Glucose counterregulation in Type 2 diabetes mellitus.
SourceDiabetic Medicine, 18, 7, (2001), pp. 519--27
Article / Letter to editor
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SubjectEffects and kinetics of drugs in kidney and blood vessels; Effecten en lotgevallen van geneesmiddelen in nier en bloedvaten
Glucose counterregulatory failure and hypoglycaemia unawareness frequently complicate treatment of Type 1 diabetes mellitus, especially when aiming for intensive metabolic control. Since tight metabolic control reduces microvascular long-term complications in Type 2 diabetes mellitus, the integrity of glucose counterregulation in Type 2 diabetic patients is important. Using a Medline search, we identified 12 studies in which counterregulatory responses to insulin-induced hypoglycaemia were compared between Type 2 diabetic patients and appropriate controls. A review of these studies showed that some patients with Type 2 diabetes mellitus develop mild counterregulatory dysfunction and reduced awareness of insulin-induced hypoglycaemia. Some studies suggested an association between counterregulatory impairment and intensity of metabolic control. We speculate that the relatively low frequency of (severe) hypoglycaemic events in Type 2 diabetes may explain why glucose counterregulation remains unaffected in most patients. We hypothesize that residual beta-cell reserve and insulin resistance provide protection against severe hypoglycaemia and limit impaired counterregulation. Diabet. Med. 18, 519-527 (2001)
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