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March 12, 2006

Hypoglycemia, Other

Question from Placerville,California, USA:

A non-diabetic friend passed out the other day when drinking. When she was found, her blood sugar was 10 mg/dl [0.6 mmol/L]. Does alcohol cause low blood sugar? If a non-diabetic passes out and has a severely low blood sugar, can I administer glucagon to them?


Yes, alcohol can cause decreased output of glucose by the liver in non-diabetic patients. She must have had a lot of alcohol to get that effect. Glucagon may help overcome the drug effect of the alcohol to prevent glucose output by the liver.