Alcohol, while not directly lowering blood glucose, prevents recovery from hypoglycaemia via inhibition of hepatic gluconeo-genesis. This results from the altered redox state generated by the metabolism of ethanol. Alcohol can therefore turn a mild hypoglycaemic attack into a severe and prolonged episode. It also suppresses some of the symptoms of hypoglycaemia such as tremor and this, combined with impaired cognition, can induce a temporary state of hypoglycaemia unawareness. The danger of unrecognised hypoglycaemia is increased by the similarity of symptoms of hypoglycaemia to intoxication with alcohol. Thus, friends and relatives may assume that a patient exhibiting odd behaviour due to hypoglycaemia is drunk and leave them to sleep it off, with potentially disastrous consequences.

• Those who take insulin need to be warned of the dangers of hypoglycaemia when consuming alcohol. People around them should be aware of their diabetes.

• It is prudent to maintain blood glucose levels a little higher if they plan to drink a potentially intoxicating volume of alcohol; carbohydrate snacks should be eaten as well in such situations.

Diabetes 2

Diabetes 2

Diabetes is a disease that affects the way your body uses food. Normally, your body converts sugars, starches and other foods into a form of sugar called glucose. Your body uses glucose for fuel. The cells receive the glucose through the bloodstream. They then use insulin a hormone made by the pancreas to absorb the glucose, convert it into energy, and either use it or store it for later use. Learn more...

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