Alcohol And Low Blood Sugar

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Long-term Effects Of Alcohol Consumption

The long-term effects of alcohol (also known formally as ethanol) consumption range from cardioprotective health benefits for low to moderate alcohol consumption in industrialized societies with higher rates of cardiovascular disease[1][2] to severe detrimental effects in cases of chronic alcohol abuse.[3] Health effects associated with alcohol intake in large amounts include an increased risk of alcoholism, malnutrition, chronic pancreatitis, alcoholic liver disease and cancer. In addition, damage to the central nervous system and peripheral nervous system can occur from chronic alcohol abuse.[4][5] The long-term use of alcohol is capable of damaging nearly every organ and system in the body.[6] The developing adolescent brain is particularly vulnerable to the toxic effects of alcohol.[7] In addition, the developing fetal brain is also vulnerable, and fetal alcohol spectrum disorders (FASDs) may result if pregnant mothers consume alcohol. The inverse relation in Western cultures between alcohol consumption and cardiovascular disease has been known for over 100 years.[8] Many physicians do not promote alcohol consumption, however, given the many health concerns associated with it, Continue reading >>

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Popular Questions

  1. YogaBare

    I decided to start this journal after another fitful night's sleep, after which I woke at 3.30am. This journal is an attempt to discover the link between diet and the ongoing, chronic insomnia that is really affecting my life.
    For 30 days I will experiment with my eating habits (what I eat, and when I eat), and document the subsequent quality of my sleep, and the effects on my mood and body. Along the way I'll share the good research I find.
    It would be nice to have a week-to-week schedule where I try different things, but I don't want to make this too rigid. I want to be free to respond to new findings as they come up.
    If you've ever suffered with insomnia, or are curious about why some people can sleep when they fast, and others can't, then this journal might be of interest to you. If you ever read this do drop me a comment (I'd appreciate the support) and feel free to share your insights!

  2. YogaBare

    Some Background
    I've never been a great sleeper, but for the last 3 and a half years (since turning veggie), it's gotten significantly worse.
    I've been to doctors, naturopaths, psychotherapists. I've tried natural sleeping pills, anti-anxiety pills (not regularly), giving up caffeine, doing Yoga, going to bed earlier (on a regular basis) and perfecting my "sleep hygiene". Nothing worked. Everyone told me it was stress, and that there was no link between diet and insomnia.
    I went Primal a month ago. Wow. My energy is off the chart, brain fog is gone, my hair is healthier, my skin is less dry... and I'm happier! My diet is vegetarian primal (with dairy) and lots of nuts. I usually eat three solid meals a day: breakfast between 4.30-5.30am (sigh), lunch between 1-2pm, and dinner between 5.30pm - 6.30pm. (In accordance with conventional wisdom!) Everything has been fine except for one thing.
    For the last two weeks my sleep is getting worse. I go to bed at 10.30pm, usually fall asleep without too much trouble, but once 2.30am hits, I start to wake every 15 - 30 minutes. By 4.30am I have to get up and eat something.
    Now here's the thing. It's not hunger that motivates me to eat - but a sense of urgency. I feel like if I don't eat my nerves are going to be shot.
    Once I do eat something, I might be able to go back to bed, but it's for an hour of really heavy, unrefreshing sleep.
    It's getting to the point where my skin is starting to break out from sleep deprivation, and I am starting to bloat / put on fat, even though I am eating less (no snacking) and healthier food stuffs than ever! There is a well documented connection between insomnia and gaining weight (due to the hormone ghrelin) so I should possibly take some before and after photos... if my sleep has improved by the end of the month I'll post them - it will be interesting to see if I'm lost some fat. If it hasn't improved, I won't bother.

  3. YogaBare

    Theories (so far) about why I can't sleep:
    - I am hungry. There is too large a gap between my last meal, and when I am supposed to eat breakfast. Eating later will allow me to sleep later.
    - I occasionally have low blood sugar. There is a thing called hypoglycemic insomnia, which is characterised by tossing and turning all night, then waking extremely early in order to get some food. This is hard to measure, as sometimes if blood sugar drops too low the liver will dump glucose back into the blood stream so the blood sugar levels stabilise. To determine if I have this, I will need to measure my blood sugar at 1-2am, and then again upon waking.
    - Magnesium deficiency? A deficiency in Mg is a common cause for insomnia. I already eat lots of spinach, but I will start supplementing.
    - Ghrelin. Hormone that effects sleep and stimulates appetite. When my sleep is crap I eat loads the next day. Maybe I have too muc ghrelin / not enough leptin? I plan to eat foods that suppress ghrelin / stimulate leptin right before bed.
    - The dance of melatonin and serotonin: When melatonin levels are too high in the brain, it naturally results in the suppression of serotonin. Serotonin allows us to sleep. Eating carbs stimulates serotonin.
    - My body is going into Ketosis at night?
    - Caffeine. I've tried giving this up before and it didn't make any difference to my sleep. But hey, I'll try again! For one week of the month I'll cut it out and see what happens.

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