Quite often the question on many people’s minds is, “Can alcohol cause diabetes?” The answer to this question is both yes and no. Alcohol does not directly cause diabetes, but it can indirectly lead to the onset of diabetes.
It is very rare for alcohol consumption alone to be the main cause of diabetes. More than likely, someone who abuses alcohol has close to an 80% chance of developing pancreatitis. It has been documented that an average of one in three persons who suffer with pancreatitis will eventually develop diabetes.
Insulin is produced in the pancreas and excessive alcohol consumption can cause severe damage to the pancreases. When this vital organ is damaged to the point that it can no longer release insulin into the body – this will often lead to the onset of diabetes.
Can alcohol cause Diabetes? – Here are the facts:
Alcohol consumption could possibly increase your blood pressure, and your triglyceride levels, and also have a negative or neutralizing effect on any medicines you are taking to regulate your current diabetic situation.
Two drinks, within a 24 hour period should be the limit for men, and a woman should limit herself to only one drink or less. Just for clarification purposes: one alcoholic beverage would equal either 5 oz of wine, 12 oz of beer or a one and a half ounce of distilled liquor (such as whiskey, gin or vodka).
Drink slowly to make your drink last longer, and when possible, cut the liquor with diet soda or another no calorie mixer like diet tonic water, club soda, or just plain water. Never drink on an empty stomach, that will just make the alcohol travel faster through your bloodstream; make sure you have a snack nearby or that you will only drink with a meal.
Hypoglycemia and the symptoms of having one too many alcoholic beverages are similar (dizziness, disorientation and tiredness). You don’t want hypoglycemia to ever go untreated; and in this state of mind, it might be difficult to explain to someone that you are diabetic. It is wise to wear a visible medical ID bracelet to indicate that you have diabetes.
Shortly after alcohol consumption, hypoglycemia can set in, and last for up to 12 hours. Before you decide to drink, check your glucose levels, before and after you have alcohol. Also, do another check before you head to bed for the evening. A normal and safe level is between the range of 100 and 140. If your levels are below 100, eat something healthy to raise your blood sugar.
Your body processes fat and alcohol in the same way. If a diabetic choose to consume an “adult beverage”, drink only occasionally and when your blood sugar levels are well under control. Please remember that if you are counting calories – one alcoholic drink is counted as TWO fat exchanges. (It is up to you if it is worth it).
We hope this information has armed you with the knowledge to confidently answer the question: “can alcohol cause diabetes”?