Can Alcohol Cause Diabetes Type 2?
As obesity rates in the U.S. have gone up significantly in recent decades, conversations regarding diabetes have also become more prevalent. There are two types of diabetes, which will be discussed below, but lifestyle factors do play a role in diabetes, in different ways depending on the type.
It’s important for people to educate themselves about diabetes, to avoid the risk of developing it or suffering complications from the condition.
So since lifestyle factors do have a relationship with diabetes, what about alcohol and diabetes? Below is an overview of what diabetes is in general, and also what to know about alcohol and diabetes.
If you have diabetes your body either can’t make enough insulin to function properly, or it’s unable to use insulin the right way. When this happens, sugar builds up in your blood.
Diabetes is manageable, but it can lead to serious complications including kidney failure and heart disease It’s also one of the top causes of death in the U.S.
Type 1 diabetes, which used to be called insulin-dependent diabetes mellitus, makes up around five to 10 percent of all the diabetes cases in the U.S. With type 1 diabetes your immune system is attacking part of your pancreas so that you’re not making insulin as you should be. If you are diagnosed with type 1 diabetes, there are insulin therapy options available so that your symptoms can be effectively managed.
Type 2 diabetes is much more common among diabetics in the U.S.
Type 2 diabetes makes up anywhere from 90 to 95 percent of all cases of diabetes, and risk factors for developing this include obesity, being physically inactive, having a family history of diabetes, and having a history of gestational diabetes during pregnancy.
The treatments for type 2 diabetes are often lifestyle changes, such as changing your diet and exercising. In some people with type 2 diabetes, medications or insulin may be necessary.
People frequently wonder what to know about alcohol and diabetes, and a common question is “can alcohol cause diabetes type 2.”
Alcohol, in particular beer and certain wins, also have high amounts of carbohydrates, which can raise blood sugar levels, and alcoholic drinks are high in calories so in this way alcohol and type 2 diabetes can affect one another. If you have type 2 diabetes and you’re trying to lose weight, consuming empty calories from alcohol can make that more difficult.
People wonder, can alcohol cause diabetes type 2? Alcohol on its own might not cause diabetes type 2, but it can play a role. Some of the reasons alcohol can increase the risk of developing type 2 diabetes include the calories and carbohydrates, as well as the fact that alcohol can make it harder for you to keep your diabetes under control. Drinking heavily can also make your body less sensitive to insulin, which can cause type 2 diabetes, and diabetes is often a side effect of chronic pancreatitis, which is caused by excessive drinking.
A few other ways alcohol and diabetes might affect one another include:
- Alcohol can cause hypoglycemia which is a drop in blood glucose that can be dangerous
- Alcohol stimulates appetite, so you may eat more if you drink than you would normally, and that can be problematic if you have diabetes. Alcohol can also affect your judgment in your food choices.
- Alcohol can interact with how effective insulin or certain diabetes medicines are.
- Alcohol can also increase triglyceride levels and blood pressure.
If you do have diabetes of either type, the best thing you can do is make sure it’s well controlled and talk to your physician to get their advice about whether or not moderate drinking might be okay. If you’re a heavy drinker and you’re at risk for diabetes or have diabetes currently, you should absolutely try to reduce your intake.
With alcohol and diabetes, there are several links including the fact that alcohol has a lot of calories and sugar, and can make it more likely that you develop diabetes or have trouble controlling the condition.
If you have type 1 or 2 diabetes, you should only drink moderately, if at all.
Medical Disclaimer: The Recovery Village aims to improve the quality of life for people struggling with a substance use or mental health disorder with fact-based content about the nature of behavioral health conditions, treatment options and their related outcomes. We publish material that is researched, cited, edited and reviewed by licensed medical professionals. The information we provide is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. It should not be used in place of the advice of your physician or other qualified healthcare provider.
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