When the 'Holiday Season' Is No Holiday at all for Those With ME/CFS
Is December getting to you? Jody Smith shares some thoughts on some of the struggles that all too often attend this time of year ...
Discuss the article on the Forums.

What are the tests available to measure Glucagon?

Discussion in 'Diagnostic Guidelines and Laboratory Testing' started by Peyt, Jun 29, 2017.

  1. Peyt

    Peyt Senior Member

    Can anybody tell me what are the tests available to measure Glucagon?
    Thanks so much,
  2. Research 1st

    Research 1st Severe ME, POTS & MCAS.


    To test Glucagon, you test plasma Glucagon. There are two issues for this as chronically ill patient trying to decipher what is happening to their body:

    1)Testing Glucagon is not routine as the investigation is normally only done for rare metabolic diseases, cancers or problematic cases of Diabetes. Even then, on their own, the results won't give you the whole picture. So be aware of that first that even with some out of range test, no one will leap on it as 'golden evidence' your disease is a metabolic one along the lines of Ron Davis and colleagues research suggests. (NB: I'm not putting you off, you just letting you know that to find a doctor to order this test with ME CFS, you're going to have to be presenting with at least some evidence of abnormal blood sugars, pituitary dysfunction and so forth).

    2) An additional barrier after getting medical and laboratory consent is the actual way you collect the blood. You have to pre chill the blood tube, have a blood draw, spin it (centrifuge) within a short time (10 mins or so), freeze it and then send it on ice. Basically, the sample 'dies' if it's left in room temperature for even a short period of time.

    If you do get it done or anyone else interested: It would be fascinating to see what is shows in two settings depending on cost, your health and local help:

    Private testing scenario one: (basic):
    A) A simple blood draw, I'd do it 9-12hr fasting personally. If funds allow, if normal, repeat it after a 'mixed meal' challenge.

    Private testing scenario two: (extensive):
    B)A test in hospital, a 'stimulation' test. Privately, this would likely cost $1000-4000 (depending on how complex you get) because of the setting and the staff needed for safety, the lab costs, and of course you'd need a bed on a day ward. Also you need to factor in the cost of the consultant endocrinologists fee and interpretation afterwards.

    If you were having a stimulation test which your endocrinologist orders they would hopefully order the full menu:

    Baseline + repeat after stimulation + after 3 hours (using glucagon injection as an intramuscular injection) as the stimulant.

    Growth Hormone

    Private testing scenario three: (compromise and less invasive):

    Run a 5hr glucose tolerance test (GTT) for all the parameters above and not inject you with anything, they just give you a measured amount of glucose to drink in a little beaker.

    Hope that helps.
    Peyt likes this.
  3. Peyt

    Peyt Senior Member

    Thanks Research 1st,
    Would these methods also work for diagnosing Glycogen Storage Disease ?
  4. antherder

    antherder Senior Member

    Hi Peyt, this site mentions that glycogen storage disease can be a reason why patients develop hypoglycemia during a glucagon stimulation test.

    From page;

    "Hypoglycaemia may occur in: phaeochromocytoma, insulinoma, after prolonged starvation (> 48 hours) or glycogen storage diseases (inability to mobilise glycogen may result in hypoglycaemia)."


    I'm not sure that you would need this test though. I did read something about how just a prolonged monitored fast in hospital could be used to determine clinically significant fasting hypoglycemia, but that might have been just for insulinoma, my memory fails me, sorry...

    I saw you mention adrenal issues on another thread, so was wondering if you had ruled out the adrenal tumor mentioned above as a cause of your hypoglycemia?

    More info here;


See more popular forum discussions.

Share This Page