Diabetes and Alcohol Use
While the effects of alcohol can be random and life-threatening, those with diabetes should be especially cautious. Alcohol effects vary from person to person, some of which can become dangerous quickly. Those with diabetes can be affected in different ways, due to their disease. This makes knowing your limits when it comes to alcohol very important and everyone should exercise caution when considering consumption. The body recognizes alcohol as a toxin and works immediately to rid it from the body. Alcohol consumption can also lead to abuse and alcoholism. If you or someone you know is suffering from alcohol abuse, it is important to seek out help.
How Alcohol Affects Those With Diabetes
Alcohol affects the mind and body in several different ways. Those with diabetes need to be especially careful when consuming alcohol, as even a small amount can disrupt blood sugar levels. Alcohol can cause the body’s blood sugar to rise or fall and alcoholic drinks normally contain high levels of sugar. Trying to determine how much insulin you may need for your beverage can prove to be challenging.
The effects of alcohol are often unpredictable and can differ from person to person. They can range in severity and happen randomly. As soon as alcohol enters your system, your body works immediately in order to remove it. While alcohol can be life-threatening in and of itself, it becomes especially dangerous when diabetes is involved. If someone were to forget to take their insulin due to alcohol impairing their judgement and affecting their memory, this could pose a problem as your blood sugar would begin to rise. Someone may also end up passing out from their alcohol intake. This could prove to be very dangerous as your blood sugar could begin to shoot downward.
Besides alcohol interacting with how your body processes glucose, you will also experience other common effects of drinking alcohol. This could include memory lapses, slurred speech, confusion, and difficulty concentrating. If you are a heavy or binge drinker, you may notice kidney or liver problems. You could also experience problems with your cardiovascular system. Abusing alcohol can also lead to addiction, which can impact all facets of a person’s life.
What is Hypoglycemia?
Hypoglycemia is a condition that occurs when someone’s blood sugar drops very low. Blood sugar can also be known as blood glucose. This is the body’s main source of energy. If someone’s blood sugar drops too low, they will begin exhibiting symptoms. It is important that hypoglycemia gets immediate treatment. Treatment involves getting the blood sugar back up to normal quickly with foods or medications.
There are signs to watch out for, which include fatigue and pale skin. You may also notice someone sweating, becoming irritable, and being shaky. Left untreated, symptoms can begin to worsen and cause abnormal behavior, inability to concentrate, and seizures. If you suspect you or a loved one is experiencing hypoglycemia, it is important to seek out medical attention as soon as possible, as the condition is life-threatening.
Can Alcohol Cause Type 2 Diabetes?
Diabetes is actually a common condition and is lifelong. It develops when the pancreas cannot produce enough insulin or the insulin does not work how it should. Insulin is a hormone that helps glucose get from the bloodstream into the cells. This gives a person energy. Having diabetes means that glucose begins to build in your blood and has difficulty transferring over to your cells. There are two types of diabetes; Type 1 and Type 2. Type 1 can be caused by genes or a virus. Type 2 can be caused by genes or inactivity and overweight.
Alcohol can be a contributing factor to someone developing diabetes. Alcohol drinks, especially mixed drinks, contain a high amount of calories and a large sugar content. Drinking can cause someone to become overweight or elevate their fat count. Diabetes can also be a side effect of chronic pancreatitis. Chronic pancreatitis is when the pancreas becomes inflamed, which can be caused by heavy alcohol use. Studies have shown that binge drinking can also cause the body to have a resistance to insulin, which can then contribute to developing Type 2.
How Much Alcohol is Too Much?
There is not a set amount of alcohol that is universal for all. There are too many varying factors at play to set a concrete number that works for all. Alcohol and its effects are often unpredictable and differ from person to person. The factors that could influence how someone reacts to alcohol could include genetics, prescribed medications, and medical history.
In order to determine where your limits lie, it is important to talk to your primary doctor. They are more informed of your medical background, potential risks that you may be facing, and how much alcohol you will be able to handle. Not speaking to your doctor beforehand could mean that you are uninformed of how alcohol will affect your body and could lead to life-threatening symptoms.
When is Treatment Needed?
Drinking small amounts of alcohol occasionally and socially is not cause enough for concern. However, if someone begins drinking heavily, frequently, over a period of time, or experiences binge episodes they may be experiencing alcohol abuse or even alcoholism. Even if someone only drinks on the weekend, they could still be demonstrating signs of alcohol abuse. If you suspect you or a loved one might have difficulty maintaining control over their alcohol use, reach out and seek treatment.
Arizona Addiction Recovery Center helps those who are suffering from alcohol abuse and alcoholism get back on track to a happier and healthier life. Their team of professionals do an extensive evaluation to help curate unique plans for their patients. You will be immersed in a supportive and understanding environment that has your best interest in mind. Create a strong foundation that can withstand the day to day hurdles of life. AARC strives to offer holistic treatment services that do not just focus on the addiction, but all aspects of a person’s life. Call today and learn more about how AARC is a leader in effective addiction treatment.