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July 28, 2003

Diagnosis and Symptoms

Question from Knightdale, North Carolina, USA:

A client of mine has been told that her son has “brittle juvenile diabetes”. His mother says he was told by a doctor that this means it will be very difficult to control, she should plan on spending considerable time in the emergency room and doctors’ offices since his blood sugar levels are likely to fluctuate significantly. Is this true? What is “brittle juvenile diabetes”?


From: DTeam Staff

This term, brittle diabetes, is archaic. Your client’s son has type 1 diabetes and requires insulin. While it does take commitment to manage, many do, from those who are days old to those who are decades old.

Your client and her son should learn from a good diabetes center and doctor. Managing diabetes is a job that can be done well, and people with diabetes can live well.


[Editor’s comment: It’s difficult for me to believe that that was said in this day and age. Nowadays, treatment regimens are designed to meet lifestyle needs along with blood glucose goals. Children with diabetes are not frequently taken to ERs and visits to doctors’ offices should be about four times per year.

If this is truly what you client has been told, I’d suggest she consider finding a different diabetes team — one well-versed in the care of children who have diabetes.