What exactly is brittle diabetes and how can it be diagnosed?

Patty Bonsignore


“Brittle diabetes” is a term we used in the past to describe people with diabetes, usually type 1, experiencing very erratic blood glucose levels that occurred seemingly without explanation. In recent years, we have gotten away from using this term because today, most of the time, we are able to determine the reasons for these wide variations. To say someone has “brittle diabetes” is like throwing up ones hands and saying “there is nothing we can do for you” and in this day and age that’s simply not the case. If you or someone you know is having a lot of swings in their blood glucose levels, the first important step is to see a team that specializes in diabetes, including an endocrinologist and a diabetes educator. With adequate logs, information and time, they will work with you or your loved one to help reduce some of these fluctuations in blood glucose levels.