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Friday, November 20, 2009

Diabetes and Alcohol Can Cause Hypoglycemia

Diabetes and alcohol is the topic of a study conducted by Karolinska Institutet. This is the leading medical university in Sweden had scientists who revealed how alcohol causes hypoglycemia. Alcohol can lead to inflated secretion of insulin which in turn can lead to too low sugar, otherwise known as hypoglycemia.

Now the scientists at this Swedish university are saying that alcohol consumption can do harm to the brain. How? By lowering the concentration of blood glucose to such low levels, that's how. They have published this finding in the journal called Endocrinology.

Although hypoglycemia brought about by alcohol consumption has been a clinical problem to people with diabetes, the logistics behind this has not been unearthed or explained until recently. Researchers at the Hospital Diabetes Center in Stockholm assessed the link between diabetes and alcohol.

How did they do this? They administered alcohol on the pancreatic islet and monitored its influence to the blood flow, blood glucose levels and secretion of insulin. This is what they found which may very well convince the diabetics not to consume alcohol.

The main investigator, Ake Sjoholm, said they found that alcohol affects the microcirculation in the pancreas by inducing huge redeployment of the blood flow to the part that produces insulin. This results in hypoglycemia. He further said that this finding is vital for patients with diabetes and alcoholics with liver failure.

Alcohol consumption may aggravate persistent hypoglycemia in patients with type 2 diabetes who are treated with sulfonylureas because many of these types of medications have a long half-life. Professor Sjoholm also said that most alcoholics are not properly nourished so they may not be able to respond to hypoglycemia appropriately.

Well, whether we like it or not the processing of alcohol in the body is similar to fat. Both contain almost the same amount of calories. Drinking alcohol can result in higher blood glucose level. That said and because I do not want to be such a kill-joy, you can drink it sometimes as a treat and when the blood glucose level is under control.

And if you are like me, about ten pounds overweight or more depending on whether I have just been to a buffet (my Waterloo) and have high triglycerides and blood pressure levels, then the smartest thing to do is to consult your doctor. I don't know about doctors these days. They get so panicky with 140-150 blood pressure level. So keep in mind the link between diabetes and alcohol.

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