Brittle Diabetes Update of Our Dreams, Hopefully



Brittle diabetes update will be presented from time to time thanks to Atlantic Health Sciences Corporation. We used to hear a lot on this until the advent of glucose monitoring. Now with glucose monitoring available for every diabetic to use, it is not often to see one who is not aware of the unpredictable swing in sugar levels.

Before proceeding to the brittle diabetes update, let us remind ourselves of what this term means. It is a term used when the blood glucose level swings from low to high and vice versa. It is also called unstable or labile diabetes. Although some have to accept a life with this roller coaster ride, there is good news.

Being consistent in lifestyle as to schedule of insulin injections, exercise and carbohydrate consumption will stabilize the blood sugar level. It follows that if one is consistent with the aforementioned activities, chances are the blood glucose level will have a chance to be consistent too.

This is the reason why for some people brittle diabetes has become a thing of the past. Glucose monitoring of blood glucose level has made this possible. Regular monitoring will give clues as to why there are still unpredictable swings for some. These diabetics may do all the right things, proper schedule and all but despite all these, some respond differently to food, medications and stress.

What are the causes of this wide swing of the glucose level? Studying the brittle diabetes update will give a lot of reasons. The insulin dose, timing and location of the injections all can affect the blood sugar level. Even how deep the injection is and the blood flow can also give rise to the swing.

In addition to the above reasons, the food consumption can also play a role in the roller coaster ride of the blood sugar level. Dehydration and neuropathy can affect this too. The last but not the least that could affect the reading is hypoglycemia. If one suffers from this often, then this could be hindering the work of the insulin.

The brittle diabetes update has good news. It is that the self monitoring of blood glucose level (SMBG) has done a lot to change the prognosis of this condition. The change is remarkable in fact. However, for some people this is not enough to prevent the diabetes complications. With the repeated attack on the beta cells inside the Islets of Langerhans in the pancreas, it is no wonder transplantation of pancreas is seen as an option.

Before, those who opted for transplantation of the pancreas had to have kidney transplants too. Now the brittle diabetes update has reported on immunosuppression drugs that are more effective. This has noticeably improved the survival rate of the graft.

The candidates are carefully chosen usually limited to patients who are young and healthy but suffering from the wild swing of the blood glucose. These candidates should have no complications yet. The trouble here is that the recipient has to be on oral immunosuppressive treatment for life. The good news is the success rate is increasing.

Also from the brittle diabetes update is the news that now research is on-going on the extraction of the beta cells from the pancreas that they are hoping to inject into the diabetic. I cannot wait for this to become a reality for the hope is for the cells to implant themselves into the liver. Then they can start to secrete insulin. There are still challenges to be faced but there is a chance this will succeed.

Roger Guzman, M.D. and Evelyn Guzman

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