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The importance of plasma free insulin and counterregulatory hormones for the recovery of blood glucose following hypoglycaemia in type 1 diabetics

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After induction of hypoglycaemia in 31 Type 1 (insulin-dependent) patients, the 10 patients with the slowest recovery of blood glucose from hypoglycaemia were arbitrarily compared with the 10 patients with the fastest recovery of blood glucose. No differences were found between the two groups regarding response of glucagon to hypoglycaemia, whereas the epinephrine (2-fold), norepinephrine (2.4-fold) and cortisol responses were significantly greater in the group with the slow recovery. The plasma free insulin concentrations were higher (2-fold) in the group with slow recovery from 30 min after stop of insulin and throughout the study. This may be explained by a 3-fold greater amount of insulin binding antibodies in this group compared to the group with fast recovery from hypoglycaemia. An inverse significant correlation was demonstrated between the rates of recovery and the amounts of insulin binding antibodies in all the patients (P less than 0.02). This implicates that enhanced counterregulatory hormone responses in the group with the slow recovery from hypoglycaemia could not compensate for the hypoglycaemic effect of a concomitant higher plasma free insulin concentration. Insulin binding antibodies, acting as a depot of circulating insulin, may be a risk factor of prolonged hypoglycaemia in Type 1 diabetics.
Original languageEnglish
JournalActa Endocrinologica (Copenh)
Volume108
Issue number2
Pages (from-to)224-30
Number of pages7
ISSN0001-5598
Publication statusPublished - Feb 1985

    Research areas

  • Adolescent, Adult, Blood Glucose, Diabetes Mellitus, Type 1, Epinephrine, Female, Glucagon, Growth Hormone, Humans, Hydrocortisone, Insulin, Insulin Antibodies, Male, Middle Aged, Norepinephrine

ID: 40164446