Glucagon Hormone, Glucagon Treatment, Glucagonoma Pancreatic Tumor

Glucagon is a hormone that’s produced by your pancreas. One of its health preserving functions is to stimulate your liver to release glucose. So, when your blood sugar level goes down, glucagon is released to help bring it back up.

Insulin has the opposite affect on your liver, i.e. store glycogen. As such, too much insulin can cause hypoglycemia. And because glucagon hormone increases blood glucose concentration it is used as a drug to treat severe hypoglycemia. Severe, as is in unconscious and incapable of consuming glucose to raise your blood sugar.

If you are hypoglycemic, keeping a glucagon treatment kit with you is recommended. However, recognizing symptoms of when your blood sugar is getting low and eating to bring it back up is best.

Typical symptoms of hypoglycemia are:

Sometimes your blood sugar can drop too low without warning and cause you go into:

In this instance, someone around you may need to inject you with your glucagon treatment. Therefore, it’s important to give instructions on how to use of your glucagon treatment kit to those you hang with.

Glucagon treatment can cause drug side effects, such as:

Glucagon treatment by injection may cause an allergic reactions, causing hives, respiratory distress and hypotension.

Since glucagon exclusively acts on liver glycogen, it’s only effective for treating hypoglycemia when some liver glycogen is available. Thus, glucagon treatment is of little help with starvation and adrenal insufficiency. Treatment with glucose is more effective in these instances.

Hyperglycemia can result with too much glucagon. Insulin resistance or type 2 diabetes often produce very high levels of glucagon. Another cause for an excess of glucagon to be produced is glucagonoma, a rare pancreatic tumor.

Glucagonoma is usually a malignant tumor that releases an overabundance of glucagon hormone. Thus, causing symptoms for which some are very similar to those of diabetes, like:

Glucagonoma caused skin rash may come and go, move around, be crusty or scaly, or cause a lesion filled with gunk.

Surgical removal of your tumor is the primary treatment because chemotherapy doesn’t work on a glucagonoma.