Brittle Diabetes

Unexpected fluctuations or spikes in blood glucose levels are the most annoying thing a person with diabetes or without diabetes could experience. Glycemic variability is the term used to describe these variations or swings in blood sugar levels. People with type 1 diabetes are often diagnosed with the illness, commonly known as unstable or labile diabetes. Out-of-range blood glucose levels that go untreated can have serious short- and long-term health effects. Blood sugar swings when occur frequently are known as brittle diabetes, can happen for a number of reasons. However, it eventually results in hypoglycemia or hyperglycemia (high blood sugar levels) (low blood sugar levels).

The pancreas secretes chemicals called insulin and glucagon that control blood sugar levels. Blood glucose levels must stay within a healthy range for the human body, and this is considered a crucial indicator of general health. However, it can be challenging for those with diabetes to achieve and maintain optimal glucose levels. Unexpected changes in blood sugar levels can also cause serious health issues like peripheral neuropathy, chronic renal disease, vision loss, and more.


  • Light-headedness or feeling woozy
  • Extreme frailty
  • Irritability
  • Overeating or drinking more than usual
  • Anxiety
  • Dry skin and other skin conditions
  • Poor slumbering habits
  • Profound headaches
  • Continual urination
  • Involuntary or uncontrollable trembling of the hands
  • Distorted eyesight
  • Seizures
  • Lack of coordination or clumsiness
  • Vomiting or nauseous

The importance of preserving normal blood sugar levels

A healthy blood glucose level can be maintained by engaging in regular activity, eating meals on time, and consuming complex carbohydrate food sources such whole grains.

Due to meals or activity, your blood glucose levels may change throughout the day. Extreme blood glucose swings or variations, however, can cause health problems like hypertension, diabetic coma, chronic kidney disease, and even diabetic coma. Additionally, it will result in emotional disorders such as despair, agitation, annoyance, lack of energy, weariness, and excessive fury. Continuous change also contributes to dental issues like cavities, tooth decay, gum infections, and significant tooth loss.

Causes of Blood Sugar Fluctuations and Swings

  • Stress
  • Alcohol
  • Medications
  • Hormones like cortisol, catecholamines, growth hormones etc
  • Artificial sweeteners and irregular blood sugar tests
  • Caffeine
  • Low GI Foods
  • Sports or exercise, or energy drinks
  • Dried or canned fruits

How to Control Your Blood Sugar Levels' Fluctuations

  • Drink plenty of water to stay hydrated and to assist the body in eliminating extra glucose and toxins through urine
  • Maintain an ideal glucose range by consuming whole, low-GI, low-sugar foods that have undergone little processing
  • Pick the correct foods and the ideal serving sizes, which should include plenty of fruits, vegetables, lean meats, and sources of protein such as beans, lentils, nuts, and more
  • Planning meals and avoiding sugar are both efficient ways to control blood sugar levels and keep them within a healthy range
  • To maintain stable blood sugar levels, practise mindfulness through frequent exercise, yoga, or medication
  • Monitor your blood sugar levels frequently and keep an eye out for changes brought on by your diet, your activity level, and your medications. The prevention of diabetic consequences such as heart attack, stroke, blindness, renal disease, and many more will be aided by continuous monitoring of blood glucose levels
  • A key component of controlling blood sugar levels is exercise
  • Keeping a healthy weight will help to lessen diabetic problems
  • It is essential to adhere to a health professional's recommendations
Dr. Vimal Upreti
Additional Director
Department of Diabetes & Endocrinology
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