How Does Diabetes Cause Periodontal Disease?

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Diabetes And Your Smile

Did you know that 29.1 million people living in the United States have diabetes? That’s 9.3% of the population. Approximately 1.7 million new cases are diagnosed each year—and 8.1 million people living with diabetes don’t even know they have it. Diabetes affects your body’s ability to process sugar. All food you eat is turned to sugar and used for energy. In Type I diabetes, the body doesn’t make enough insulin, a hormone that carries sugar from your blood to the cells that need it for energy. In Type II diabetes, the body stops responding to insulin. Both cases result in high blood sugar levels, which can cause problems with your eyes, nerves, kidneys, heart and other parts of your body. So what does this have to do with that smile of yours — and how can you protect it? First, it’s important to understand the signs of diabetes and the roles they play in your mouth. The Symptoms of Untreated Diabetes The warning signs of diabetes affect every part of your body. After a blood test, you may be told by a doctor that you have high blood sugar. You may feel excessively thirsty or have to urinate a lot. Weight loss and fatigue are other common symptoms. Diabetes can also ca Continue reading >>

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Popular Questions

  1. projector

    Say I've had dinner and I'm at 7 (126). Let's pretend it's a perfect evening and my sugar will stay at 7 until I wake up the next morning.
    What will happen if I drink some alcohol?
    I'm confused because it seems to raise my blood sugar, but sometimes lower it later. Also different drinks seem to have different effects. Real ale and honey ales seem to raise sugar the most (that's probably unsurprising). I haven't read or observed enough to really understand what's going on, or if there are consistent, repeatable effects.
    Any observations welcome, but in the form of some practical questions:
    Does alcohol actually raise blood sugar? Or is something else going on?
    Can I carb count alcoholic drinks? Should I? How?
    Why have my diabetes educators repeatedly told me not to inject for alcoholic drinks?
    Do alcoholic drinks lower blood sugar? Why? How long does that take, i.e. how can I factor that in when thinking about my sugar levels and insulin?
    Also - is there anything else I should know?

  2. outdatedglobe

    This is what I understand of it:
    Part of the function of your liver is to release sugar into the bloodstream. This is true even in diabetics and is the reason you need insulin even if you don't eat anything. However, you liver cannot multi-task. So if it is processing alcohol, then it does not release that glucose. The issue for drinking while being diabetic is that your basal rates from your pump (or your long-lasting insulin) does not know that and still gives you insulin as if it were a "normal" night. This means a high risk of running low and, to make matters more dangerous, a glucagon pen would not work after a night of heavy drinking since a glucagon pen works by having the liver release all of that sugar at once. But, since your liver is processing alcohol, it would not respond to the glucagon pen.
    As far as alcohol raising blood sugars, no. Alcohol itself does not. But what you mix it with will as normal (if drinking soda, juice, etc) and beer does have carbs in it that would raise blood sugar. If I'm drinking a beer that has only like 6-8 carbs in it, then I will usually not give myself insulin as I've noticed that in the end it balances out. However, if I have a higher-carb beer or am drinking mixed drinks, I will absolutely give myself insulin for it. I try to just make sure I go to sleep with higher blood sugars (at least 200 or 250) to combat it going lower and make me feel a little bit less nervous about it.
    Hope that helps!

  3. projector

    Interesting. So when my blood sugar lowers, it's because there's insulin in my system anyway, but now my liver won't release glucose because it's busy processing the alcohol. And it can't multi-task.
    How long does it take to process alcohol - and when will it switch back to releasing sugar? Given an average adult male, is there a guide for how long it takes to process one unit of alcohol?

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