Substances such as drugs or alcohol can affect many areas of your physical and mental health. In fact, anything that you eat, drink, or otherwise consume could potentially impact you in ways you may not have realized. It’s especially important to understand whether alcohol can cause diabetes.
What is Diabetes?
When your blood glucose, or blood sugar, is too high you are at risk of having a conditionknown as diabetes. Your blood glucose, your main source of energy, comes from what you consume. Insulin, which is a hormone made by your pancreas, helps the glucose get into your cells so they can use it for energy.
When your body doesn’t make enough of the insulin or doesn’t use it well, glucose stays in your blood and doesn’t reach those cells. Over time, too much glucose in your blood can cause issues such as diabetes. Over 10% of the US population had diabetes in 2018. Every year, 1.5 million people in the US are diagnosedwith the disease. In 2017, it was the seventh leading cause of death in this country.
Alcohol Increases the Risk
Drinking alcohol can impact your body’s functions in many ways. Researchershave found that binge drinking, in particular, causes insulin resistance which can then lead to type 2 diabetes. Their studies concluded that drinking alone, without any additional factors such as overeating, can increase your risk for diabetes.
Alcohol can disrupt your metabolic process as it disrupts the insulin receptor signaling by causing an inflammation of the hypothalamus. This is the area of your brain that is important for the metabolic processes in your body. The main role of the insulin receptor is to control the uptake of glucose within your body. When the signaling of this receptor is decreased, it means your cells cannot take up the glucose and that results in too much glucose in your blood.
When your natural insulin does not bind properly to the receptor, you can experience insulin resistance. Drinking too much alcohol can also cause chronic inflammation of your pancreas, which will then impair its ability to secrete insulin. Even when your pancreas is producing enough insulin, though, insulin resistance can hamper the receptor’s ability to send the right signals to your cells so they can use the glucose for the energy you need.
One of the symptoms you’ll experience as a result of insulin resistance is that you will have high levels of insulin your bloodstream. This condition is part of a group of risk factors that will increase the potential to cause diabetes as well as stroke and coronary artery disease. One of the researchers noted that “Someone who regularly binge drinks even once a week, over many years, may remain in an insulin resistant state for an extended period of time, potentially years.”
Complications of Alcohol Consumption
While alcohol can cause diabetes, there are a number of other complicationsthat can result from alcohol consumption in relation to blood glucose. For example, beer and sweet wine contain carbohydrates that can raise blood sugar levels. In addition, alcohol will usually stimulate your appetite and that can cause you to overeat, which can affect your blood sugar levels as well. Poor food choices often result from eating while consuming alcohol.
Alcohol itself can have a lot of calories, which can affect your ability to lose the excess weight that can be a contributing factor for diabetes. The alcohol you drink can also raise your triglyceride levels, which impacts your potential for diabetes. If you have been diagnosed with diabetes, alcohol consumption can interfere with the effectiveness of your medications.
Get Help at Hope by the Sea
Do you need help with an addiction to alcohol? At Hope by the Sea, a drug and alcoholism treatment center, we believe in our patients’ ability to succeed. Our drug and alcohol rehab programs include treatment programs such as detoxification and residential treatment as well as outpatient treatment and long-term care.
We provide you with the top clinical staff, a serene setting, and over fifteen years of experience treating addiction to guide you through a successful recovery from your alcohol addiction. Please contact Hope by the Sea immediately for assistance. Our team is following every CDC protocol for COVID-19 because our clients’ safety is of the utmost importance.