Count your blessings and be grateful for your liver. That’s right, your liver shoulders many important jobs and is the workhorse of your detox system. This football sized organ sits in the right upper aspect of the abdomen. Although the liver is a rock star organ it has its limits too.
What is the livers role in diabetes management?
The liver serves as a manufacturing and storage facility for glucose. With diabetes this slick process experiences a few hiccups. Glucagon which is normally produced by the pancreas may need to be given by injection to raise blood sugars. Glucagon converts the livers stored glycogen to available glucose increasing blood sugars.
See She Sugar’s article “Glucagon 101″ to learn more about using glucagon in a diabetic emergency.
When the liver is busily at work processing the increasing levels of alcohol out of the body its performance is limited with other duties. The liver is very important with all types of diabetes, serving as a regulator of the body’s blood sugar. Paralyzed from the influx of alcohol the liver takes on another job of removing toxins from the bloodstream. Blood sugar regulation unfortunately takes the back seat.
If you take insulin or medications by mouth for diabetes that are processed by your liver, alcohol may cause a dangerous situation for you. With the liver busily at work, low blood sugar may occur. Be sure to talk to your pharmacist, diabetes educator and physician about your medications and any potential risks that may occur with drinking.
For tips on keeping it safe with imbibing read She Sugar’s article “Diabetes and Alcohol a Safer Happy Hour”