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Diabet Med. 2001 Jul;18(7):519-27.

Glucose counterregulation in Type 2 diabetes mellitus.

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Department of Internal Medicine, University Medical Centre, Nijmegen, The Netherlands.


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).

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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