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Have You Expanded Your Diabetes Know-how To Include Glucagon?

Jan 23, 2008
A disease which develops slowly and almost imperceptibly, diabetes is, nonetheless one of the most lethal of all chronic ailments to afflict the modern world. And in spite of the dramatically increasing numbers attributed to diabetes-brought about deaths, a majority of people, all over the globe are still unaware of the subtleties of this disease, and what they can do to safeguard themselves from it. And so, while diabetes management, is not quite such a complicated procedure in itself, it is the often misguided stance that most victims assume that bring about an improper manner of treatment, and hence the more lethal complications of diabetes. This is the major reason why gaining a well-rounded perspective of this disease can often determine the how effective or not your diabetes is, which in turn gauges the risk at which you place yourself for the long-reaching complications that this disease is capable of.

An alarming percentage of individuals, diabetics included, believe that it is exceedingly high levels of blood glucose that they need to watch out for. While high blood sugar is definitely something to avoid at all costs, the other end of the spectrum can be just as harmful. Lower than recommended blood sugar levels, which bring about a condition termed as hypoglycemia, can result in a variety of complications like fatigue, nausea and even diabetes-induced coma. And hence, it is moderating your blood glucose to have it stay within the confines of the recommended range which is the cornerstone of diabetes therapies and how effective they are in the long run.

Insulin, a hormone secreted by the beta cells of your pancreas, plays a very significant role in helping you control your blood glucose. This hormone reacts to any rise in the glucose levels in your blood, especially after meals, and notifies the cells of your body so that they can break down this glucose into energy to replenish themselves. This process brings down the levels of glucose in your blood, thus preventing it from causing any further damage to your body. The liver is also employed at this stage, storing energy in the form of glycogen for your muscles and organs to utilize at a later stage.

In the event that the glucose levels drop dangerously low, the pancreas works to correct this anomaly by secreting another hormone called glucagon. This hormone activates the liver, prompting it to convert the glycogen back to glucose which is then released into your blood. This action of glucagon helps to even out the imbalance in your blood glucose, thus bringing it back within the appropriate range. Insulin-dependant victims of diabetes are also prone to severe bouts of hypoglycemia, given the deficit of glucagon in their bodies. And so, while the threat of over-sweet blood, or hyperglycemia, is a lot more severe in these cases, so is the risk of developing hypoglycemic symptoms.

While a steady supply on insulin is essential to keep your blood glucose well within your control, glucagon is only administered as a correctional measure after hypoglycemia is detected in the individual. Glucagon is administered via Glucagon Emergency Kits which contain an inert solution-filled syringe and a vial of crystallized glucose. These kits are available at most pharmacies and once used, can help moderate your blood glucose levels within 5 minutes. The syringe first has to be injected into the vial, to allow the glucose crystals to dissolve. This solution this then drawn back into the syringe once the glucose has completely disbanded into the solution.

The glucose and inert solution mixture is then injected into the victim's body - either directly into the muscle tissue, or immediately under the skin. When administering glucagon, always pay attention to the fact that this hormone may induce vomiting in certain individuals, and so always have someone turn you over to your side when you are being injected. This will keep you at bay from choking on your own vomit in case your body reacts unexpectedly. The amount of glucagon that is needed to stabilize your blood glucose will vary depending upon how severe the hypoglycemic condition is, as well as the rate at which your body reacts to glucagon. Thus, while one dose may suffice for a majority of individuals, in certain others repeated doses may be needed for the glucagon to take effect.

Glucagon, though an invaluable resource in determining the effectiveness of your diabetes management program, cannot be used as a replacement for healthy and planned eating habits, or a regular exercise regime. Neither is the stabilizing effect produced by glucagon, as capable as necessary, unless you follow it up with a snack or a meal which is rich in carbohydrates. You would also need to keep a close eye on your glucose levels for a while after the bout of hypoglycemia to keep them from dipping down again. The viability of your diabetes management all depends on how well you educate yourself about this disease, so that you have the upper hand in terms of determining the leader and the follower of the game. Take charge of your diabetes today, and your responsible stance could be your ticket to a long, happy and healthy life!
About the Author
Julia Hanf author of the book How To Play the Diabetes Diet Game and Win Through a real life crisis Julia figured out how to live diabetes free. Visit http://www.yourdiabetescure.com and learn more about your solution for diabetes.
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