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Drugs and Diabetes – The Big Connection

Saturday, November 5, 2022

America is one of the countries in the world where diabetes is rampant in most of the middle-aged to the aged population. While there may be numerous causes of this, drugs are among the most common triggers, especially in advanced individuals. People who use drugs at one point in life eventually suffer from diabetes. Unfortunately, they did not know of this consequence hence the need to educate the masses.

Diabetes Diagnosis

Diabetes is a chronic illness resulting from the pancreas' inability to produce sufficient insulin. Thus, blood sugar is not properly regulated, leading to serious consequences. The disease is either type 1 or Type 2. Type 1 diabetes is a genetic predisposition or an autoimmune reaction that is often the suspected cause. On the other hand, type 2 diabetes, the most common type, is triggered by lifestyle choices, including obesity, high blood pressure, and sometimes family history. 

Even so, drugs remain the common contributing factor to Type 2 Diabetes.

There are several types of diabetes, including Type 2, where most lifestyle choices trigger insulin resistance. Type 1 is caused by an autoimmune disease that attacks the pancreas and depletes insulin production. There is also gestational diabetes which happens when a woman is pregnant and often disappears when the baby is born. Prediabetes is when there is a potential for diabetes, but the sugars are not high enough for one to be diagnosed. Unfortunately, certain drugs may worsen pediatric conditions.

Risk F actors of Diabetes

Some drugs worsen or heighten the risk of Type 2 Diabetes. These include:

  • Corticosteroids

  • Beta-blockers

  • Atypical antipsychotics

  • Some immunosuppressants. 

Impact of Alcohol and Drug Abuse on Diabetes

Alcohol abuse is known to affect diabetes in the following ways:

  • It can trigger weight gain, which can, in turn, lead to insulin resistance and type 2 diabetes.

  • It can lower blood sugar levels (hypoglycemia), which can be dangerous for people with diabetes.

  • Has the potential to damage the liver, which is responsible for processing sugar in the body. This can lead to a blood sugar build-up, known as hyperglycemia.

Illegal Drugs That Could Cause Diabetes

Besides alcohol, other drugs that have the potential to cause diabetes include

  • Amphetamines

  • Cocaine

  • Methamphetamine

  • Steroids

  • Marijuana

Drugs generally cause diabetes when they affect the body's insulin production ability. This may lead to low blood sugar. This may lead to low blood sugar and causes the drug to induce hypoglycemia, which is when the blood sugar levels are dangerously low. It often happens when one consumes too much diabetes medication. Drugs that could trigger hypoglycemia include:

  • Insulin

  • Sulfonylureas

  • Alpha-glucosidase inhibitors

This condition is dangerous and needs to be treated as a medical emergency. Whenever it happens, patients exhibit symptoms such as

  • Feeling shaky

  • Sweating

  • Heart palpitations

  • Dizziness or lightheadedness

  • Hunger

  • Headache

  • Weakness or fatigue

Diabetes should be treated as a co-occurring disorder when dealing with substance abuse. The good news is that the addiction can be reversed and possibly help with diabetes. Getting help from reliable facilities such as Taylor Recovery is always advised.

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