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From Toms River, New Jersey, USA:

I read a question response that stated, "The major negative issue for individuals with diabetes is the potential for alcohol to contribute to low blood glucose levels and extra weight gain." How does alcohol cause lower blood glucose, and could then alcohol also be used to prevent high blood sugar if it is consumed during a snack when no insulin has been taken? In other words, could drinking moderate amounts of alcohol reduce the amount of insulin needed before meals?


Wow, what a wonderful piece of wishful thinking. Alcohol is well known for its ability to make anyone hungry, with or without diabetes. It has a major inhibitory effect on the liver's ability to release stored sugar (glycogen) and to make new sugar (from amino acids, etc). This makes alcohol excess in diabetes very dangerous because, should the person have a hypo, the body can't counteract this in the usual way. Hypos are more likely when drinking anyway because the drinking usually accompanies a late night, often with increased activity such as dancing. Sensible drinking is the answer with regular intake of complex carbohydrate and extra attention to blood testing.

So far as I am aware, nobody has tested your theory but the fly in the ointment is that you can't substitute alcohol for insulin because insulin has other effects on the body too. I am sure that millions of teenagers and the drinks industry wish it were otherwise.


Original posting 22 Nov 97


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Last Updated: Tuesday April 06, 2010 15:08:54
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