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RE: [IP] BG Really Low but You're Still Functioning

>it has to do with the hormone that makes your liver start
>to pump out sugar.  (I'm sure someone with more knowledge of
>biochemistry can explain it more technically).  

Well, the jury is still out on the exact mechanism, but most of the 
research points to this:

The body naturally maintains a balance of insulin/BGL for a person 
without diabetes.  If the body should "over correct" for BG, or use up 
an excessive amount of BG due to exercise, etc., then the body will 
produce glucagon to stimulate the liver to release glycagen.  

Now, several studies show that the level of insulin in the blood stream 
plays a key role in this release.  For a normal person (meaning, in 
this context, the person without diabetes), insulin levels would be 
extremely LOW in the blood because it produces enough for the glucose i 
the blood.  As BGL drops, it stops producing insulin.  As the level of 
insulin and glucose drops, the glucagon is released to bring it back 
up.  This, in turn, raises insulin levels.  Rising insulin levels cause 
the body to naturally STOP producing glucagon.

For the diabetic, this is all messed up.  First of all, the diabetic 
has low BGL because of too MUCH insulin in the blood stream.  Too much 
insulin automatically inhibits the production of glucagon, so the body 
can't correctly responde until the insulin in the blood stream is used 
up.  That is why it can go so low before the body naturally corrects by 
releasing glucagon.  If you only gave a LITTLE bit too much insulin, 
then the body would respond with glucagon sooner than later.

Now, the "rebound" that diabetics experience from the glucagon also is 
the result of insulin.  By the time the insulin levels drop for 
glucagon to be produced, now there is not enough insulin in the body to 
INHIBIT the release of glucagon, so the body just continue 
overproducing, quickly leading to sky-high BGLs.  THe only real way to 
prevent this is, of course, to give insulin.  Ironically, the best time 
to give the insulin is while it is still a bit low in order to stop the 
continued release of glucagon before it goes too high...but, that is a 
bit dangerous, because you might cause another low.

This is partly why insulin-pump users and MDI in general often require 
less overall insulin than traditional insulin therapy...it keeps the 
balance of insulin just right to prevent the glucagon release, which 
leads to a see-saw effect in the BGLs.

Anyhow, this truly does oversimplify what is actually going on.  THere 
are many other unknowns that play into it.  But, the above describes at 
least a major factor in this, including why glucagon reponse in 
diabetics appears to be inhibited as compared to a normal person.  This 
was documented in at least one study that I know of.



P.S.  I know that some may disagree with the above.  I'm merely 
reporting what is known and reasonably supported at this time. :-)  
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