Stable Type 1 Diabetes  

Brittle Type 1 Diabetes

updated 11/2019

Estimated - CDC -  1.5 million cases

in USA    


Most often diagnosed in children, adolescents or young adults but can occur at any age


BG levels may fluctuate occasionally                              

BG stabilized with proper diet, exercise and insulin regimen providing predictable results     


Does not impact ability to carry out regular activities of daily living  



Glycemic variability limited 




HbA1c commonly employed as a monitoring tool.


Diabetic complications limited or delayed                                    



Exercise encouraged as part of normal routine to lower BG                                            

No cure for diabetes available

Estimated – some 70,000 in USA


More common in women between the ages 15 & 30 but can occur at any age in either gender


BG fluctuates rapidly from minute to minute with major swings from low to high & high to low


BG unstable, unpredictable and uncontrollable despite proper regimen.


Creates a very disruptive life style –  feels ill,misses work, ER visits and hospitalization not uncommon.

Glycemic variability significantly

increased. 36% GV distinguishes brittle or unstable diabetes.

HbA1c test ineffective. Should not be employed because it does not measure glycemic variability


 Complications (DKA) & hypoglycemic coma more  frequent. Nephropathy. neuropathy, retinopathy and cardiovascular issues more likely.



Exercise does not always result in a decline in BG levels. Caution is necessary above 250. See section on exercise for recommendations.


Brittleness has a cause. When determined,and treated successfully, individual reverts to stable Type 1 condition without the seesaw effect