From Kaprijke, Oost-Vlaanderen, Belgium:
Reading your web site's comments on treating hypoglycemia, I was surprised to hear that one can drink milk to overcome a low. I had never heard that. Compared to soft drink or glucose tablets, milk does not contain that many carbohydrates. Can you tell me why milk is a good option?
I don't believe that milk is a great option to treat acute hypoglycemia, especially symptomatic hypoglycemia. The sugar in milk is lactose. Lactose is a disaccharide made up of glucose (which is what your body uses for energy) and galactose. Indeed, essentially all other sugars (even lactose [milk sugar] and fructose [fruit sugar]) must be converted into glucose. The bigger the sugar or the more complex it is from glucose, the longer it takes to break down and/or convert to glucose. Sucrose (table sugar) is made up of two glucose molecules together. Dextrose is a form of glucose. Our bodies can break sucrose down to glucose pretty rapidly. So, the treatment of hypoglycemia is best by using a sugar that is rapidly broken down to or which contains glucose. Milk is not optimal. On the other hand, milk does contain protein. Over hours, the proteins in milk will be converted into glucose. So, milk is good to follow up a hypoglycemia episode and thus have a sustained treatment effect.
Original posting 8 Oct 2008
Posted to Hypoglycemia
Last Updated: Tuesday April 06, 2010 15:10:15
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