It is common knowledge that indulging in alcohol consumption after being diagnosed with diabetes is risky. On its own, booze can create a myriad of health problems. And over excessive drinking with a pre-existing condition can make things much worse. Now however, newer data has been released urging diabetics to steer clear of wine and spirits if they want to lose weight.
Researchers from the University of Pennsylvania discovered that diabetics who regularly drink alcohol have a much stronger penchant for becoming heavy and thus, are more likely to experience a premature death. Their study followed 4,901 overweight people diagnosed with diabetes over four years. Those who drank saw an increase in their size (and a decline in their health) over that period.
Lead researcher Ariana M. Chao spoke with The Atlanta Journal Constitution about the results, urging overweight diabetics to avoid frequent encounters with alcohol.
“This study indicates that alcohol consumption is associated with worse long-term weight loss in participants with overweight or obesity and Type 2 diabetes,” Chao explained.“Patients with Type 2 diabetes who are trying to lose weight should be encouraged to limit alcohol consumption.”
It is worth noting that alcohol can create many other complications for people suffering from diabetes. For one, it can hinder the effectiveness of medications. Booze has been proven to impact blood glucose levels. Many diabetic pill prescriptions (such as sulfonylureas or meglitinides) work to lower those levels and can be counteracted by too much beer or wine. The worse case scenario could actually be hypoglycemia or insulin shock, which is why it is never recommended to mix these two substances.
Hypoglycemia (which, in some cases, can be deadly) also demonstrates itself in many of the same ways as drunkenness. Symptoms can include dizziness, disorientation or the need to sleep. A scary scenario here could be you mistaking too much alcohol for an actual medical emergency. Friends too may have a hard time distinguishing between the two.
The other stern warning concerns diabetics drinking on an empty stomach. Doctors have warned against this in the past, as it can create serious complications. The site Everyday Health emphasized this particular point, quoting noted physician, Dr. Robert Ruxin.
“Alcohol slows down your liver’s ability to produce sugar during the fasting state or overnight, which is when our sugar levels drop to the lowest [level].” Ruxin explained. “If you drink alcohol before you’ve eaten, your blood glucose level will start dropping, and that’s a problem. The liver will be unable to release the necessary glucose into the bloodstream to correct it because it has to focus on clearing out the alcohol first.”
All important points to think about if you or someone close to you has been diagnosed with diabetes.