For those with certain health conditions such as diabetes,alcohol can affect blood sugar levels and pose a big health risk. It is important for them to understand what alcohol is and how it affects blood sugar levels.
What Is Alcohol
Alcohol is made from the fermentation of yeast, sugars, and starches,fruits, vegetables, and additives and other by-products are added to the alcohol in order to produce different colors, strengths, tastes, and flavors.
It is a depressant and classed as a “sedative-hypnotic drug” because it depresses the central nervous system. Every organ in the body can be affected by alcohol. Once consumed, it is rapidly absorbed by the stomach and small intestine into the bloodstream.
For an average person, the liver can typically break down one standard drink of alcohol per hour. Excess alcohol moves throughout the body. The amount not broken down by the liver is removed by the lungs and kidneys in urine and sweat.
How Does It Affect The Body
How alcohol affects a person’s body ,depends on how much they consume. At low doses, alcohol can act as a stimulant. People may feel happy, or become in a mood for excessive talk.
Drinking too much alcohol can impair the body and lead to:
- Slurred speech
- Unsteady movements
- Slowed reaction time
- Shallow breathing
- Blurred vision
- Nausea and vomiting
- Memory loss and confusion
- Passing out
The way a person reacts to alcohol is also influenced by other factors, including:
- Physical condition
- Amount of food consumed before drinking
- How quickly the alcohol is consumed
- How often the person’s drinks
- Use of drugs or prescription medicines
- Family history of alcohol problems
Blood Sugar Levels By Consuming Alcohol
Alcohol consumption can interfere with blood sugar as well as the hormones needed to maintain healthy blood sugar levels. Frequent heavy drinkers can wipe out their energy storage in a few hours.
Over time, excessive alcohol consumption can reduce the overall effectiveness of insulin. This results in high blood sugar levels. Many people with alcoholic liver disease also have either glucose intolerance or diabetes.
People with diabetes or other blood sugar problems must be careful when consuming alcohol.
Not Controlled Diabetes
Uncontrolled diabetes increases the risk of:
- Nerve damage
- Kidney damage
- Heart and blood vessel disease
- Foot damage
- Eye damage
- Skin conditions
People with diabetes have to be very careful when it comes to drinking alcohol. It is a good idea that they talk to their doctor so that they thoroughly understand the risks involved.
Alcohol consumption can lead to dangerously low blood sugar. This is because the liver has to work to remove the alcohol from the blood instead of managing blood sugar levels.
Symptoms of low blood sugar are similar to the symptoms of too much alcohol, including:
- Lack of coordination
- Blurry vision
Most people with diabetes can enjoy an occasional alcoholic drink. Each alcoholic drink takes around 1-1.5 hours to finish processing in the liver. The more alcohol consumed, the bigger the risk of low blood sugar.
Low blood sugar symptoms can suddenly appear, and can be dangerous if the drinker is not prepared. It is a good idea to eat carbohydrates before drinking alcohol to help keep blood sugar levels steady.
People with diabetes can carry glucose tabs in case of an emergency and should check their blood sugar levels regularly. They should also remember that some diabetes medicine may not work if too much alcohol is consumed.
Source: Medical News Today