How Alcoholism Can Lead to Diabetes

Learn how alcoholism can lead to diabetes in this Howcast video featuring addictions specialist Paul J. Rinaldi, Ph.D.

Transcript

The question that has been asked of me is if alcoholism can lead to diabetes. And if so, how? The answer is chronic alcohol use can lead to diabetes.

The way it leads to diabetes is that chronic alcohol use can cause inflammation of the pancreas, and chronic inflammation of the pancreas can affect the production of insulin in the body. And that's what causes diabetes. So that is why alcohol can be an actual primary determinate of diabetes.

The other way that heavy alcohol use can lead to diabetes or exacerbate diabetes is that alcohol has a high content of sugar. So if one is already diabetic, alcohol is really not indicated because of its sugar content. So, again, alcohol can actually be a primary cause of diabetes by chronically inflaming the pancreas, or it can actually make diabetes worse and interfere with the diabetes treatment because of the high sugar content in alcohol.

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