How can alcohol affect my type 2 diabetes?
Consuming alcohol at a high consumption rate for a long period of time can significantly increase the risk of developing type 2 diabetes. Binge drinking has also been shown to increase the risk as well. Here are some other affects that alcohol can have on type 2 diabetes:
Heavy alcohol consumption can cause damage to the pancreas and can stop it from producing insulin. Pancreatitis is a condition when the pancreas becomes inflamed and if it is chronic, the inflammation can lead to the development of type 2 diabetes. Around 50% of people with chronic pancreatitis will go on to develop type 2 diabetes.
Alcohol can lead to weight gain due to the number of empty calories it contains. This weight will more than likely sit around your abdomen and your vital organs which is a risk factor for type 2 diabetes.
Stress and Anxiety:
People may think that drinking reduces their stress and will reach for a glass of wine in the evening after a stressful day at work. Drinking alcohol makes stress worse. Stress alone does not cause type 2 diabetes, but there is some evidence that shows there may be a link between stress and the risk of type 2 diabetes.
Blood glucose levels:
Alcohol consumption can be high in sugars and carbohydrates which can raise the blood glucose levels in the body. It is not just the blood glucose that it can have a negative effect on. Other processes can be interrupted when we drink alcohol, including the production of insulin and the hormones that are needed to regulate this. In heavy drinkers especially, there is a decline in the effectiveness of insulin in the body which can lead to an increased risk in developing type 2 diabetes and the complications attached to this.
We should be consuming no more than 14 units of alcohol per week with at least 2 days a week being alcohol free. If you feel you are struggling with your alcohol consumption, please speak to your GP.
Diabetes UK (No date) Alcohol and diabetes. Available at: https://www.diabetes.org.uk/guide-to- diabetes/enjoy-food/what-to-drink-with-diabetes/alcohol-and-diabetes (Accessed on 6 April 2023).
Diabetes.co.uk (2023) Pancreatitis and diabetes. Available at:
https://www.diabetes.co.uk/conditions/pancreatitis.html (Accessed on 6 April 2023).
Diabetes UK (No date) Stress and diabetes. Available at: https://www.diabetes.org.uk/guide-to- diabetes/emotions/stress (Accessed on 6 April 2023).