Diabetes and Alcohol Effects of Alcohol on Diabetes

diabetes and alcohol blackouts

For example, long-term alcohol use in well-nourished diabetics can result in excessive blood sugar levels. Conversely, long-term alcohol ingestion in diabetics who are not adequately nourished can lead to dangerously low blood sugar levels. Heavy drinking, particularly in diabetics, also can cause the accumulation of certain acids in the blood that may result in severe health consequences. Finally, alcohol can diabetics get drunk consumption can worsen diabetes-related medical complications, such as disturbances in fat metabolism, nerve damage, and eye disease. Although detailed data on alcohol use were collected prospectively in the ADVANCE trial, the current study is a retrospectively performed (post hoc) analysis. The current analyses are based on the consumption of alcohol at the time of randomization in the ADVANCE trial.

Data Availability

  • Short-term memory is sometimes called scratchpad memory—it records events for only about three minutes before they fade.
  • Furthermore, drugs such as benzodiazepines, which also weaken memory formation and cause blackouts on their own, can combine with small amounts of alcohol to impede new memories.
  • The median follow-up of 11,140 patients in the study was 5 years, during which 1,147 (10%) participants experienced a major cardiovascular event, 1,131 (10%) experienced a microvascular complication, and 1,031 (9%) died (Table 2).

This article will examine how alcohol affects blood sugar levels and how people with diabetes can safely drink alcohol. A large study of twins found that genetic risk alone accounted for more than half of the blackouts experienced. In a different analysis, drinkers who reported that their mothers may have been problem drinkers were more likely to report blackouts than those who did not, but there was a difference here between the sexes.

Our Medical Review Process

Glycogen is a large molecule that consists of numerous glucose molecules and serves as a storage form of glucose in the tissues, particularly the liver. In the fasting state, as a first line of defense against hypoglycemia, glycogen is broken down into its constituent glucose molecules, which are secreted by the liver into the blood to maintain normal or near-normal blood sugar levels. Thus, a person who has been drinking alcohol and not eating for 1 or more days has exhausted his or her glycogen supply.

Effects of Alcohol Consumption in the Fed State

Consequently, both of the body’s mechanisms to sustain blood sugar levels are inactivated in people who consume alcohol but do not eat, resulting in profound hypoglycemia. Insulin primarily serves to lower blood sugar levels by promoting the uptake of sugar (i.e., glucose) in the muscles and fat (i.e., adipose) tissue as well as the conversion of glucose into its storage form, glycogen. In addition, insulin inhibits the production of more sugar molecules (i.e., gluconeogenesis) in the liver. Accordingly, it promotes gluconeogenesis and the breakdown of glycogen into glucose. The actions of insulin and glucagon must be finely balanced, because both lower than normal blood sugar levels (i.e., hypoglycemia) and higher than normal blood sugar levels (i.e., hyperglycemia) can have deleterious effects on the body. Boekeloo and colleauges (2011)examined a different type of drinking motive -“drinking to getdrunk,” which the authors defined as “pre-meditated,controlled, and intentional consumption of alcohol to reach a state ofinebriation” (p. 89).

If you need assistance in treating a low blood sugar in this situation, the concern is that others with you may not realize that your blood sugar is low and that you need help. But if you have diabetes, is it safe to drink alcohol, like a glass of champagne at a wedding or a beer while watching a football game? If you ask someone why they drink alcohol, they might tell you it helps them unwind and relax after a busy day or week. They may also share that drinking boosts their mood or helps them feel less depressed or sad. And let’s not overlook the fact that alcohol is often consumed in social settings, such as parties and other celebrations. If you’re experiencing a blackout or brownout, you’re at higher risk for falling, injury and unwanted or unsafe sexual experiences.

diabetes and alcohol blackouts

diabetes and alcohol blackouts

Sometimes, people who can manage their diabetes with diet and exercise alone can come off their medications, which is a big relief on the liver. On a side note, if you’re struggling to control your drinking https://ecosoberhouse.com/article/how-to-cope-with-loneliness-during-addiction-recovery/ despite the damage it’s causing, you may have an alcohol use disorder. Our Palm Beach addiction center offers alcohol detox that can flush it out of your system and help you start fresh in recovery.

Alcohol’s Effects on Blood Sugar Levels of Diabetics

diabetes and alcohol blackouts


  • William Collins

    I'm a passionate gamer and expert gaming content writer with years of experience in the industry. I have been playing video games since I was a kid, and my love for gaming has only grown stronger over time. My expertise extends to a wide range of genres and platforms, from classic console games to the latest VR experiences. I'm always up-to-date on the latest industry news and trends and deeply understand what makes a great game.

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