from what I understand. Although people posting are right about a type 2 diabetic becoming a type 1, and needing insulin to control irratic blood sugars, producing insulin is just one of the many inportant functions of the pancreas. Another function that I am aware of is the enzymes the pancreas produces are used for food digestion, and if the whole pancreas shuts down a lot of medication is needed to continue living. A friend of mine has a mother who has been a lifetime alcoholic and is close to her liver and pancreas shutting down. Her outcome if that was to happen is not good. The estimate of time left would be about 3-6 months.
If he really isn't a candidate, and it is the case that his whole pancreas is messed up, he might not be a candidate because of the uncontrolled blood sugars. If those aren't in control he won't be able to heal from surgery, or keep the pancrease healthy for very long without damaging that one too. They wouldn't risk a healthy pancreas transplant for a medically unstable patient. That's the only info I really know on the subject. I hope this helps. Good luck with everything!

peachy4372 2011-01-25 07:32:58 -0600 Report

Thank you for posting chimpanda :) I'm going to pray about it and keep doing research. I wish there was a cure for all this!

peachy4372 2011-01-24 13:54:25 -0600 Report

Thank you kdroberts and mewella!:)

When he goes to this specialist I have picked out I hope he lets me go with him. I don't think he is asking the right questions lol. That is comforting to hear that what the doc said about him only having a year to live is probably wrong. He does check his blood and he says he does what he is supposed to do. I don't know much about this at all. I'm glad this site was suggested to me.

MewElla 2011-01-24 13:49:37 -0600 Report

I know this must be heart breaking for you and I can not imagine how you feel. Truly hope you can get him to a dr on a regular basis, this is extremely important for him and for your peace of mine. God Bless you both.

kdroberts 2011-01-24 13:46:40 -0600 Report

What you describe about his pancreas is basically what type 1 diabetes is, millions of people are in the same boat. If he isn't testing his blood sugar, eating right and taking insulin correctly then what you describe will be common. Pancreas transplants are not common unless all other options have been explored since the medications you need to take for the rest of your life really devastate your immune system and are worse than taking insulin. Islet cell transplants are still experimental and have the same problem with anti-rejection drugs. In both cases you still have the problem of the type 1 autoimmune attack doing the same thing to the transplant.

Just based on what you have said it doesn't sound like you are getting the full story. A doctor wouldn't ever say that a diabetic is too far gone for help because there is always treatment options available. They may mean that because of his blood sugars being erratic he may only live a short while longer before complications kick in and take over but there is always something that can be done if the person wants to do it.

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