BG-lowering effect of alcohol

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BG-lowering effect of alcohol


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Old 09-02-2012, 17:43   #1
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Default BG-lowering effect of alcohol

I'm looking for an explanation of why measured blood sugar concentration falls after alcohol (lite beer) consumption regardless of having eaten carbohydrates.

The explanation I usually see is that the liver is busy processing the alcohol therefore it's distracted from adding glucose to the blood.

But that explanation seems to presume that all glucose enters the circulation through the liver. I may be mistaken, but I'm under the impression that glucose directly enters the circulation and only subsequently the excess is captured and stored by the liver and released as needed. But if glucose enters the circulation directly, why can't I see it with my meter (in the presence of alcohol).

Can anyone help me with this?

Thanks!

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Old 09-02-2012, 18:53   #2
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I dont know why but I have recently started consuming alcohol after a 2 year break from it to gain control. I have noticed my bs when consuming beer stay at about 4-4.5, which I dont mind at all.

I guess what Im saying is, I have no idea and am curious also.

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Old 09-03-2012, 02:36   #3
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Dang, this forum is awesome. Within a day or two of a question popping into my head, someone asks it on the forum.

I keep hearing that correlation does not equal causation, and that is making me wonder why fbs is lower after an evening glass of wine. Do you think it could be something else? What's really going on in there?

My fbs this morning was 115 after, I swear to god, no more than a quarter cup of polenta for dinner. I had two entire huge fried green tomatoes for dinner this evening (hey, it's a holiday weekend) so I'm going to have as small glass of wine before bed. Hopefully it will be doing good things in my liver and not bad things.

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Old 09-03-2012, 04:09   #4
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Polenta would do it if anything would . . . pure corn, and corn is one of the biggest offenders - right up there with wheat. All the grains are wicked for us diabetics.




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Old 09-03-2012, 05:19   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Shanny View Post
Polenta would do it if anything would . . . pure corn, and corn is one of the biggest offenders - right up there with wheat. All the grains are wicked for us diabetics.
Yeah, but... yeah, but... POLENTA! Creamy, cheesy...

Not sellin' ya, am I?

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Old 09-03-2012, 06:00   #6
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I find the same with any alcohol and a low is very much the same as being drunk. Ever a normal beer will pull me down and it has carbs and sugar.
The only thing I can think of other than the liver too busy is that the body is consuming glucose very fast even in normal people. It seems that maybe reserves cant be used properly and BG is first to go. Maybe alcohol makes insulin super effective?

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Old 09-03-2012, 07:23   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Shanny View Post
Polenta would do it if anything would . . . pure corn, and corn is one of the biggest offenders - right up there with wheat. All the grains are wicked for us diabetics.
No kidding, I ate corn for last night's supper and I just skyrocketed my blood glucose. I totally forgot about corn being as evil is it really is. Sweet corn, duh. :P

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Old 09-03-2012, 07:32   #8
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Because alcohol cannot be stored in the body, and because it is toxic it has absolute metabolic priority in the body. The liver has to first process it before any other nutrient.

All carbohydrate consumed is not in the form of glucose. The carbohydrates are processed by the liver first, which converts it into glucose for further action like energy metabolism or storage. In the presence of alcohol these actions get delayed and hence the drop in the BG numbers.

For all the other ills of alcohol in the body, this method of BG control is not advisable. Moderation is alright, i think.

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Old 09-03-2012, 16:40   #9
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Because alcohol cannot be stored in the body, and because it is toxic it has absolute metabolic priority in the body. The liver has to first process it before any other nutrient.

All carbohydrate consumed is not in the form of glucose. The carbohydrates are processed by the liver first, which converts it into glucose for further action like energy metabolism or storage. In the presence of alcohol these actions get delayed and hence the drop in the BG numbers.

For all the other ills of alcohol in the body, this method of BG control is not advisable. Moderation is alright, i think.
Hi skb, thanks for responding. My confusion arose from the descriptions of carbohydrate digestion I've read that seemed to be saying that the endpoint of such digestion is the release of glucose from the small intestine into the circulation - without specific mention of the liver's role; as if glucose were released directly into the general circulation. But, as I just found out, there's this thing called the "portal vein" whose purpose it is to collect the glucose precursors from the small intestine and transport them to the liver. That, along with what you said and what I've read elsewhere, clears up for me how a few ounces of alcohol can result in a very low BG reading even after ingesting substantial amounts of fast-acting carbohydrates.

My next question is: will the delayed sugar spike be of the same magnitude or volume as the one that would have happened if no alcohol had been ingested?

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Old 09-03-2012, 17:10   #10
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From my own experience I'd say, No. Because by the time some of the carbohydrate has passed by without being processed.

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