The alpha cells in the pancreas generate and release the hormone glucagon. Particularly during fasting or periods of low blood sugar, it is crucial in controlling blood glucose levels.
- To assist control blood glucose levels, glucagon works in opposition to insulin, another hormone made by the pancreas. While glucagon stimulates the liver to release stored glucose into the bloodstream, raising blood sugar levels, insulin encourages the uptake and storage of glucose in cells.
- Moreover, glucagon helps to promote fat metabolism and ketone generation, especially during fasting or periods of low carbohydrate intake.
- A complicated interaction of hormones and brain impulses that react to variations in blood glucose levels controls glucagon secretion. When blood sugar levels are low, like they are during fasting or exercising, glucagon is released to raise blood sugar levels. In contrast, high blood sugar levels, such as those that occur after eating, cause the release of insulin to encourage the uptake and storage of glucose.
- In reaction to stress or other bodily cues, other hormones including cortisol and adrenaline can also promote the production of glucagon.
- A number of metabolic illnesses can be identified by abnormalities in glucagon secretion. For instance, the pancreas may not generate enough insulin in type 1 diabetes and its release of glucagon may be abnormally increased, which results in hyperglycemia. Contrarily, insulin resistance in type 2 diabetes might result in increased insulin secretion and decreased glucagon secretion, which causes hyperglycemia.
- There are other disorders that can cause increased glucagon release and symptoms like hyperglycemia, weight loss, and skin rash, like glucagonoma, a rare tumor of the pancreatic alpha cells.
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