I know alcohol is never recommended in children under the legal age. But teens often have access to alcohol, so it is important for them to understand the effects on their blood sugar. This is particularly important when parents are preparing their children for college. I worked in a college town and many students end up in the ER with blood sugar problems.
So many people with prediabetes are in denial. This is especially true in teens. But that doesn’t mean they are exempt from the side effects of uncontrolled blood sugars. Parents need to take an active role in educating their young adults in the problems of alcohol before they head to college…..
Alcohol Can Adversely Effect The Body’s Ability To Regulate Energy
As you know, excess alcohol effects your liver functions. Your body’s energy regulation actually starts in the liver. That is the reason doctors use Metformin as the first medication with prediabetes. Improving the function of the liver by 20% will improve blood sugars by 80%.
Initially alcohol could raise your blood sugar (particularly with beer), but alcohol works in the liver to prevent stored sugars from being released. So it can actually cause low blood sugars during the night while you sleep. It is important to eat a snack of protein and carbs before going to sleep. It is even more important to not sleep in late in the morning (like most college student tend to do).
What You Should Do
Set an alarm, and if you can, check your blood sugar and eat breakfast! Then if you want to go back to bed, no problem. The main problem is that your blood sugar could go too low while you’re “sleeping it off”. That feeling of being hung-over may actually be low blood sugar.
Also, please feel free to email me if you have questions that aren’t answered here!
Low Blood Sugar Symptoms
The side effects from low blood sugar looks similar to drunkenness. This is a dangerous situation. Symptoms of low blood sugar without diabetes include:
- Shakiness or trembling
- Blurred vision or Dizziness
- Lack of energy or fatigue
- Poor Coordination
- Irritability, anxiety, agitation
- Nausea or vomiting
- Excess sweating or perspiration
- Problems concentrating, confusion
- Decreased consciousness or loss of consciousness
This is really important with kids that are going to college. They will drink alcohol. So educate them about it.
Any questions, send me a message at Julie@kidsatriskfordiabetes.com.