From North Carolina, USA:
I suspect that research should be performed to explore the use of glucagon to remove the long term adverse effects of diabetes. Glucagon is a peptide hormone like insulin which is also secreted by the isles of Langerhans.
You are correct that glucagon is also secreted by islet cells. However, in diabetes, there usually is no deficiency in glucagon secretion. In fact, often glucagon secretion is inappropriately high, further adding to the difficulty controlling the blood sugar (glucagon raises the blood sugar).
Occasionally, in long term diabetes, there may be insufficient secretion of glucagon in response to a low blood sugar (glucagon is usually secreted in response to a low blood sugar to help raise the blood sugar). Glucagon can be given by injection to raise the blood sugar if the blood sugar is so low that the person passes out or has a seizure and cannot take food by mouth. There is no evidence that I am aware of that routine daily treatment with glucagon could improve glucose control and help prevent complications.
Original posting 13 Oct 97
Updated 25 Oct 97
Last Updated: Tuesday April 06, 2010 15:08:54
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