Low-Carbohydrate Diet Impairs the Effect of Glucagon in the Treatment of Insulin-Induced Mild Hypoglycemia: A Randomized Crossover Study

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Ajenthen Ranjan, Signe Schmidt, Camilla Damm-Frydenberg, Isabelle Steineck, Trine Ryberg Clausen, Jens Juul Holst, Sten Madsbad, Kirsten Nørgaard

OBJECTIVE: This study compared the ability of glucagon to restore plasma glucose (PG) after mild hypoglycemia in patients with type 1 diabetes on an isocaloric high-carbohydrate diet (HCD) versus a low-carbohydrate diet (LCD).

RESEARCH DESIGN AND METHODS: Ten patients with insulin pump-treated type 1 diabetes randomly completed 1 week of the HCD (≥250 g/day) and 1 week of the LCD (≤50 g/day). After each week, mild hypoglycemia was induced by a subcutaneous insulin bolus in the fasting state. When PG reached 3.9 mmol/L, 100 µg glucagon was given subcutaneously, followed by 500 µg glucagon 2 h later.

RESULTS: Compared with the HCD, the LCD resulted in lower incremental rises in PG after the first (mean ± SEM: 1.3 ± 0.3 vs. 2.7 ± 0.4 mmol/L, P = 0.002) and second glucagon bolus (4.1 ± 0.2 vs. 5.6 ± 0.5 mmol/L, P = 0.002). No differences were observed between the diets regarding concentrations of insulin, glucagon, and triglycerides.

CONCLUSIONS: The LCD reduces the treatment effect of glucagon on mild hypoglycemia. Carbohydrate intake should be considered when low-dose glucagon is used to correct hypoglycemia.

Original languageEnglish
JournalDiabetes Care
Volume40
Issue number1
Pages (from-to)132-135
Number of pages4
ISSN1935-5548
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2017

ID: 172816571