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Featured Article: Drug and Alcohol Use and Diabetes

Discussion in 'General Substance Abuse Discussion' started by Joseph, Feb 26, 2015.

  1. Joseph

    Joseph Community Organizer Community Listener

    Did you know that drug and alcohol abuse can be fatal for those with diabetes?

    Substance abuse is described as the excessive use of a substance such as alcohol or drugs that results in significant clinical impairments as well as the loss of ability to function academically, professionally, and socially. An individual who was healthy before the substance abuse began will typically begin to experience serious health problems over time, but extensive damage may be avoided or reversed if effective substance abuse treatment is received.

    This is not the case, however, for individuals who have been diagnosed with diabetes, and although this is a manageable disease with proper treatment, substance abuse may cause it to become life-threatening. This guide will discuss, in detail, how substance abuse can negatively impact the life and health of a person with diabetes.

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    Last edited: Feb 26, 2015
    ryanwil and endoftherainbow like this.
  2. missbishi

    missbishi Community Champion

    I can imagine that alcohol abuse could be fatal from someone who already has diabetes - the sugar content of alcohol is massive. I had no idea that other substances had such a bad effect though, thanks for sharing this with us.
    Joseph likes this.
  3. Matthodge1

    Matthodge1 Community Champion

    A good friend of mine had a father who was diabetic and an alcoholic/avid cigarette smoker. All of his bad choices and addictions mixed with his disease led to him having a foot removed. If he had known some of the things mentioned in this thread, I feel like he would have tried harder to quit his addictions.
    Joseph likes this.
  4. JoanMcWench

    JoanMcWench Community Champion

    It depends on which type of diabetes we're referring to. Alcohol is dangerous to Type I diabetics because of the tricky way it works in the body. Initially it will create a high blood sugar scenario that the diabetic tends to treat with insulin but with time the alcohol turn itself into insulin thus creating a hypoglycemic situation for the diabetic. Even if the diabetic doesn't compensate for the high blood sugar at the time the low that is inevitable may be more than they bargained for.
  5. Matthodge1

    Matthodge1 Community Champion

    I feel like many diabetics do not realize this, and that is why they have complications.
  6. missbishi

    missbishi Community Champion

    I think so too. We don't always take into account the nutritional content of what we drink and people are often surprised when they learn just how many calories they are consuming through liquids alone.
  7. xTinx

    xTinx Community Champion

    I had an inkling that it could be like that. Perhaps that's why a lot of people who have diabetes tend to limit their alcohol intake while those who don't end up hospitalized. I hope diabetics would proceed with caution before indulging in drugs or alcohol. They all need self-preservation.
  8. vegito12

    vegito12 Community Champion

    A person, with diabetes could have sugar raising or going lower depending on how their level is and also, could lead to dependence which would not be a good thing. So a person may get more sugar than intended and, could get more energy or body shaking if it over the limit for the body. So alcohol should be limited to maybe few times a week as the sugar, is too high and the person could be getting the sugar the body does not need which is bad for the person.
  9. Matthodge1

    Matthodge1 Community Champion

    I still would not even mess with a low-calorie beer if I were diabetic. I would just have to not drink all together.
  10. scootpony

    scootpony Active Contributor

    I have known quite a few diabetics in my life. You would be surprised how many know the risks and ignore them. Just the same as you would be surprised how many have lung cancer or emphysema and still smoke cigarettes. Some would just rather go blind than quit drinking. Which, I suppose, is the nature of addiction.
  11. BeachyKeen

    BeachyKeen Member

    Well that was a terrifying read. A close friend of mine is type 1 diabetic and has been struggling with heroin addiction for a while. He's clean now, but he did end up in the hospital a few times. Diabetes sucks, especially having it from a very young age, but it just means you have to be that much more careful about your health.
  12. serenity

    serenity Community Champion

    The article sets a limit of 1 drink a day for women and 2 drinks a day for men, which is harmful info for a diabetic person that has no self-control, because they can easily go over beyond the recommended alcohol dosage. I think if a person has diabetes, they should not touch that drink even with a ten-foot pole.
  13. wahmed

    wahmed Active Contributor

    Alcohol is yeast fermentation which needs sugar. So of course there will be diabetes issues. I just never realized drugs had such an adverse effect
  14. EditorsRHumansToo!

    EditorsRHumansToo! Community Champion

    I've read and been following Dr. Robert Lustig from his health and medical profession regarding sugar: "Sugar: The Bitter Truth". The cycle of alcohol-forming sugars or fructose-corn syrup substances in food and drinks do have a role in obesity and diabetes. These, I suppose, must be dealt with intelligently with persistence.

    I think, we do well with pouring into the "science" and 20+ years of medical research and findings of the medical profession who truly care. We can take full responsibility for our own bodies and health.
    Last edited: Apr 14, 2015
  15. Sparkster

    Sparkster Community Champion

    My father is diabetic and although he doesn't smoke and never has done, he has always been a regular consumer of alcohol and still is. He's not an alcoholic, however, and has never had a problem with addiction to anything. He does still drink regularly but nowhere near as much as he used to and nowhere near as often. I think these days he probably has a glass or two of wine two or three times a week but that's about it. He does give in to temptation to sweet foods sometimes too.
  16. Bonzer

    Bonzer Community Champion

    Substance abuse could be life threatening to diabetics. Alcohol contains lots of calories and a sudden spike in glucose levels in a chronic type-2 diabetic or a type-1 diabetic, could lead to diabetic ketoacidosis, a life-threatening situation. Also, vital body organs cannot withstand sudden surges in sugar levels. These alcoholic spikes, in the long run, can cause coronary artery disease, leading to a heart attack.
  17. gracer

    gracer Community Champion

    Diabetes alone has many complications since it affects all bodily functions. It can affect the blood pressure, kidneys, eyes and brain functions. It's pretty obvious how it affects the whole body because it is a disease of the blood. So imagine having an unstable blood sugar and you add a dose of alcohol into your system, the insulin production could get really altered. It can turn into a life and death situation if the blood sugar shoots down to its lowest level.
  18. wahmed

    wahmed Active Contributor

    I think alcohol can make the best of us unstable so for people with any type of illness it can be very bad. Nor to mention dangers if reaction with med
    gracer likes this.
  19. katherine25

    katherine25 Senior Contributor

    I would have never associated diabetes with drug and alcohol abuse. I would have never known this had I seen this article so thank you! I personally don't have a drug or alcohol abuse problem however my brother in law does and I think it is so important to know these things, it can lead to a life or death situation.
  20. 003

    003 Community Champion

    Yes, I know by intuition, but I didn't know the scientific basis until this. This really helps. Now I can convince my diabetic peers and relatives who are into so much drinking of it to stop drinking alcohol if they still want to live. I have this article to back it up.