Does continuous, long-term or heavy drinking cause diabetes? I've had pancreatis three times in the past all from alcohol abuse, and want to know if there is a connection between the two? I'm trying to figure out when I became diabetic. I was a long haul truck driver for 5 years and didn't exercise at all for that time and was a heavy drinker. I do neither now.

Dr. David Erani


First of all, it’s great that you are no longer a heavy drinker. Drinking too much alcohol can be harmful in many ways. Heavy drinking does not cause diabetes, but can cause chronic pancreatitis. Chronic pancreatitis can cause diabetes. If you have had three separate episodes of pancreatitis, it is not likely that this is related to your diabetes. Over 11% of the U.S. adult population has diabetes. For those aged 65 or older, the prevalence is nearly 27%. Being overweight or obese increases your risk of developing type 2 diabetes as does having a family history of diabetes. Regardless of what caused your diabetes, you can stay healthy by taking good care of your diabetes and other problems, such as high blood pressure and high cholesterol, if you have them.

February 14, 2013 at 10:18 pm