Skip to main content Accessibility help

The growth hormone response to insulin induced hypoglycaemia in alcoholics

  • R. J. Chalmers (a1), E. H. Bennie (a1), R. H. Johnson (a1) and H. G. Kinnell (a1)


The growth hormone response to insulin induced hypoglycaemia was studied in 7 alcoholic in-patients who had been abstinent for 2–11 days and in 10 normal controls. Blood samples were taken at intervals after the injection of soluble insulin (0·1 U/kg body weight). The growth hormone response was impaired in 4 of the alcoholics and the depression was not related to differences in blood glucose or plasma free fatty acids. The Cortisol response was also impaired in the alcoholics. We conclude that alcoholics observed after alcohol withdrawal may have a depression of hypothalamic/pituitary function.


Corresponding author

1Address for correspondence: Dr R. J. Chalmers, The University Department of Neurology, Institute of Neurological Sciences, Southern General Hospital, Glasgow G51 4TF.


Hide All
Andreani, D., Tamburrano, G. & Javicoli, M. (1976) Alcohol hypoglycaemia: hormonal changes. In Hypoglycaemia: Proceedings of the European Symposium, Rome (ed. Andreani, D., Lefebvre, P. and Marks, V.), pp. 99105. George Thieme: Stuttgart.
Bergmeyer, H. U. & Bernt, E. (1963). In Methods of Enzymatic Analysis (ed. Bergmeyer, H. U.), p. 125. Weinheim.
Blackard, W. G. (1970). Stimulatory effect of exogenous catecholamines on plasma HGH concentrations in the presence of beta adrenergic blockade. Metabolism 19, 547552.
Blackard, W. G. & Heidingsfeider, S. A. (1968). Adrenergic receptor control mechanism for growth hormone secretion. Journal of Clinical Investigation 47, 14071414.
Bloom, S. R., Johnson, R. H., Park, D. M., Rennie, M. J. & Sulaiman, W. R. (1976). Differences in the metabolic and hormonal response to exercise between racing cyclists and untrained individuals. Journal of Clinical Investigation 42, 800810.
Chalmers, R. J., Sulaiman, W. R. & Johnson, R. H. (1977). The metabolic response to exercise in chronic alcoholics. Quarterly Journal of Experimental Physiology. (In the press.)
Glick, S. & Goldsmith, S. (1968). The physiology of growth hormone secretion. In Growth Hormone (ed. Pecile, A. and Muller, E. E.), p. 84. Excerpta Medica Foundation: New York.
Irie, M., Sakuma, M., Tsushima, T., Shizume, K. & Nakaro, K. (1967). Effect of nicotinic acid administration on plasma growth hormone concentrations. Proceedings of the Society for Experimental Biology and Medicine 126, 708711.
Itaya, K. & Ui, H. (1965). Colorimetric determination of free fatty acids in biological fluids. Journal of Lipid Research 6, 1620.
Lal, S., de la Vega, C. E., Sourkes, T. L. & Friesen, H. G. (1973). Effect of apomorphine on growth hormone, prolactin, luteinizing hormone and follicle stimulating hormone in human serum. Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism 37, 719724.
Maany, I., Frazer, A. & Mendels, J. (1975). Apomorphine: effect on growth hormone. Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism 40, 162163.
Mann, H. B. & Whitney, D. R. (1947). On a test of whether one or two random variables is stochastically larger than the other. Annals of Mathematical Statistics 18, 5254.
Massara, F. & Camanni, F. (1971). Plasma human growth hormone levels following the administration of various adrenergic drugs. Presented at the Second International Symposium on Growth Hormone, Milan, Italy, 1971.
Mattingly, D. (1962). A simple fluorimetric method for the estimation of free 11-hydroxycorticoid in human plasma. Journal of Clinical Pathology 15, 374379.
Merry, J. & Marks, V. (1972). The effect of alcohol, barbiturate and diazepam on hypothalamic/pituitary/adrenal function in chronic alcoholics. Lancet ii, 990992.
Morgan, C. R. (1966). Human growth hormone immunoassay: two antibody method using 125I tracer. Proceedings of the Society for Experimental Biology and Medicine 121, 6281.
Roth, J., Glick, S. H., Yalow, R. S. & Berson, S. A. (1963). Hypoglycaemia a potent stimulus to secretion of growth hormone. Science 140, 987988.
Samarthji, L., Tolis, G., Martin, J. B., Brown, G. M. & Guyda, H. (1975). Effect of clonidine on growth hormone, prolactin, luteinizing hormone, follicle-stimulating hormone and thyroid stimulating hormone in the serum of normal men. Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism 41, 827832.
Schalch, D. S. (1967). The influence of physical stress and exercise on growth hormone and insulin secretion in man. Journal of Laboratory and Clinical Medicine 69, 256269.
Wright, J. W., Fry, D. E., Merry, J. & Marks, V. (1976). Abnormal hypothalamic–pituitary–gonadal function in chronic alcoholics. British Journal of Addiction 71, 211215.

The growth hormone response to insulin induced hypoglycaemia in alcoholics

  • R. J. Chalmers (a1), E. H. Bennie (a1), R. H. Johnson (a1) and H. G. Kinnell (a1)


Full text views

Total number of HTML views: 0
Total number of PDF views: 0 *
Loading metrics...

Abstract views

Total abstract views: 0 *
Loading metrics...

* Views captured on Cambridge Core between <date>. This data will be updated every 24 hours.

Usage data cannot currently be displayed