What IS Glucagon anyway?

My “Learning Moment” post the other day was about Low Blood Sugar or Hypoglycemia.. I mentioned our emergency Glucagon but I didn’t really explain what it was..

Glucagon is a hormone produced by the pancreas – as is insulin. Whereas insulin LOWERS blood glucose levels, Glucagon RAISES them. Glucagon triggers the liver and muscles to release stored glucose thus raising blood sugar levels. Glucagon itself is NOT sugar.

In an emergency hypoglycemic (low blood sugar) situation where Eden or any other T1D is unconscious or having a seizure we would need to use our Glucagon Emergency Kit.

The kit comes in 2 parts – a vial with powdered Glucagon and a nasty looking syringe with diluting fluid.

In an emergency we need to be able to have our wits together enough to mix the Glucagon and inject it into our child. I have never had to do it and I never want to, but I am prepared and won’t hesitate if her life depends on it.

Glucagon like any other medication has an expiration date. It is expensive but we need to have it just in case. I could never put a price on my daughters life and would pay much more if it would guarantee her safety.

This picture is of our expired “stash” of Glucagon – I cannot bring myself to throw it away. If I need to use more than one kit at least I will have these as back-up. We also have one in the medical kit she carries everywhere and at school in the event of an emergency.

Lets hope this stash continues to grow – because that means we are not using it..  

I don’t ever want to have to use it.


12 thoughts on “What IS Glucagon anyway?

  1. The injection I told you about I take before main meal called Byetta (twice daily) its designed to suppress the hormone Glucagon as I need a low sugar level where type 1 like Eden needs the hormone to raise the sugars.
    What a big divided between the two, but having lost so much weight I am now starting to find my blood sugars are far to low causing hypos. I have the diabetic clinic in March so I will expect them to either reduce the dosage of take me off it altogether. If I do have a hypo I have liquid glucose in single dosage pack, which is designed to sit in the mouth and is absorbed by the cheek if I am unable to swallow.
    I do hope that Eden never have to use it 😉

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