Glucagon: Glucagon is a hormone, secreted into the bloodstream by the alpha cells, found in the Islets of Langerhans, in the pancreas. It works to raise the concentration of glucose and fat in the bloodstream. It is also used as a medication to treat a number of health conditions. Its impact is opposite to that of insulin, which reduces the extracellular glucose.
Role of Glucagon
Although secreted by the pancreas, glucagon directly impacts the liver as it works to control blood sugar levels and fats. Glucagon is released in response to low blood glucose levels, glucagon is released it can perform the following tasks-
- Stimulating the liver to break down glycogen to be released into the blood as glucose.
- Activating gluconeogenesis, which is the production of glucose in the amino acid molecules.
- Breaking down stored fat (triglycerides) into fatty acids for use as fuel by cells
In each of these processes, glucagon, and insulin work together. Insulin will prevent glucose levels from increasing too high, while glucagon prevents it from falling too low. Glucagon production is excited while a person eats a protein-rich meal, undergoes a surge of adrenaline, or has a low blood sugar.
Glucagon & Diabetes
In people with diabetes, blood glucose levels too high. The cause for this is either because not enough insulin is present or, as is the case in type 2 diabetes, the body is less efficient to respond to insulin.
In type 1 diabetes, high levels of circulating insulin can hinder the discharge of glucagon in response to hypoglycemia.
Severe Hypoglycemia & Glucagon Injection Kit
Treatment for significant hypoglycemia will depend on how conscious the patient is.
In some circumstances, someone with diabetes may recover sufficiently to be able to treat the hypo themselves.
Though this may not always be the case and therefore it’s beneficial to treat severe hypoglycemia as an emergency.
If you know how to apply glucagon via a glucagon injection kit, this is a dependable and effective way to raise blood glucose levels of someone sustaining from a severe hypo. If you apply glucagon, ensure the person is in the recovery state as glucagon can commence to vomiting.
If you do not have access to glucagon, call for emergency hospitalization and have a form of sugar ( fruit juice, a sugary drink, glucose tablets ) available in case they recover.