Effect of Glucagon - dependent on amount of liver glycogen available

In the expired-glucagon thread, I experimented with some expired glucagon, doing a mini-dose. Then I tried it again the next day to see how it would work after the glucagon had been mixed for a day and left out.

The expired glucagon worked both first and second day, but what was interesting to me is the big difference I saw in how it affected my BG. Both times I used the same dose, a mini-dose of 25 units instead of the whole 100 units of solution.

First day:
51 to 109, 58 points in 32 minutes

Second day:
66 to 172, 106 points in 35 minutes.

Both situations were similar in terms of no IOB, time of day, starting BG, etc.

But there was a huge difference in how much of a BG rise I got out of the injection.

I realize the difference is because of the amount of available liver glycogen I had at the time.

On the first day, I did the dose about 16 hours after a fairly extreme glycogen depleting workout. I was pretty close to empty, and my body did not have enough time to fully replenish.

The second day was following a very easy workout, plus a big meal.

I think this was a good illustration of the difference between using glucagon when you are in a somewhat glycogen-depleted state, versus using it when your glycogen stores are more full.

Possibly useful information if you are doing fairly extensive exercise and you ever need a glucagon injection.

And one of the reasons I have been strongly advising people to restore those carbs right away after exercise. You never know when you might need them!


It would be interesting to also look at with small amounts of alcohol in your system—I know alcohol suppresses glycogen release, but I wonder how dramatic the effects are and whether they are dose-dependent (i.e., will a very small amount in your system still completely suppress glycogen production until it’s gone, or will it only suppress it somewhat whereas more alcohol suppresses it more)?

1 Like