Alcoholism and Diabetes Complications
Many psychological factors such as depression, previous history of psychological abuse, and others contribute to a person’s addiction to alcohol. Though alcoholism and diabetes complications, that arise from it are very difficult to treat, especially when psychological factors are involved, it is possible to overcome them with support and perseverance. Here is more about alcoholism and diabetes, and the associated problems.
Alcoholism and Diabetes – What is Alcoholism?
Alcoholism can be defined as a physical addiction to alcohol characterized by increased alcohol tolerance and dependence by the brain and body.
Risks for Type 1 Diabetics
There are serious risks that people with alcoholism and type 1 diabetes have to face. In type 1 diabetes, the beta cells in pancreas which secrete the hormone insulin (a hormone necessary for metabolic activities) are destroyed causing insulin deficiency. This makes it necessary to administer insulin manually. Here is how alcohol can affect the delicate balance required for maintaining blood sugar levels.
- Liver is the organ that stores extra glucose that can be released into blood stream when the body needs it. Liver has another function, processing alcohol you consume. So, when you consume too much of alcohol, the liver’s ability to release glucose is hampered. This results in hypoglycemia, and complications related to hypoglycemia.
- Another way alcohol can put diabetes at risk is, when the alcohol content in the body is high, the body tries to detoxify itself by removing the excess alcohol through urination. This excessive urination can cause hypoglycemia. If you have already taken insulin, this will cause severe hypoglycemia.
Risks for Type 2 Diabetics
When it comes to alcoholism and type 2 diabetes, the risk of hypoglycemia is same as in those with type 1 diabetes. However, those who take medication (especially Glucophage) that acts on liver, alcohol can cause serious complications.
Alcoholism and Diabetes – Does Alcoholism cause Diabetes?
Alcoholism does not cause diabetes, but, it certainly increases the risk of diabetes and diabetic complications.
How can alcoholism be controlled in diabetics?
Controlling diabetes and alcoholism can be very frustrating and emotionally taxing as both need mental discipline to go about the treatment. But, with a positive outlook towards the treatment and awareness of the harm it can do, you can easily motivate yourself to comply with the treatment. Here are a few things you need to keep in mind.
- It is understandable that it can be difficult to completely abstain from alcohol. But, if your treatment includes abstinence, make sure that you do not lead yourself into situations where you need to consume alcohol.
- If you are allowed to consume limited amounts of alcohol, always keep in mind never to consume alcohol beyond permissible levels.
- Make it a point to be surrounded by friends and family who will encourage you and can bring a positive change in your drinking habits.
- Do not forget to monitor your blood glucose levels regularly. This will help you keep track of your sugar levels and plan your day accordingly.
- Complying with medication and treatment is absolutely necessary to prevent complications.
Alcoholism and Diabetes – Precautions to be taken if you are consuming alcohol!
Treatment of diabetes and alcoholism usually needs strict diet plans, exercise and cutting down on or complete abstinence from alcohol. Here are a few precautions you need to take when you need to consume alcohol.
- Never consume alcohol on empty stomach. Always make sure you eat before that.
- If you are a type 1 diabetic, it is advisable to completely stop consuming alcohol. But, if you must, check your blood sugar levels and you might have to decrease the insulin dosage during that time.
- If you are a type 2 diabetic, consult your doctor regarding the timing of alcohol consumption and diabetic medication as the combination can be damaging to the liver.
Apart from increasing the complications, over consumption of alcohol can also increase the risk of diabetes. A positive attitude and a fresh perspective towards life can bring about a lot of change and help in the treatment of alcoholism and diabetes.