Alcohol has an impact on various biological systems, including blood sugar management, cardiovascular health, and liver function. While this can be risky for anyone who drinks heavily, those with diabetes are at an especially higher risk of developing health complications.
Anyone with diabetes type 1 or type 2 who decides to drink alcohol is recommended to keep a tight eye on their consumption. For diabetics, excessive drinking and alcohol abuse can soon become deadly. Heavy drinking can lead to coma or death in extreme circumstances.
Having a medical condition like diabetes can make treating alcoholism and addiction more difficult, but it does not make it untreatable. Many inpatient alcohol consumption clinics can tailor treatment strategies to meet the medical and mental health needs of their patients.
It is critical to get professional help as soon as possible if you or someone you know has diabetes and is misusing alcohol.
Alcohol And Diabetes: How It Affects Your Body
Alcohol reduces brain and body activity, resulting in a variety of consequences ranging from a sense of relaxation to tiredness and a loss of coordination.
Drinking can make a person lose track of how they're feeling in their own body and in their surroundings. People can easily get disoriented, confused, or forgetful.
Alcohol's effects on insulin production, blood sugar or glucose levels, and its harmful interactions with some diabetes treatments may be less well understood to non-diabetics.
Alcohol's effects on blood sugar, for example, can vary depending on how much alcohol is ingested. Blood sugar levels might rise if a small amount of alcohol is consumed. This is especially true for drinks high in carbohydrates, such as beer and sweet wine.
Large doses of alcohol, on the other hand, can produce hypoglycemia, or low blood sugar. Fasting diabetics (those who don't eat before drinking) are especially vulnerable to this. Excessive alcohol consumption can be life-threatening in severe cases of severely low blood sugar.
Other alcohol-related consequences in diabetics include:
raised blood pressure and heart rate
increased desire to eat
impaired speech, nausea, inability to think properly, and blurred vision
Type 2 Diabetes and Alcohol
Type 1 and type 2 diabetes are the two most common forms. The inability to create or regulate insulin in the body is present in both forms.
Kind 2 diabetes is the most common type of diabetes in the United States, accounting for 90 to 95 percent of all diabetes cases. Type 2 diabetes, unlike type 1 diabetes, which is unpredictable and usually develops early in life, can be caused by a combination of personal and lifestyle variables.
The body can still manufacture insulin in the early stages of type 2 diabetes, but it is resistant to its effects. Insulin resistance is a condition that causes unusually high blood sugar levels (hyperglycemia).
The body, on the other hand, eventually runs out of insulin. This can cause issues comparable to type 1 diabetes, in which the body generates little or no insulin.
It's never a good idea to combine diabetes and alcohol intake. Although it is permissible to drink alcohol as a diabetic on occasion, it must always be strictly controlled.
Diabetes and Alcohol's Health Consequences
In those with diabetes, having a modest drink is unlikely to result in life-threatening consequences. The American Diabetes Association offers various guidelines for diabetics who want to drink safely, emphasizing the importance of moderation and eating prior.
Excessive drinking or chronic alcohol misuse, on the other hand, can have a number of harmful effects on diabetics and non-diabetics alike.
Binge drinking, defined as consuming five or more drinks in one sitting, raises the risk of overdose, blackouts, and other negative consequences. It can also induce a severe drop in blood sugar in diabetics.
Chronic heavy drinking, defined as consuming large amounts of alcohol on a daily or otherwise frequent basis, can harm the pancreas, kidneys, heart, and liver. Damage to the liver and kidneys, in particular, can offer a number of major diabetic health problems.
The pancreas produces insulin, and the liver is the principal organ responsible for the metabolism of chemicals such as narcotics and alcohol. Excessive alcohol consumption can harm and disease the liver, impairing its capacity to function correctly.
Under normal circumstances, the liver keeps emergency glucose reserves for when a person's blood glucose levels drop dangerously low. Alcohol inhibits insulin synthesis in the liver, resulting in dangerously low glucose levels.
Finally, common diabetes medications such as chlorpropamide (Diabinese), metformin, and troglitazone may interact with alcohol. Drinking while taking one or more of these medications can make them less effective and induce unpleasant side effects including nausea and vomiting.
The following are some additional health hazards associated with heavy drinking in diabetics:
Ketoacidosis in diabetics (high ketone levels)
high triglyceride levels low LDL cholesterol low HDL cholesterol
coronary heart disease
neuropathy of the peripheral nerves (nerve damage)
illness of the eyes
Diabetic Symptoms Of Dangerous Drinking
Many of the symptoms of hyperglycemia and hypoglycemia resemble those of intoxication. This leads to some people mistaking serious symptoms for inebriation.
While feeling dizzy or drowsy after drinking may not usually indicate danger in non-diabetics, it can indicate significant difficulties in diabetics.
Following heavy drinking, the following symptoms can indicate dangerously high or low blood sugar levels:
vomiting and nausea
muscular weakness dizziness
tingling or numbness in the arms and legs
Excessive alcohol use combined with diabetes is a risky combination that can lead to both short- and long-term health problems, including alcohol addiction.