alcohol and type 1 diabetes

Little is known about the effect of alcohol when drunk by individuals with type 1 diabetes.
A study by Kerr et al looked at this in 7 males, 3 females with type 1 diabetes of long standing. They ate a standard 600 calorie lunch with 8 units of alcohol for men and 6 for women of wine. They were in excellent glucose control before the meal. There was a control meal with alcohol free drinks.
Whilst glucose, triglycerides, free fatty acids, glycerol, cortisol and growth hormone changes were the same in the two circumstances, there was significant ketosis with alcohol with increased lactate and β-hydroxybutyrate concentrations after alcohol.
The authors conclude that if this could happen in controlled circumstances in normal life , alcohol could have profound effects on ketosis.
This is discussed in a commentary by Song in the same edition of QJM .
Kerrr et al 2009 The influence of liberal alcohol consumption on glucose metabolism in patients with type 1 diabetes: a pilot study. QJM vol 102, 169-174
Song 2009 Alcohol-it’s more than the liver QJM vol 102, 221-222

Martin Eastwood

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