Canine Diabetes Wiki

Glucagon and insulin balance or equilibrium.

Hepatic glucose

The liver with its stored glycogen which it turns back into glucose through glycogenesis. It's also able to create glucose from non-carbohydrate sources; this process is called gluconeogenesis.

Glycogenolysis is creation of extra blood glucose (from breakdown of glycogen) by the liver, in response to glucagon from the alpha cells of the pancreas, or to epinephrine from the adrenal gland.

The process of converting glucose into glycogen is called glycogenesis. [1][2][3]

Glycogenolysis and Gluconeogenesis differ in the way the glucose is produced: glycogenolysis does this with carbohydrate sources, while gluconeogenesis produces glucose from non-carbohydrate ones. [1]

Blood glucose is also raised (usually more slowly) by breaking down protein from food, in the cells, in a process called gluconeogenesis, which is a cat's major energy source. Glycogenolysis is relatively fast.

Glycogenolysis is part of the body's usual equilibrium mechanism [4] for maintaining blood glucose levels, but in diabetics in can easily go awry, sometimes finding an inappropriate set point.

Diabetics, physicians and veterinarians have coined other terms relating to glycogenolysis, [5] including:

  • Somogyi Rebound: Glycogenolysis that occurs when blood sugar drops dangerously fast or low.
  • Vet stress or Stress hyperglycemia: [6] Glycogenolysis caused by stress. Stress causes the adrenal glands to release epinephrine or "adrenalin" which also stimulates breakdown of glycogen and therefore higher blood sugar. [7][8] Most of the time the higher blood sugar created by the adrenalin release doesn't show up at all when testing the urine; this is because the blood glucose levels generally don't stay high long enough for the glucose to pass into the urine.
  • Panicky liver or Liver dump: Glycogenolysis apparently triggered by a "low" blood sugar level that may not be so low. [9] May also be triggered by low basal insulin levels.

Panicky liver is poorly-understood, but may be responsible for some cases of diabetics who can't seem to reduce their blood glucose into safe target ranges after many months of knowledgeable attempts at regulation. I16


  1. 1.0 1.1 Glycogenesis. Elmhurst College.
  2. GP Notebook-UK.
  3. Muscle Glycogen. San Diego University.
  4. Insulin/Glucagon Equilibrium. Colorado State-School of Veterinary Medicine.
  5. Frizzell RT, Hendrick GK, Biggers DW, Lacy DB, Donahue DP, Green DR, Carr RK, Williams PE, Stevenson RW, Cherrington AD. (1998). Role of Gluconeogensis in Sustaining Glucose Production During Hypoglycemia Caused By Continuous Insulin Infusion in Dogs. Diabetes.
  6. How Stress Affects Blood Sugar Levels. Diabetes Control for Life.
  7. For Dog Owners-What is Stress Hyperglycemia?. Intervet.
  8. Variables affecting chemistry results. Cornell University.
  9. Nelson, Richard. Complications of Insulin Therapy in Diabetic Cats-Page 4. Waltham.

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