What are the signs and symptoms of 'Brittle' Diabetes?

By  , Expert Content
Feb 25, 2013

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The term brittle diabetes or labile diabetes indicates uncontrolled type 1 diabetes. In people with brittle diabetes large swings in blood sugar (glucose) levels occurs often. Brittle diabetes occurs most often in children or young adults, but brittle diabetes is possible in people of any age. Symptoms of brittle diabetes can vary between the extremes of blood glucose levels.


Elevated Blood Sugar: If the blood sugar levels are very high tests will show highly elevated levels of sugar in both the blood and the urine. The person may also have symptoms of ketoacidosis like stomach pain, nausea and/or vomiting, breathlessness, lethargy, confusion and breath that smells of fruit.


Increased thirst and Urination: People with diabetes often feel thirsty and urinate frequently. Elevated blood sugar in the blood causes fluids to move out your cells. This makes you feel thirsty----and so you drink more water----this leads to frequent urination


Increased appetite and Weight Loss: You may feel more hungry as your body cannot use the glucose in the blood and your muscles and other tissues become depleted of energy source----so you feel hungry more frequently. As glucose is lost in urine despite eating more you lose weight.


Blurred Vision: Elevated glucose levels in the blood, leads to loss of fluid from the lenses of your eyes----which can affect your ability to focus and see clearly.


Flu-like Symptoms: Children with Type 1 diabetes often present with flu-like symptoms (such as achiness, fatigue, nausea and irritability).


If you have symptoms suggestive of elevated glucose levels ----get your blood sugar levels tested.


Dr Poonam Sachdeva, our in-house medical expert talks about the why what and how in diabetes.


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