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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