Alcoholism is one of the most serious health problems in the United States, affecting about 10 percent of the adult population. Alcoholism leads to a decreased life expectancy and a major increase in overall morbidity, or sickness. Some of those effects can be heart disease and hypoglycemia, which can lead onto full-blown Type 2 diabetes.
Alcohol is a chemical… why is it called that? Because when taken in excess it does major damage to your body… it even wrecks the liver which means the possibility of bleeding, even death.
When an alcoholic drinks, there is only so much their body can process. The leftover alcohol makes its way into the bloodstream, organs, and tissue. Since alcohol has a high sugar and caloric content without any particular nutritional value, this is bad news for the person who has been diagnosed as a Type 2 diabetic.
While diabetes, or out-of-control high blood sugar, attacks major organs including the brain, so does alcohol. Both have roughly the same devastating effect on many areas of the body:
- both end up in the bloodstream, and
- both carry many of the same residual medical complications.
Diabetes and alcoholism also carry another high probability: they both significantly shorten your life if they are not taken seriously and dealt with. If either of these conditions doesn’t trim your mortality they can easily extend into other conditions that will.
A major issue with alcoholism is these individuals will neglect their diet in favor of drinking. Alcohol takes root and becomes more important than planning out the proper meals. In fact, many will skip meals entirely. This is why malnutrition is often associated with alcoholism. Improper meal planning, or forgoing them altogether, is not good for anyone…especially anyone diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes.
Another issue with alcoholism is the negative effects it can have on medication: more specifically, diabetic medication. When diabetics take any type of medication for their condition… even insulin… they jeopardize the lowering of their blood sugar. Since alcohol lowers blood sugar levels, it can either alter the effects of the medication or eliminate them completely.
If you’re an alcoholic who suffers from diabetes, you have a severely compromised health profile. The consequences of alcoholism coupled with the consequence of Type 2 diabetes, which can include:
- atherosclerosis, or hardening of the arteries,
- diabetic neuropathy,
- diabetic retinopathy, and
- kidney disease,
It may not come as a surprise to hear doctors and dietitians recommend the same kind of diet for people diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes and alcoholics to help control both conditions.
- all simple sugars,
- fruit juice,
- dried fruit, and
- low fiber fruits
be eliminated from your diet, along with processed carbohydrates like white flour and white rice.
They also recommend you increase your consumption of:
- whole grains,
- beans, and
- other complex carbohydrates.
Regular exercise also does it’s part to burn fat, improve your metabolism and keep your body fit.
It has been shown a moderate amount, which is one or two glasses of wine a day, may reduce the risk of heart attack. If you do drink alcohol you must account for it in your diet because it contains calories (kilojoules).