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A counterregulatory hormone is a hormone that opposes the action of insulin. They include glucagon, adrenaline, cortisol, and growth hormone. Counterregulatory hormones -- the term is usually used in the plural -- raise the level of glucose in the blood by promoting glycogenolysis, gluconeogenesis, ketosis, and other catabolic processes. In healthy people, counterregulatory hormones constitute a principal defense against hypoglycemia, and levels are expected to rise as the glucose falls. Persistent elevation of a counterregulatory hormone can reduce a person's sensitivity to insulin.

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