Having diabetes type 1 is difficult enough for many people, but what if you have brittle diabetes? This is a term of diabetes type 1 variant that is signified with frequent fluctuations of blood sugar level. While people with regular diabetes usually have infrequent blood sugar swings (as long as they regulate their meal), people with brittle diabetes face more intense situations, because they can alternate between experiencing extreme hyperglycemia and hypoglycemia, and in short period of time.
How Can You Get Brittle Diabetes?
Brittle diabetes commonly occurs on people with type 1 diabetes, which is characterized with inability of the body to produce adequate insulin. This condition is quite rare (it happens to 1 out of 1,000 people), but once someone gets this condition, he or she will experience more difficulties than people who have common diabetes. Drastic switch between hypoglycemia and hyperglycemia will cause various symptoms such as dizziness, cold sweat, fainting, and many others, which will really affect daily activities.
Scientists have found connection between brittle diabetes and the level of body’s hormonal response toward stress. People who suffer from brittle diabetes usually have more intense level of hormonal response toward stress, compared to people who have common diabetes. Also, people who experience constant stress and untreated depression can develop brittle diabetes.
Untreated brittle diabetes can lead to various conditions, such as hypothyroidism, adrenal insufficiency, and delayed stomach emptying. The latter condition has been known to damage internal organ nerves, because the absorption of glucose and nutrients becomes slower.
Brittle Diabetes Facts about Treatment and Prevention
Here are some basic brittle diabetes facts: despite being rare, the risk factors are quite common. Besides the possible genetic factors, risk factors such as depression, stress, obesity, and being a woman can also increase the possibility to get brittle disease. People who are at the age between 15 and 30 years old are also more likely to develop brittle diabetes. If you experience unusual symptoms such as frequent conditions of hypoglycemia that happen several times in a day, you should sign up for blood test, which can tell whether you have brittle diabetes or not.
Since both physical and psychological factors affect brittle diabetes, the recommended treatments usually consist of both programs, such as:
- Managing stress and treating depression. If you have underlying problems that cause constant stress or depression, consider talking to professional, since they can increase the risk of brittle diabetes.
- Doctor may advise you to consume medication such as metoclopramide, which is useful to increase the rate of stomach emptying process.
- Always make sure to keep your lifestyle healthy. Consider regular consultation with dietician or sign up to diabetes center in your area if any, especially if your lifestyle often hinders you from eating healthy.
- If you have exhausted all solutions to control the brittle diabetes, pancreatic transplantation may be the final solution, although this is quite a risky procedure.
In the end, controlling brittle diabetes is not just about eating right and taking medication, but also controlling your lifestyle and addressing all psychological problems you may have.