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- Tue Jul 27, 2010 10:52 am
I’m a Caucasian female aged 39 (40 next month), 5’6” and 116 pounds, former smoker of about 25 years, habitual drinker of beer and wine (probably average 2-4 servings daily, more on weekends but sometimes less; haven't really mentioned the level of consumption to my doctor though;) otherwise a moderately healthy diet; sedentary job; very little exercise. Unfortunately I don’t have much access to family medical history, but as far as I know there is no history of major disease. In general I feel fine, with no major health problems that I know of – at least possibly until now. At my latest physical last month, the routine blood work indicated my glucose level has shot up to 114, though I had the blood drawn in the morning to take advantage of the night time sleep hours for the fast. (At my prior physical 2 years ago, the glucose level was 83). My blood pressure and cholesterol levels are normal.
What might be some possible causes for such a dramatic rise in glucose level? Could alcohol consumption prior to the start of the fasting period have affected the level? I’ve been asked to return in 3 months to re-test, and plan not to drink the evening before, but am already very anxious.
Could I be in danger of becoming diabetic? Could long-term regular drinking be the cause? Are there any lifestyle changes I can make at this stage to prevent the onset of diabetes? Are there supplements that might help promote healthier glucose levels? Do I have to give up alcohol all together or can cutting back make any kind of difference?
| Dr.M.Aroon kamath
- Wed Jul 28, 2010 5:09 am
Thank you for the post.
Firstly, kindly refer to the following link that may be useful to you.
American Diabetes Association (ADA) has recommended a new category - "impaired fasting glycaemia" (IFG)- when fasting plasma glucose level is lower than that required to diagnose diabetes but higher than the reference range (< 7.0 mmol/L but >= 6.1 mmol/L).
Cut off points for interpreting diabetes mellitus(ADA 1997):
- fasting venous plasma glucose <7 mmol/l(ADA non-diabetic) or fasting plasma glucose >= 7.0 mmol/l (ADA diabetic),
- for venous whole blood are fasting blood glucose <6.1(ADA non-diabetic), versus >= 6.1 mmol/l (ADA diabetic) and
- for capillary whole blood, values same as those for venous whole blood.
One single fasting glucose level of 114mg/dl (you have not indicated which method was used in measuring this),is about 4 mg higher than the 6.1 mmol/l figure mentioned above.
From an epidemiological point of view,
- if plasma glucose level had been used, then it will indicate an "impaired fasting glycaemia"
- if venous whole blood or capillary whole blood were used, then
it will indicate an 'ADA diabetic' value.
Alcohol and blood sugar:
One of the known pharmacologic actions of ethylalcohol is to lower blood sugar.
One interesting comparative study (1971)on wines vs diluted alcohol and blood glucose levels makes the following observations.
"Wines contain varying amounts of carbohydrate, ranging
from 0.1% for the so-called 'dry' wines to 15% or more for certain 'sweet wines' . These 'sweet wines' can predictably overcome the glucose-lowering effect of ethanol but it is not clear whether this is also true of the dry table wines".
Results: The decrease in blood glucose was approximately 10%
after both the wine and the alcohol administration.
Conclusion: The carbohydrate content of these dry wines was too low to affect the blood glucose.
(The America,z Journal of Clinical Nutrition 24: App.n. 1971, pp. 394-396).
I hope this information answers some of your doubts.