CAUSES of BRITTLE DIABETES  updated 11/2019



Over the last fifteen years attempts have been made to better understand what if anything can account for this rapid shifting in BG levels (what BDF calls the seesaw effect) for no apparent reason.


The evidence appears conclusive: there is always a secondary cause for brittle diabetes and that therapy should be directed at finding the cause(s) or etiology of the disease and then treating the underlying pathological factor(s). Results to date indicate that 50% of brittle diabetic patients respond favorably to treatment allowing them to lead a more normal life as a stable T1D..


 A major difficulty is that , at times, there is not a single cause but rather a combination of causes that result in the brittle condition.  

Assuming there are no  psychological problems,  treatment should focus on the underlying physiological or organic cause for brittleness whenever possible. 


Known possible organic causes of Brittle Type 1 diabetes;



Celiac disease

 Absorption Disorders /Malabsorption Syndromes

Vitamin D deficiency


Addison’s disease –hypoadrenalism

Cushing Disease –hyperadrenocorticism

Chronic pancreatitis

Polyendocrine syndrome

Cystic fibrosis


Chronic cryptic infection




Systemic insulin resistance

Anti-insulin antibodies

Now that the 17 known causes have been explored, BDF will focus on any new developments in the research of Brittle Type 1 Diabetes including any additional causes that may come to light. N