Is It True Alcoholism Leads To Diabetes?

A frequent question when it comes to alcohol is the link of alcoholism with diabetes and whether or not alcoholism leads to diabetes.

There are millions of people in the U.S. impacted by diabetes and also by alcoholism, and there are links between the two chronic diseases.

Is It True Alcoholism Leads To Diabetes?
Diabetes is a chronic condition where the pancreas doesn’t produce an adequate amount of insulin, or the insulin doesn’t function as it should. Insulin is a hormone that transfers glucose from the blood to the cells where it can then be turned into energy. With diabetes, glucose builds up in your blood and doesn’t go to your cells.

There are two kinds of diabetes which are Type 1 and Type 2.

The development of Type 1 diabetes is usually the result of genetics, or the body having an autoimmune response.

Most people with Type 1 diabetes are diagnosed when they’re younger, and there’s no way to prevent it.

Type 2 happens when the body makes insulin but it’s not enough, or a person’s body eventually becomes insulin-resistant. It can be somewhat attributed to genetic factors, but it’s also more common in people who are overweight and not physically active. Usually, this diagnosis comes when a person is older than 40, but as obesity has become such a big problem in developed countries, cases of Type 2 diabetes in younger people are on the rise.

Type 2 diabetes progresses over the years, while Type 1 diabetes usually becomes obvious very quickly and symptoms dissipate quickly once a person receives treatment.

So what about whether or not alcoholism leads to diabetes?

There are ways alcoholism can contribute to the development not of Type 1 diabetes, but of Type 2.

First, when you drink large amounts of alcohol, it can make your body less sensitive to insulin, which is a trigger for Type 2 diabetes. Diabetes is also frequently a side effect of pancreatitis, which is primarily caused by excessive drinking. Another way alcoholism leads to diabetes is the fact that alcohol has a lot of sugar and calories, so the more you drink, the more likely you are to become overweight, which is a contributing reason for Type 2 diabetes.

Also, when you suffer from alcoholism, you’re more likely to have a generally unhealthy lifestyle, such as not getting enough exercise, which can increase your risk of developing Type 2 diabetes.

Of course, both people who have a drinking problem and those who don’t can develop diabetes, and alcoholism is just one of the many risk factors.

Along with whether or not alcoholism leads to diabetes, there is also the question of what happens when someone has alcoholism with diabetes. When someone has diabetes or is pre-diabetic, it’s essential that they take the necessary steps to keep their blood sugar levels in check.

If you’re an alcoholic, this becomes significantly more difficult.

There are many reasons why alcoholism leads to diabetes in some cases and also why alcoholism with diabetes is a dangerous combination.

First, as was touched on above, all alcoholic drinks have a lot of carbohydrates and sugar, which cause dramatic spikes in blood sugar.

Alcohol is also high in calories, which can contribute to weight gain, making it even harder to control blood sugar. Alcohol triggers the appetite, which is another way it can lead you to gain weight, and when you drink too much you can lose your sense of what’s best to do and your sense of self-control, so you might make bad food choices that can wreak havoc on your blood sugar.

These just point to the ways alcohol, particularly in excess, can impact your blood sugar.

Alcoholism with diabetes can also be dangerous because binge drinking can cause hypoglycemia, high-sugar content drinks can raise blood sugar to dangerous levels, and it can increase the risk of developing cardiovascular problems. Also, when you drink and have diabetes, it can make nerve damage worse.

Finally, when you drink it can also impact how your diabetes medicine works. These are some of the reasons why alcoholism with diabetes is a bad combination.

While there are some ways you can drink small amounts with diabetes, if you have alcoholism with diabetes it’s important that you seek professional help. The safe drinking limit for someone with diabetes is a maximum of one drink a day for women, and for men, two. If you think you’re drinking beyond this, whether you think you’re an alcoholic or not, you should speak with your doctor.