Welcome to M.V Hospital for Diabetes, established by late Prof. M.Viswanathan, Doyen of Diabetology in India in 1954 as a general hospital. In 1971 it became a hospital exclusively for Diabetes care. It has, at present,100 beds for the treatment of diabetes and its complications.

Friday, February 15, 2013

Why People with Diabetes Must Avoid Alcohol

Manoj Mandela M
Research Associate,
Department of Kidney Research.

Blood glucose is used for growth and energy. Blood glucose is made from -

* the foods that we eat,  
* the breakdown of the glucose stored in our muscles (glycogen),
* other nutrients in the body.

The primary hormones involved in maintaining a healthy blood glucose level are insulin and glucagon.

Under normal conditions when blood glucose levels begin to drop, the body can respond by making more blood glucose or by burning up stored sugar, and when blood glucose level begins to rise, additional insulin is secreted to bring the levels back to a healthy range.

The body treats alcohol as a poison and makes every effort to excrete it. It adversely affects the normal process of maintaining healthy blood glucose levels. Studies have shown that alcohol interferes with all three sources of glucose and the hormones needed to maintain healthy blood glucose levels.

The greatest impact is seen in those who drink heavily very regularly. Heavy drinkers exhaust their glycogen stores within a few hours when their diet does not provide a sufficient amount of carbohydrates. Excessive alcohol consumption over a period of time can decrease the effectiveness of insulin, resulting in high blood sugar levels. One study showed that 45% to 70% of people with alcoholic liver disease had either glucose intolerance or diabetes.

Alcohol can also negatively impact blood sugar levels each time that it is consumed, regardless of the frequency of consumption.

Research shows that high consumption increases insulin secretion and results in low blood glucose (hypoglycemia), and can also impair the hormonal response that would normally correct the low blood sugar.

Drinking as little as 2 ounces of alcohol on an empty stomach can lead to very low blood sugar levels.

This makes alcohol an even bigger problem for anyone with diabetes. Along with the effecton blood glucose studies also show that alcohol can negatively influencethe effectiveness of the hypoglycemic medications, so people with diabetes need to be extremely careful when consuming alcohol .

There is also an increased risk of problems when combining exercise and alcohol.

Many people go out for a drink after playing a sport (for example, hockey, soccer, tennis) or consume some alcoholic beverages while playing. Blood glucose levels naturally drop during exercise, and the body is working hard to replace glycogen stores after the game. So consuming alcohol during this time will halt this process and can cause blood sugar levels to stay at an unhealthy level.

Alcohol can bring abouthavoc on a system that is in place for your health and well- being. Excessively low or high blood sugar levels have long-term consequences.

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