Diabetes Type 2 Support Group

Type 2 Diabetes is a condition in which the body either does not produce enough insulin or does not make efficient use of it. Insulin is a hormone needed to convert food into glucose, a sugar that the body uses for energy. Without enough insulin, glucose can accumulate in the blood, and can cause serious health problems such as heart disease and strokes and organ damage such as eye and kidney damage.

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Speaking of Tequila

On the Agave thread, Tequila came up. So I wanted to post some relavent info on Drinking and Diabetes.

Obviously we all know that too much alcohol is not good for anyone. Again, moderation is key to life balance. But, in most cases, just because you are diabetic does NOT mean you are never allowed to drink again.

The American Diabetes Association
suggests that you ask yourself these basic questions before drinking:
Is my diabetes under control?
Does my health care provider agree that I am free from health problems that alcohol could make worse?
Do I know how alcohol can affect me and my diabetes?

If you can answer yes to all three questions, it is okay to have a drink now
and then.

Now some may say "But drinking alcohol raises my blood sugar and are too high in calories".

This is true when drinking sweetened mixed drinks, liquers, sweet wines or beer. So obviously one would consider these a very rare treat.

But, Distilled spirits such as brandy, gin, rum, tequila, vodka, whisky contain no carbohydrates, no fat's and no cholesterol of any kind.

To keep them low cal and low glucose these can be mixed with sugar-free mixers such as diet soda, diet tonic, club soda, seltzer or water.

Light beer can also be an occassional option.

Another interesting fact is that alcohol can cause low blood sugar. Normally, when no alcohol is in the blood, your liver helps to keep blood sugar from going too low by
slowly releasing glucose into your bloodstream. Alcohol prevents this
release of glucose because the liver is too busy breaking down the alcohol. To protect yourself, never drink on an empty stomach.

Glucagon shots will not help low blood sugar caused by drinking. You will need to treat your
low blood sugar with simple carbohydrate such as glucose tablets or gels.

Obviously then, it would be beneficial to check your glucose regularly after having a drink.

Now important to note is that anyone dealing with neuropathy, high triglycerides,eye disease or liver damage should NOT drink ANY alcohol.

Also, it is important to check with your doctor or pharmacist before drinking if you are taking other medications.



I dont drink anything at all... ever. I just dont like the taste and I dont like the things that can happen with alcohol. I never did drink much and am glad now that I dont like the taste because it actually makes my bs go up, not down.

Sock, are you aware that alcoholism is a disorder often inherited in families along with (true) clinical depression and diabetes? Some theorists believe that that triad is related to genetic damage to one particular area of a chromosome, altho I haven't heard that they've located the specific area yet. At any rate, in my family there is a strong history of all three illnesses inheriting together, with various members having 1, 2, or all 3 of the illnesses.

I've known a number of alcoholic diabetics, and I've always felt bad for them -- I can take meds for depression, but it's not that easy to deal with the alcoholism and once they finally become diabetics things get exponentially rougher.

As my old doctor used to say, it's not fair, but no one ever gets stuck with just one disorder.

That is so true, OrphanAnnie. My mother in law was diabetic, cancer and had to have one lung removed, smoked and drank like a fish. I am sure she had the chromosome too. She always said she wanted to quit and knew she shouldnt drink, but she was an alcoholic, and sadly was never able to do that. A wonderful woman. I still miss her :(

Annie, no I have not heard anything on chromosonal connections between the three. That would be interesting data indeed!

From what I am familiar with, alcoholism and depression are closely related in occurance due to environmental factors rather than genetic. A vicious cycle when one or the other is present fueling the other. In other words, a person suffering from pathological depression often will turn to alcohol or drugs in an effort to self medicate. Likewise a person addicted to drugs or alcohol will become depressed in response to stress and lower quality of life.

We also know that diabetes can be acquired in persons who are not necessarily predesposed to it. So it stands to reason that an alcoholic could damage their bodies on a cellular level that would lend itself to becoming diabetic.

But I would have to theorize that the presence of all three in an individual is atypical.

As for the average diabetic, moderate alcohol use is not dangerous.

First, I was told I was not to drink any alcohol...not even in moderation. My doctor told me that alcohol has sugar and all my other professionals agree.
Secondly, I believe that alcoholism is inherited, just as diabetes is. My mother in law had diabetes all the way through her family as well as alcoholics. I am the same, I have diabetes in my family. If this werent the case, why do they always ask you if you drink and if there are any diabetes in your family? Same as heart attacks... they always ask you about any in your family because it is genetic. Again, this is just MY opinion :)

Yes Goldi, alcoholism and diabetes can be genetic. But they can also be environmentally acquired.

