Can I Drink Alcohol If I Have Type 2 Diabetes?

Vomiting can lead to dehydration and a reduced blood volume, which, in turn, increases the levels of certain stress hormones in the blood called catecholamines. Catecholamines further decrease insulin production and increase glucagon production. Accordingly, physicians who treat diabetics known to consume large amounts of alcohol must be aware of the risk of alcoholic ketoacidosis in those patients. Furthermore, we separated lifelong abstainers from ex-drinkers who may have given up because of ill health, and light to moderate drinkers still showed lower risk than lifelong abstainers.

Alcohol consumption alters insulin secretion and cardiac autonomic activity. Get cost-effective, quality addiction care that truly works. Knowing the alcohol-related diseases and disorders can prevent you from experiencing severe physical complications. For additional questions about managing diabetes,your CBHA medical provider will be happy to help you. • Wear a medical alert bracelet or other piece of jewelry that says you have diabetes. According to the2012 National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey, an estimated 37 percent of adults over age 20 have a prediabetes.

The Correlation of Alcohol Abuse and Diabetes

It also provides guidelines for how to safely include alcohol in a type 2 diabetes diet . In fact, some evidence shows that many people with type 2 diabetes can safely enjoy drinking alcoholic beverages. And believe it or not, moderate drinking may even bring about some benefits. The way that alcohol inhibits the liver’s standard function of releasing glucose sets the stage for a drop in blood sugar. Following alcohol consumption, the body begins processing sugar at a faster rate, which leads to the spike in sugar being metabolized below normal levels.

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A treatment program for comorbid diabetes and alcoholism will include counseling and therapy for both disorders, and address the ways they may be intertwined. Support groups made up of other people who also struggle with the same comorbid conditions can be a helpful source of encouragement in recovery. In a specialized treatment program, individuals can learn how to achieve healthy physical balance, alcohol and diabetes which will help with managing diabetes and promoting overall wellness. Type 2 diabetes and alcohol is not always a beneficial combination. While moderate alcohol consumption lowers blood sugar, heavy consumption is harmful to diabetes and other aspects of health. The relationship between type 2 diabetes and alcohol is complex. When people with this condition drink alcohol, it comes with risks.

Alcohol & Diabetes

Despite the potential health perks of drinking alcohol, there are some cautions as well. When drinking alcohol is combined with the medications most often used to treat diabetes—particularly insulin and sulfonylureas, low blood sugar can result. While a glass of wine with dinner probably isn’t a big deal, a mojito on an empty stomach at happy hour is. Ketoacidosis, which occurs primarily in diabetics, is a condition characterized by excessive levels of certain acids called ketone bodies (e.g., acetone, acetoacetate, and β-hydroxybutyrate) in the blood. Elevated levels of those compounds can cause nausea, vomiting, impaired mental functioning, coma, and even death. Ketoacidosis is caused by complete or near-complete lack of insulin and by excessive glucagon levels.

Diabetics who experience insulin shock may mistake their symptoms for those of drunkenness and fail to seek immediate medical care. She said alcohol can also affect other medical conditions like diabetic nerve damage, diabetic eye disease, and high blood triglycerides. Low blood sugar can cause people to pass out, which is a medical emergency that can be misinterpreted as intoxication. You may wonder if drinking alcohol is safe for people with diabetes. If you drink alcohol, there are some things you need to know first about alcohol safety. Diabetes can complicate and exacerbate the potential side effects of alcoholism, and vice versa.

How Can Diabetics Drink Alcohol Responsibly?

These agents act to lower the patient’s blood sugar levels by decreasing insulin resistance rather than by increasing insulin secretion. Accordingly, these medications help control blood sugar levels without causing hypoglycemia. Insulin resistance does not immediately lead to overt diabetes, because the patient’s pancreatic beta cells initially can increase their insulin production enough to compensate for the insulin resistance. In fact, insulin-resistant people have higher than normal insulin levels (i.e., are hyperinsulinemic1). Ultimately, insulin secretion declines even further, to levels below those seen in nondiabetics . At that point, when a deficit in insulin secretion is combined with a state of insulin resistance, the person develops type 2 diabetes. Thus, whereas type 1 diabetes is characterized by a complete lack of insulin production, type 2 is characterized by reduced insulin production plus insulin resistance.

Living well with either alcoholism or diabetes means following an individually designed treatment plan. The treatments for Type 2 diabetes often emphasize lifestyle changes, such as changing your diet and exercising.

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