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[IP] "borderline" hypoglycemia

In a message dated 6/21/98 4:38:38 AM Mountain Daylight Time,
email @ redacted writes:

<< I believe there is a condition where just glucagon production fails in
 the islet cells in the pancreas. Sort of type -1 diabetes.
 Mary Jean, is that what your husband has? Glucagon production is the
 first response in the non-diabetic person to a low blood sugar. If your
 husband has eaten a high-glycemic index meal, causing a rush of glucose
 to the blood stream, lots of insulin is produced. The bg starts to fall,
 then glucagon production steps in to cancel out the remaining insulin
 and stop it falling any further.
 If his body doesn't produce glucagon, then fall in bg goes too far and
 he gets the classic "diabetic" hypo symptoms.


This is probably accurate for the people who are diagnosed with "classic
hypoglycemia", as my husband puts it.  As we understand it, a non-
pancreatically challenged person will have a slight rise in bg upon eating
simple sugar.  A diabetic person will have a great rise.  A person who is
"hypoglecemic" will actually have a decrease in bg upon eating the sugar.  It
is very rapid and soon after eating the sugar.  I once had a neighbor with
this problem.  My husband, on the other hand, has a flat response. He has
undergone several glucose-tolerance tests and this is the result.  Seems
nothing he eats causes his blood sugar to rise.  We have checked it often and
it has never been over 85.  However, if he goes several hours between eating,
he will have a fairly sudden and severe drop in bg.  This occurs 3-4 hours
after eating.  Thus, he eats frequently to avoid crashing.  We have always
described this condition as "borderline" hypoglycemia.  I'm not sure if it is
related to his pancreas cranking out too much insulin, or if his liver is
holding the glucose hostage when it is needed.

Insulin-Pumpers website http://www.bizsystems.com/Diabetes/
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