Sunday, March 23, 2008

Alcohol and Diabetes

Diabetes is a disease where the body does not properly use or produce insulin. The cause of this disease is still a mystery that affects over 20 million people in the United States. It is estimated that over 6 million individuals are not aware they have diabetes.

Mixing alcohol and diabetes can be risky business. It is hard enough for diabetics to control their diets during intake of alcohol. They not only have to pay attention to what they eat, but how much they eat. But it is only through proper diet and planning careful meals that diabetics can gain control of the disease and regulate it in order to live healthier, longer lives.

Drinking too much alcohol makes it very difficult for the body of a diabetic to maintain the proper blood sugar levels in their system. Alcohol is quickly absorbed into the blood stream without fully metabolized in the stomach. It can take a normal person about two hours to metabolize one average alcoholic drink. But when a person that is diabetic drinks alcohol, they are at risk of developing low blood sugar very quickly. People with diabetes that drink alcohol will always be putting themselves at risk of developing low blood sugar. Low blood sugar is what causes diabetics to having reactions.

When alcohol is consumed, the liver focuses all it's attention to clear the alcohol from out of the body. This means that the liver does not have time to provide the glucose the body needs, leading to low blood sugar, a diabetic's nightmare. When a diabetic has been consuming alcohol, even a shot of Glucagon will be ineffective in raising the low blood sugar because the alcohol will stop the Glucagon from working.

After everything is said and done, this does not necessarily mean that a person who has diabetes should never consume alcohol. This is something that needs to be discussed with a doctor. People who suffer from type II diabetes are better candidates for having an occasional drink. There are even some documents in medical journals that discuss how women with type II diabetes can lower risks of complications associated with the disease by consuming alcohol in moderation. The alcohol's effects can decrease insulin resistance only when the alcohol consumed is a couple of drinks per day. If, after checking with your doctor and if your doctor says you can drink alcohol on occasion, then use some commonsense guidelines when drinking alcohol.

Do not drink alcohol on an empty stomach. Eating some food before drinking helps the alcohol to metabolize faster, so your blood sugar level has a better chance of not falling. Drink light beer instead of the regular variety. When consuming mixed drinks, stay with the sugar free mixes. When drinking wine, stay with the dry wines. Always drink in moderation. If you do not, then you are putting yourself at risk with your diabetes. Anymore than a couple of drinks can cause your blood sugar to begin falling too low.

Overall, diabetes is the silent killer. It would be much safer to not drink at all. If you do consult with your doctor and it is alright to have a couple of drinks on occasion, then ensure you only do drink in moderation for your own health's sake.

1 comment:

asha said...

Diabetes is a disease in which the body does not produce or properly use insulin. Insulin is a hormone that is needed to convert sugar, starches, and other food into energy needed for daily life. The cause of diabetes is not known, but genetics and environmental factors such as lack of exercise and obesity tend to play a role. The major types of diabetes include type 1, which results from the body's failure to produce insulin, the hormone that "unlocks" the cells of the body, allowing glucose to enter and fuel them; and type 2 diabetes, which results from insulin resistance (a condition in which the body fails to properly use insulin), combined with relative insulin deficiency. Most Americans who are diagnosed with diabetes have type 2 diabetes.
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Asha pabet

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