Alterations in carbohydrate metabolism during stress: a review of the literature

Am J Med. 1995 Jan;98(1):75-84. doi: 10.1016/S0002-9343(99)80083-7.


Patients with sepsis, burn, or trauma commonly enter a hypermetabolic stress state that is associated with a number of alterations in carbohydrate metabolism. These alterations include enhanced peripheral glucose uptake and utilization, hyperlactatemia, increased glucose production, depressed glycogenesis, glucose intolerance, and insulin resistance. The hypermetabolic state is induced by the area of infection or injury as well as by organs involved in the immunologic response to stress; it generates a glycemic milieu that is directed toward satisfying an obligatory requirement for glucose as an energy substrate. This article reviews experimental and clinical data that indicate potential mechanisms for these alterations and emphasizes aspects that have relevance for the clinician.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Gluconeogenesis
  • Glucose / metabolism*
  • Humans
  • Insulin Resistance
  • Stress, Physiological / metabolism*


  • Glucose