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Question:

From Seattle, Washington, USA:

From the various bits of knowledge I've pieced together (please correct me if I'm wrong) alcohol can disable the liver's ability to regulate sugars in the bloodstream leading to hypoglycemia. Hypothetically, if someone was a serious drinker and did not eat proper amounts of food to compensate the low blood sugars, could their body lose control of blood sugars, leading to diabetes? If this is true, would this lead to a particular type of diabetes?

I believe this may have been one of the contributing factors to how I developed diabetes. I was not a serious drinker but I did drink too much and never ate properly before hand. Near the end (before I was diagnosed and quit) I was constantly getting ill and throwing up / or having dry heaves.

I've never seen any articles/postings on the causes of diabetes (probably because not much is known.) I know it is the result of T-cells running rampant in the pancreas but I wonder what sets them loose. Could it be the result of some sort of toxin?

If you can provide me with any links I would really appreciate it; I am very eager to learn.

Answer:

About 25% of patients with cirrhosis of the liver will develop chronic pancreatitis which can end up causing diabetes and the malnutrition associated with alcoholism can have the same effect. These forms of diabetes are due to insulin deficiency rather than to insulin resistance and are thus more akin to Type 1A diabetes though the cause in this case is not due to an immunological disorder.

The literature on diabetes is huge and far beyond e-mail; but you might start with www.uchsc.edu/misc/diabetes/eisenbook.html for 'T cell diabetes' and by searching PubMed for all the other kinds: it should keep you busy a long time!

DOB

DTQ-19990625145313
Original posting 7 Sep 1999
Posted to Diagnosis and Symptoms

  
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Last Updated: Tuesday April 06, 2010 15:09:06
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