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New Member

Date Joined Jul 2006
Total Posts : 2
   Posted 7/24/2006 12:54 PM (GMT -7)   
 Hi, I do not know very much about diabetes, but, I have seen a few people have seizures, here's my question, my dad has just turned 50. Over about the last 6 months he has had 'episodes' where he will pass out, or black out and not remember anything. He is a smoker, and a drinker. The ER doctor's have all passed it off as alcohol, but, to my knowledge, no one has tested him for diabetes. It happens most often when he's been drinking.
Could this be diabetes?
Does alcohol cause something in the blood sugar to mess up?
Is there an easy, inexpensive way for him to test himself?
Has any one else experienced anything like this?
Thanks to all in advance for any answers you may have.

Regular Member

Date Joined Jun 2006
Total Posts : 21
   Posted 7/24/2006 1:30 PM (GMT -7)   
If he had a urine test, they use the sample to test for glucose being passed into the urine.

Do you know any diabetics that would have a meter?

Regular Member

Date Joined Jul 2006
Total Posts : 41
   Posted 7/24/2006 1:54 PM (GMT -7)   

I would think that the ER Dr tested his Blood sugar before he passed it off as being the alcohol.

Alcohol does lower the blood sugar. When first drunk it will raise the blood sugar and several hours later it will lower the blood sugar.

How much alcohol is your Dad drinking? It sounds like quite a bit to pass out and not remember anything.

But I would bet in his case it is the alcohol unless he is on insulin or another blood sugar lowering med.

So, if he is not on diabetes meds or other meds then it is the alcohol.

Make sure he is not taking other meds that could be interacting with the alcohol, like depresents, pain pills, sleeping pills etc...there are tons of drugs he could be taking that could do this. He may not be telling you what he is taking as a lot of people abuse other drugs with alcohol.

Also, age has nothing to do with abusing meds, alcohol etc... 50 is still a young age and there are lots of 50 and 60 year old people who abuse drugs and alcohol.


New Member

Date Joined Jul 2006
Total Posts : 2
   Posted 7/24/2006 3:51 PM (GMT -7)   
I don't know anyone with diabetes, or meters, or anything. I wonder if the hospital did urine analysis ? They are really quick to just say, "oh, well, it's the alcohol." But, I don't feel like it is. He doesnt' have insurance, so it's hard to find a doctor that will even take the time to find the root of the problem. When he passes out, it's not for an extended period of time, maybe 5-10 minutes, it's not like a drunk passing out for the evening, and most the time when he does this, he wakes up swinging... ready to fight. I just would like to know if diabetes is a possibility, at least then, we would have a place to start. And I truly don't believe he's mixing other drugs, he's an alcoholic, he has been all of his life. We all are, it's a blood-circulated disease in our family. We all have it, (in my family) some of us deal with it better than others. He is truly too scared to mix other drugs with it.

Regular Member

Date Joined Jan 2006
Total Posts : 101
   Posted 7/24/2006 5:30 PM (GMT -7)   

Hi there,

               Alcohol abuse can predispose to the development of diabetes by itself and due to chronic pancreatitis and  heavy fibrosis and calcification of the pancreas.In such people,during alcohol binges recurrent and "prolonged" periods of unconsciousness are usually because of lack of Glucagon and alcohol per se preventing glucose release from the liver.

                But you mentioned that the episode lasts for only 5 minutes and he comes out on his own"fresh and ready to fight".This is not the usual scenario with alcohol abuse!YOU ALSO MENTIONED CIGARETTE SMOKING.I would rather think in the lines of cigarette smoking causing "transient loss of consiousness" in your dad.

                His chances of developing diabetes are extremely high and the chances of early complications like vision problems and nerve damage are high too!

Veteran Member

Date Joined Apr 2004
Total Posts : 6056
   Posted 7/25/2006 10:31 AM (GMT -7)   
I am going to state the obvious here and say if he's worried about it he should stop drinking. Then if it's alcohol related the problem will be resolved. Why are you quesioning the judgement of men and women who have trained for over 10 years to help people with their health problems and looking for answers elsewhere? Doctors don't just look at someone and 'decide' something... They take a medical history, blood work, lab tests and make an informed decision about the problem.

If you want to get to the 'root' of this problem start by asking your dad to eliminate some of the possible causes, namely alcohol and ciggarettes. If your dad doesn't want to do this then I suggest that you enter one of the support groups for family of alcoholics and get on with your life. You can't do this for him. If he's not concerned enough to try to help himself why do you think anything you do will work? Besides, if it is diabetes he will have to give up alcohol anyway.

I have family who are alcoholics so I speak from experience. This isn't something you can fix for them. You can avoid alcohol yourself and not be around him when he is drinking. Alcohol abuse kills brain cells. He may be doing damage that all the pills in the world won't fix. Good luck with this. I wish there were an easy answer.
~ Jeannie

"People are like stained glass windows: They sparkle and shine when the sun's out, but when the darkness sets in, their true beauty is revealed only if there is light within."

- Elizabeth Kubler-Ross

Veteran Member

Date Joined Jul 2006
Total Posts : 1123
   Posted 7/25/2006 4:12 PM (GMT -7)   
Hi, Cody,
Let me add my AMEN to what Jeannie says.  I know you love your Dad and are concerned about him ... however ... he is the only one who can make his life and health better.  If he isn't interested in making improvements, you have to leave well enough alone. 
So hard, I know, to sit on your hands with your mouth shut while someone you care about slowly kills themselves. 
The only other option would be to admit him to an impatient facility where he could dry out and hopefully begin attending to his own medical issues. 
Put your energy into your own life.  Good Luck!
:-)   Martha

Veteran Member

Date Joined Oct 2005
Total Posts : 534
   Posted 7/26/2006 6:38 AM (GMT -7)   

Coulda, Shoulda, Woulda!  You shouldn't be looking to a diabetes forum for answers for why your dad is passing out!  You should be asking questions to your family physician or better yet pestering your dad to get some sort of medical help. 

Unfortunately, there's not a lot we can do for you.

scool Warren
It's not that some people have willpower and some don't. It's that some people are ready to change and others are not. - James Gordon, M.D.
What some call health, if purchased by perpetual anxiety about diet, isn't much better than tedious disease. - George Dennison Prentice

I can only please one person per day, today is not your day...tomorrow doesn't look good either.

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