Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Glucagon more important than insulin?


I found this article interesting. It seems as if our insulin needs are dictated partly by the secretion of glucagon. If glucagon is taken out of the equation, insulin becomes much less necessary? Yes, let's try this on some humans and see if it holds true. They are calling it a possible cure for Type 1 diabetes.

It's tricky because right now glucagon helps to protect us from severe hypoglycemia. I don't know if I would want to give mine up... it could change the way all the mechanics are understood.


  1. I think that most of my highs are related to glucagon release and that most of my dosing is for glucagon, since I eat minimal carbohydrates. I think I would seriously consider an intervention that decreased or eliminated the amount of glucagon being released. I know that I have "rebounds" related to low blood glucose, which my glucagon rescues me from, but what if I didn't require insulin therapy anyway? Would I still have those hypos? Not sure, but it is an idea worth looking into.

  2. I hear you! My blood sugar rises just from putting anything into my stomach. All glucagon... I feel like I'm so good at secreting glucagon, I'm fairly insulin resistant. I take fast-acting insulin with no-carb meals and still don't go low... I feel like improving my glucose control has possibly even made my body better at producing glucagon, and now I'm in a re-tooling cycle trying to sort it out again.

  3. I saw that last year. I think it is outrageous that they'd write it as if it was an open question whether removal of the ability to make glucagon would cure diabetes. There are people born without pancreata or whose pancreata have been removed for various reasons, or whose pancreata have been destroyed entirely by disease, and guess what? They have diabetes!

    It's probable that the way most type 1 diabetics make glucagon makes our blood sugars worse- but we would still have diabetes if we didn't make glucagon.

  4. Yes, I read another article that got further into the topic and it said that perhaps Type 1 diabetics have overactive glucagon production, and that if you tamed it everything might be fine. I don't think so, if you aren't producing insulin at all.
    However, I agree with both of you, glucagon seems to make things much more complicated than they are supposed to be with getting predictable results from our injected insulin.