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Diabet Med. 2007 Mar;24(3):312-6.

Influence of acute alcohol ingestion on the hormonal responses to modest hypoglycaemia in patients with Type 1 diabetes.

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Bournemouth Diabetes and Endocrine Centre, Bournemouth, UK.



To determine whether mild alcohol intoxication (45-50 mg/dl) influences counterregulatory hormone responses to moderate hypoglycaemia (2.8 mmol/l)in patients with Type 1 diabetes.


Seventeen subjects (14 male, age range 21-46 years) with Type 1 diabetes underwent four hyperinsulinaemic glucose clamps: euglycaemia with placebo; euglycaemia with alcohol (0.4 g/kg); hypoglycaemia (2.8 mmol/l for 65 min)with placebo; and hypoglycaemia (2.8 mmol/l for 65 min) with alcohol (0.4 g/kg). Arterialized venous blood samples were taken for measurement of insulin and counterregulatory hormones.


During hypoglycaemia, peak growth hormone concentrations were significantly lower after alcohol compared with placebo (14.3 +/- 2.9 vs.25.9 +/- 3.4 microg/l,P< 0.001) associated with reduced insulin sensitivity in both hypoglycaemia and euglycaemia studies.


We found an attenuated growth hormone response to hypoglycaemia associated with mild alcohol intoxication. Although this may potentially contribute to impaired recovery of glucose after hypoglycaemia in patients with Type 1 diabetes, it appears to be offset by a reduction in insulin action.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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