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Diabetes

Alcohol and renal complications in IDDM

04/20/2009

Question:

Iam a male IDDM patient and a hypertensive, my age is 77 years, my blood sugar is well controlled by insulin shots that I take, but my recent tests reveal bl urea 68mg% and s creatinine 1.8 .Iam also a regular alcohol drinker, 2-3 large pegs of whisky every night, what I want to know is, with these tests, should I completely stop alcohol, as it may damage the kidneys even more, or can I continue with alcohol, maybe in reduced qty.Do I need to take some medications for my kidneys?

Answer:

An excessive alcohol intake can't be good for your diabetes.  The best things to do for your kidneys is the best diabetes and blood pressure control possible - some of the blood pressure medications are considered to have a kidney protective effect. Whether some amount of alcohol is okay depends on the state of functions most susceptible to alcohol, notably liver, brain and a number of other nerves.  Impotence is one of the major consequences of the combination of inadequately controlled diabetes with undue alcohol use.

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Response by:

Robert M Cohen, MD Robert M Cohen, MD
Professor of Clinical Medicine
College of Medicine
University of Cincinnati