Enjoy Life With Diabetes

How Alcohol consumption & smoking affects Diabetes

Alcohol and cigarettes are harmful on its own and have a long list of illnesses and conditions related to it. To make matter worse; people with diabetes already have a greater risk of developing health problems like heart disease, stroke, kidney disease, nerve damage, foot problems, and many others.
Drink in moderation

Studies have found an association between light to moderate alcohol amounts and decreased risk of type 2 diabetes, coronary heart disease, and stroke in persons without diabetes. The greatest benefit of alcohol appears to fall within study quintiles that include people drinking 15–30 g/day of alcohol, which can be considered “light to moderate drinking.” Compared with no alcohol use, moderate consumption is associated with a 33% to 56% lower incidence of diabetes related coronary heart disease. Compared with moderate consumption, heavy consumption may be associated with up to a 43% increased incidence of diabetes

Heavy drinking causes accumulation of certain acids in blood that may lead to adverse effects in kidney and liver. Alcoholic liver disease is still among the leading causes of morbidity and mortality in the world. Fat accumulation in the liver is one of the first characteristics of the early phase of the Alcoholic liver disease.

Advice while consuming alcohol

  • Do not drink on an empty stomach or when your blood glucose is low.
  • Do not omit food from your regular meal plan and replace it with alcohol.
  • Alcohol can cause hypoglycemia shortly after drinking and for up to 24 hours after drinking


Smoking is one of the most important causes of mortality in the world and is one of the modifiable causes of premature death in people with type 2 diabetes. Smokers become insulin resistant in process of time by exerting a toxic effect on pancreatic tissues. Smoking increases the risk for diabetic nephropathy, retinopathy and neuropathy through inflammation and endothelial dysfunction.

The increased risk for macro vascular complications, coronary heart disease, stroke, and peripheral vascular disease is also more pronounced in type 2 diabetic patients. Smoking increases the free radical reactive species, inhibits oxidative mechanism leading to the rapid progression of the disease. Research studies have found about the dose response relationship between cigars smoked per day and the incidence of type 2 diabetes. In smokers who have stopped smoking, the progressions of the disease have diminished after a few years.

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