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Everything about Glucagon Hormone

11 January, 2022 Ananya Das

Glucagon is a major, blood sugar-controlling hormone. This hormone is released by the alpha cells of the pancreas. Glucagon hormone is needed by the body during low blood sugar times. If inadequate production of glucagon in the pancreas occurs then problems may develop during a dip in the blood sugar level. As the sudden dips in blood sugar are controlled by this hormone and if not released on time, the body has to face fatal problems.

Difference between the functioning of insulin and glucagon

Though both insulin and glucagon are released by the pancreas, yet the reason for their release remains distinct. Mainly glucagon hormone is released by the pancreas to raise the blood sugar level in the body. When due to some reasons the blood sugar level decreases, this glucagon hormone comes into play. On the other side, the insulin hormone is released to reduce the hiked blood sugar level.

But for a normal human body, both insulin and glucagon are needed. A balance between the levels of both these hormones helps to keep the blood sugar level of the body within the required limits. They generally work together in a kind of loop. This loop functions as one hormone triggers the function of the other and the other one again triggers the function of the first. In this way, they trigger each other and work in harmony to keep a healthy blood glucose level.

Working of the glucagon hormone

Glucagon hormone is released in moments of low blood sugar. When the blood sugar level decreases, this hormone is released by the pancreas. Since we know the glucose remains stored in the body in the form of glycogen in muscle cells and the liver. So, this hormone signals them to release the glycogen and convert it into glucose. Then this newly formed glucose is released into the bloodstream to provide energy to the blood and body cells.

Symptoms of hypoglycemia

Hypoglycemia is a condition where the blood sugar level of the body drops to a very low level. This condition may be a result of also the inadequate production of glucagon by the pancreas. The main trigger may develop due to consumption of such edible which lowers the blood glucose level.

As we know, glucose is the powerhouse for our body. We know whatever we eat, gets stored in the body in the form of glycogen. And in the time of energy needed by the blood cells, this glycogen is converted into glucose to provide the required energy. So, when you are suffering from hypoglycemia your body cells receive very little glucose. Hence, you may face a variety of issues. Some of such issues are recognized in form of symptoms which are mentioned below.

  • State of confusion
  • Dizziness
  • Facing difficulty while talking (with speech)
  • Headaches
  • Increase in appetite
  • Nausea
  • Nervousness
  • Frequent sweating
  • Nightmares or uncomfortable nights of sleep generally result in cries while asleep

An instant way of coping with this condition is by eating some sugary edibles. Foods like sweets milked chocolates or others can help you at the moment to raise the blood sugar level and protect the body from fatality.

Glucagon and Diabetes

Though the main cause of diabetes is insulin, yet glucagon also affects the condition. Type 2 diabetes is the one that gets triggered the most by this hormone. This kind of diabetes mainly develops when there is too little production of insulin in the body. This low quantity of insulin production results in too much sugar in the blood. Besides, glucagon production also rises. So, due to low insulin and too much glucagon, there occurs an imbalance in the blood sugar level and type 2 diabetes occurs and causes health problems. Hence, in this kind of diabetes, the glucagon hormone has an indirect influence.