Diabetes is a growing medical problem. Heavy alcohol use can contribute to the start of diabetes, and even low-risk drinking (defined as one standard drink - 5 oz. of wine, 12 oz. of beer, 1.5 oz. of liquor per day for women and two for men) can worsen the disease. Studies by the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism have found that:

  • Excessive alcohol consumption can lead to damage of the pancreas (the organ that makes insulin), and, with repeated drinking, often leads to diabetes.
  • Alcohol interferes with hormone levels that control blood sugar which can cause or worsen diabetes.
  • Heavy drinking impairs fat metabolism and raises triglyceride levels making diabetics more prone to heart disease and stroke.
  • 50-75 percent of heavy drinkers with liver disease are also pre-diabetic or diabetic.
  • Binge drinking may cause drastic drops in blood sugar levels while prolonged alcohol use can lead to increased blood sugar levels.

Help your body by watching how much you drink.

Download a pdf of our feature that ran in the Post & Courier

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Center for Drug & Alcohol Programs
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Charleston, SC
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