Moreso is the fact that "genetic" alcoholism is more related to genetic depression than it is the need for alcohol itself. Alcoholism is most times a side effect of depression. In a family, it is genetic in the sense that the lifestyle creates a "norm" that is passed down generations. A good book to help see this ideology is called "Adult Children of Alcholics Syndrome". It explains in detail how alcoholism affects each generation that follows. Even if the children themselves never become alcoholics.

I think just about anything can be enviromentally aquired... tempers, actions, morals etc... you learn alot from your family and environment.
All I know is the alcoholics and diabetics that I know have families with the same thing.

Well as a (recovering) alcoholic who has clinically diagnosed depression AND a chronic illness (Lyme can be chronic), all I can say is...heck I dunno! I think anything is possible, from the all-genetic to the all-environmental. They could be all connected or not connected at all, it depends on the person.

Hubby and I were recently told in diabetes-school that alcohol, whatever form, would initially cause a spike followed by an eventual lowering. It didn't matter what type of booze: a 12 oz. beer, a glass of wine (forget how many oz.) or 1-1/2 oz. hard liquor. Alcohol is like a double-whammy for diabetics so better to do without. Like OrphanAnnie, I thought that was pretty cruel!

My husband drinks beer now and then and it affects his sugar but a couple of weekends ago he bought hard cider and WOW did that send it through the roof, without the low.But it was really sweet (yeah, I tried it - just a sip tho.)

I remember they said something about diabetes and depression but I couldn't remember what so I googled it and webMD had a good article. It said that 25% (!!!) of diabetics experience depression. I know my husband was pretty down when he found out and he's still unhappy. All he wants is to play darts once a week and drink beer and eat junk food with his friends, poor guy.

Another difficulty for diabetics that hadn't occurred to me until he brought it up is marijuana. It gives you the munchies, which is not a good thing if you're diabetic I'm sure. Not that anyone actually uses it ;-)

Also: diet soda as a mixer is depressing in its own right. And, vodka makes a crappy dip, it will not mix with sour cream :-)

lol FM! Vodka and Sour Creme? Yuck!

Good point about the marijuana and munchies.

I'm not a big drinker, never was. But I am a wine connoisseur. So I have had to limit my sweeter favorites to special occassions. Which is sad because I absolutely love Ice Wines. Although I do still have a dry red pretty much weekly. It doesn't affect my BG so far. The antioxidants and flavonoids are good for the stomach and heart! :)

You are absolutely right Forgottenmath... I also was told not to drink ANY alchohol, by all of my professionals, including the diabetic clinic. It is made of things that will spike your blood sugar. Moderate drinking is definetely not allowed, but I guess you would need to go to a diabetic clinic to get all the right information. So, you would have to be a diabetic. So, PLEASE, do not listen to Sockfuzz and drink moderately if you are diabetic. Check with your professionals first.
As for marijuana, I never thought of that, but I bet if someone had depression, they might smoke it, then eat, then get depressed, what a visious circle, that would be. BTW... I have had no depression. I think I should, but I just dont... anxiety, yes, but no depression, thank goodness :)



Doctors generally tell diabetics who NOT in good control to avoid all alcoholic beverages.

Healthy diabetics, who manage their disease well, are allowed moderate use.

Not true, once again, Socks... ALL of my professionals tell me there is too much sugar and carbs to be good for a diabetic, even in moderation... and what is moderation to one, is different to another. If you had ever had an endocronologist or a nurse from a diabetic or kidney function clinic, you would know. My blood sugar has been in control for quite a while, so no problem there, so why am I told I should not drink alcohol of any kind? Once again, you are giving your opinion, not knowing the full picture. Everyone is different and if someone should take your advice, without contacting their professionals, it could be disasterous.

All you diabetics who drink now and then, this is the only thing I'm lucky in - I never liked booze - only drank 1 a year so guess it wasn't hard for me to give up. Sorry guys !

Regarding the inheritance, the research on inherited depression/alcoholism/diabetes is old, not new -- I first read the reports in the '80s, and my own psychiatrist discussed it with me when he first took my family history. I do think that psychiatrists are more aware of it than medical doctors, tho. Also, there is some difference between transient depression and lifelong clinical depression (exhibiting first in childhood), as the latter is almost always genetic. With alcoholism, it's a question of semantics -- the ability to become physically addicted to alcohol (not psychologically addicted) has to do with the tendency in some individuals for the brain to develop new ethanol receptors, again shown to be genetic. As for type 2 diabetes sometimes being idiopathic, i hear that anecdotally but every doctor I've talked to has said no. So I should have clarified -- I'm not talking about occasional depression or problem drinking, but about pathological conditions.

Sorry for such a dry explanation, but I have had the depression all my life, and the co-morbidity thing comes up more in mental health settings. I doubt my endocrinologist knows or cares about that, frankly -- he just wants me to have an A1c with only one digit, LOL!
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