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Alcohol and Diabetes

Alcohol and Diabetes

You will get to know how alcohol affects the patients suffering from diabetes, through information presented below.
Shashank Nakate
The consumption of alcohol has many negative effects on the body and for diabetics, the complications tend to increase with the intake of this drink. Diabetics need to control and keep sugar levels in blood at a minimum. However, alcohol doesn't help in any way to control blood sugar levels. Alcohol intake can be compared to eating high sugar foods. Calories gained by the intake of alcohol and foods containing fats are almost equal. Understanding more about alcohol and diabetes should be possible with the information presented below.

Symptoms Associated with Alcoholism and Diabetes
Consumption of alcohol by diabetics, in moderate amounts, can lead to rise in blood sugar levels. The carbohydrates present in drinks like sweet wine and beer are responsible for increase in sugar levels. Few more symptoms are presented below.
  • Alteration in the effect of insulin doses and other oral medicines is seen amongst people who consume alcohol.
  • Excessive intake of alcohol, instead of increasing the sugar levels in the body, has an opposite effect. Level of sugar in blood drops down considerably. This is not a normal condition either. One may experience dizziness, slowness and feel disoriented.
  • Rise in the level of blood pressure can be observed due to the consumption of alcohol by diabetics.
  • Increase in the levels of triglycerides can be observed due to the intake of alcohol.
  • Increase in the heart rate, feeling of nausea, trouble in speaking properly (slurred speech) and few other conditions are observed due to the consumption of alcohol.
  • The condition of diabetes is greatly influenced by alcoholism. There is one health problem called 'neuropathy in feet' which arises due to the influence of both diabetes and alcohol. In this condition, nerves that carry messages from brain to the feet are damaged.
Liver Functioning and Alcoholism
Alcohol is a drink which doesn't get metabolized like other foods. It is directly absorbed into the blood stream and is metabolized by the liver. The liver's job of regulating blood sugar levels is disrupted by the additional pressure of metabolizing alcohol. People suffering from diabetes should therefore, think twice before consuming alcohol.

Precautions for Diabetics
It is best for diabetics to completely avoid drinking alcohol. Intake of this drink doesn't help in any way to control the problem of diabetes. However, if one is addicted to alcohol and finds it difficult to get rid of this habit, the following precautions need to be taken.
  • Alcohol should be taken slowly; consuming high amount of alcohol leads to a sudden decrease in blood sugar levels.
  • It is advisable to consume alcohol along with food. The process of alcohol absorption in blood takes place at a slow pace due to the food which is consumed.
  • According to the American Diabetes Association, number of drinks in a single day should not go beyond the maximum limit of 2 for men and 1 for women.
  • Effect of alcohol on the body can be minimized by mixing it with water.
  • As far as possible, it is advisable to avoid mixed drinks. Just like sugar-mixed drinks, one should avoid consuming sweet wines.
Various aspects including the symptoms and the precautions to be taken, are discussed in the paragraphs above. Consult a doctor who will be the best guide to educate you about the hazards related to alcohol intake in diabetics.

Disclaimer: The information provided in this article is solely for educating the reader. It is not intended to be a substitute for the advice of a medical expert.