Can Alcoholism Cause Diabetes?

According to the Mayo Clinic, excessive alcohol consumption can increase a person's risk of developing type 2 diabetes. When women consume more than one drink per day, or when men consume more than two drinks per day, the pancreas may become inflamed. When inflammation develops, the pancreas may not be able to secrete insulin. This eventually leads to diabetes.

Binge Drinking and Insulin Resistance

Alcoholism is a disease that often includes binge drinking. This is the worst type of drinking because it is believed to cause insulin resistance. A study published in the Jan. 30, 2013 issue of the journal Science Translational Medicine involved rats who were given alcohol for three days to mimic binge drinking in humans. The control group was fed the same amount of calories.

In this study, the rats were tested when there was no more alcohol in their blood. In the group that had been given large amounts of alcohol, higher levels of plasma insulin were found in their bodies. This suggests that the insulin resistance might have caused impaired glucose tolerance. Scientists and doctors acknowledge that levels of high plasma insulin are risk factors that increase the chance of developing type 2 diabetes, coronary artery disease and stroke.

Before this study, it was not known if binge drinking could lead to diabetes. This is likely because binge drinking is often associated with binge eating, said Claudia Lindtner, M.D., author of the study and an Associate Researcher of Medicine, Endocrinology, Diabetes and Bone Disease at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai. This study showed that binge drinking can induce insulin resistance independent of how many calories a person eats.

Moderation is Key

According to the American Diabetes Association, diabetics should drink no more than the recommended amount for men and women who are not diabetic. Women should have no more than one drink per day, and men should limit their alcohol consumption to no more than two drinks per day. Research has shown that moderate amounts of alcohol do not affect a person's blood sugar level. One drink is considered to be 12 ounces of beer, 5 ounces of wine, or 1 to 1-1/2 ounces of hard liquor.

It is important for anyone with diabetes to always eat food with their alcoholic drink. The American Diabetes Association recommends that diabetics never drink on an empty stomach or when their blood sugar level is low. If you count carbs to plan your meals, do not include the alcohol in your diet as a carbohydrate. If you are diabetic, it is important to check with your health care provider regarding your particular case of diabetes.

Source: Mayo Clinic
Photo: Pexels

Get a Free Diabetes Meal Plan

Get a free 7-Day Diabetes Meal Plan from Constance Brown-Riggs who is a Registered Dietitian-Certified Diabetes Educator and who is also a national spokesperson for the American Dietetic Association.

Just enter in your email below to download your free Diabetes Meal Plan.

By clicking Submit, you agree to send your info to BattleDiabetes.com who, in addition to 3rd party partners, may contact you with updates, products and information and we agree to use it according to our privacy policy and terms and conditions.

More Articles

More Articles

The Mayo Clinic Diabetic Diet consists of ...

Diabetics should avoid white bread and anything else made with white flour because it can raise their...

Eating a balanced diet can have a significant impact on individuals who have type 2 diabetes. In fact,...

With diabetes, your blood sugar levels...

It is common knowledge that people with (or without) diabetes should exercise regularly. But why is exercise so important if diet appears to be...

Once widely known by the name "juvenile diabetes," type 1 diabetes is becoming more common. The disease occurs when the body starts attacking...

Diabetics are inundated with advice about the right foods to eat and which ones to avoid. Since particular foods can have more of an impact on...

Taking blood samples for glucose readings is one of the unfortunate side effects of diabetes. But what if you...

During a time when sugary treats are found at every turn, steering clear of carbohydrate-rich cocktails becomes even more important for people...

Poor sleep can worsen diabetes symptoms, but burning enough calories may not be the only factor to consider when it comes to how exercise...

Eating a plant-based diet could help to relieve diabetic nerve pain, according to a new study.

Researchers from the...

This article was written exclusively for BattleDiabetes.com by Gershelda Harman. She discusses her shocking diabetes diagnosis as a teenager,...

Hypoglycemia is a common condition for diabetics which typically involves feeling...

People with diabetes generally have problems with their extremities such as their hands,...

The 2014 National Diabetes Statistics Report by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention states that 29 million adult Americans have...