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Diabetes

Diabetes/Alcohol

10/25/2010

Question:

I have not been diagnosed with Diabetes, but am familiar with it as my mother and both maternal grandparents have it. I don`t have insurance or a Doctor, which is why at 31 years old, I still don`t know if I`ve got it. My question relates hangovers after alcohol consumption. Sometimes I get lucky and get just a regular hangover, typically when I stay hydrated and fed. I know what they feel like, headahce, malaise, some vomiting, etc. Unfortunately most of my hangovers are always very intense, voilent shaking, quivering, cold/hot sweats, repeated and frequent vomiting, weakness, and inability to move are the most common symptoms. Also extreme loss of weight, after a recent 35-hour hangover I weighed 8 lbs less. In your expert opinion does it sound like I`m having hangovers that are `beyond` normal and perhaps an indication of some blood sugar problems? Thanks so much.

Answer:

I don't know that there is an objective standard against which to judge the severity of your reactions to alcohol.  Since you asked for my expert opinion, I would say that these sound like they are very severe reactions to alcohol and that many people might well choose to avoid alcohol as a result of these reactions.  I can't really determine whether this means that there is an underlying disease process.  If you have concerns about whether you may have diabetes, that should be considered as a separate question.  If cost is an issue, I would say that the cost of getting an answer whether you have diabetes is substantially less than the financial and health burden costs of leaving diabetes undiagnosed.

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Response by:

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