Glucagon is a counterregulatory hormone that works against the action of insulin. The majority of people with diabetes understand that insulin is secreted by the beta cells of the pancreas. What numerous don’t know is that other cells in the pancreas called alpha cells produce the hormonal agent glucagon. Glucagon is one of the counterregulatory hormonal agents that helps the body control blood sugar levels.
What is Glucagon?
In individuals who do not have diabetes, when blood sugar levels fall, the beta cells secrete less insulin. In addition, the alpha cells produce more glucagon. Glucagon prods the liver to convert more of its kept glycogen into glucose, which it produces into the blood stream, raising blood sugar levels.
Individuals with Type 1 diabetes not secrete insulin and for that reason can not alter their insulin levels to react to modifications in blood sugar levels. To make matters worse, some of them lose the capability to produce glucagon in reaction to low blood sugar, making them specifically prone to severe hypoglycemia.
Luckily, glucagon is available in drug stores in the form of the Glucagon Emergency Kit, which everybody with Type 1 diabetes should have on hand for treating severe hypoglycemia. When people with diabetes are unconscious or too confused to consume a food or drink consisting of carbohydrate, a pal or relative can inject the glucagon, which can restore the blood sugar level to normal within 5 or 10 minutes.
The kit comes with a syringe consisting of an inert solution, a vial of taken shape glucagon, and a set of directions — which possible users need to prepare to read prior to the set is required. The user injects the solution into the vial, shakes it as much as liquify the glucagon crystals, draws the service back into the syringe, and injects it under the skin or into a muscle. In some individuals, glucagon can cause vomiting, so individuals treated with it should be turned on their side to keep them from inhaling any vomited product.
It is essential to recognize that glucagon works by making the liver convert more glycogen stores into glucose, so the efficiency of glucagon injections depends upon how much glycogen there remains in storage. This indicates, for instance, that a glucagon injection might be ineffective if given a 2nd time in one day or following a duration of extended workout, which would diminish the glycogen stores. It also implies that people may still be vulnerable to hypoglycemia for lots of hours after the glucagon injection. In reality, by some estimates, it takes about 24 hours of normal blood glucose levels to renew the glycogen stores. For this reason, it is essential to eat something and to keep track of blood sugar often after an episode of severe hypoglycemia.
How to Inject Glucagon
This details is for people who might have to offer a person with diabetes an injection of glucagon during a low blood sugar emergency.
Giving a glucagon injection resembles giving insulin. If possible, practice offering your partner or child an insulin injection at least once a month so you will be more all set if you need to provide someone glucagon in an emergency.
Glucagon needs to be offered immediately after it is prepared-it can not be prepared ahead of time. Constantly examine the expiration date on the kit.
Keep information on how to give glucagon with the glucagon medication, and evaluate these actions often.
Preparing a glucagon injection
- A glucagon emergency package has a syringe which contains liquid (diluent) and a bottle that contains the medication.
- Follow these steps:
- Insert the needle into the bottle, and press the liquid in.
- Remove the syringe.
- Carefully shake the bottle until the liquid becomes clear.
- Insert the syringe back into the bottle, and withdraw the medicine.
Offering a glucagon injection
- Glucagon is provided similar to an injection of insulin and can be given up the butt, arm, or thigh.
- Follow these steps to offer the injection:
- Choose a clean site for the shot on the buttock, upper arm, or thigh. If you have an alcohol swab, use it to clean the skin where you will give the shot.
- Hold the syringe like a pencil near the site, keeping your fingers off the plunger.
- Quickly push the needle all the way into the site.
- Press the plunger of the syringe all the way in so that the medication enters into the tissue. Give the quantity of glucagon that the individual’s doctor has advised. Eliminate the needle from the skin slowly and at the exact same angle that you placed it. Press the alcohol swab, if you used one, versus the injection site.
- Turn the person’s visit the side, to avoid choking if she or he throws up.
- After you give the glucagon shot, right away callor other emergency situation services. If emergency situation services have actually not arrived within 15 minutes and the person is still unconscious, give another glucagon shot.
- Offer some glucose or sucrose tablets or quick-sugar food when the person is alert and able to swallow. Also give the person some long-acting source of carb such as crackers and cheese or a meat sandwich. Stay with the individual up until emergency situation assistance gets here.
At any time a person who has diabetes gets glucagon, he or she ought to talk with a doctor to try to find out what caused the low blood sugar level episode. Possible causes consist of too much insulin, a missed meal, insulin injected into a blood vessel, a health problem aside from diabetes, liver or kidney damage, a new medication, or workout.