The National Institutes of Health listed brittle type 1 diabetes as a rare disease, a distinct and separate form of type 1. An estimated 3,700 to 8,700 persons in the United States have the condition.
Brittle diabetes is characterized rapid, unpredictable, and uncontrollable rises and falls in blood sugar levels. According to the Brittle Diabetes Foundation (http://www.bdtype1.com/), there are 18 known causes for the condition, which when diagnosed and treated allow brittle diabetics to achieve a stable type 1 pattern.
Because of the rarity of the disease, patients who have the disease often go undiagnosed, with doctors and healthcare providers assuming that problems with blood sugar fluctuations are a matter of non-adherence to established diabetes management routines.
The condition is often detected in hospitals when brittle diabetes patients fail to respond to conventional methods for stabilizing blood sugar levels, which opens the door to a diagnosis of brittle diabetes.
The Brittle Diabetes Foundation was formed in 2012 to address what is says has been 80 years of neglect by the medical community despite ample research into and documentation of brittle diabetes.
In the wake of the NIH’s recognition of the condition, the agency has set up a website dealing with brittle diabetes at http://rarediseases.info.nih.gov/gard/11900/brittle-diabetes/Resources/1.