Diabetes And Alcohol
If you have diabetes, drinking alcohol may cause your blood sugar to either rise or fall. Plus, alcohol has a lot of calories. If you drink, do it occasionally and only when your diabetes and blood sugar level are well-controlled. If you are following a calorie-controlled meal plan, one drink of alcohol should be counted as two fat exchanges. It is a good idea to check with your doctor to see if drinking alcohol is safe for you. Here are some other ways that alcohol can affect diabetes: While moderate amounts of alcohol may cause blood sugar to rise, excess alcohol can actually decrease your blood sugar level -- sometimes causing it to drop into dangerous levels, especially for people with type 1 diabetes. Beer and sweet wine contain carbohydrates and may raise blood sugar. Alcohol stimulates your appetite, which can cause you to overeat and may affect your blood sugar control. Alcoholic drinks often have a lot of calories, making it more difficult to lose excess weight. Alcohol may also affect your judgment or willpower, causing you to make poor food choices. Alcohol can interfere with the positive effects of oral diabetes medicines or insulin. Alcohol may increase triglyceride levels. Alcohol may increase blood pressure. Alcohol can cause flushing, nausea, increased heart rate, and slurred speech. These may be confused with or mask the symptoms of low blood sugar. People with diabetes who drink should follow these alcohol consumption guidelines: Do not drink more than two drinks of alcohol in a one-day period if you are a man, or one drink if you are a woman. (Example: one alcoholic drink = 5-ounce glass of wine, 1 1/2-ounce "shot" of liquor or 12-ounce beer). Drink alcohol only with food. Drink slowly. Avoid "sugary" mixed drinks, sweet wines, or cordials. Mix liquor Continue reading >>
Drinking Alcohol & Blood Glucose Level
Blood glucose levels, also known as blood sugar levels, can be influenced by alcohol consumption. Interestingly enough, though, different amounts of alcohol can have opposite effects on blood sugar. While moderate amounts of alcohol can create a rise in blood sugar, excessive alcohol consumption can cause blood sugar levels to drop to dangerously low levels. These effects, however, are mostly associated with diabetics. Blood glucose can come from three sources: diet, stored glucose and glucose made by the body from other nutrients. The two key hormones that are necessary in regulating blood glucose levels are insulin and glucagon. When blood sugar drops, the body reacts by producing more, and when blood sugar rises, the body releases insulin to maintain balance. Alcohol can affect the amount of blood sugar and the amount of insulin in the body, particularly when drunk in high amounts. Alcohol Consumption When you consume an alcoholic drink, the alcohol moves directly into the bloodstream without being metabolized in the stomach. It only takes five minutes for alcohol to become detectable in the bloodstream, where it then travels to the liver to be metabolized. For most people it takes about two hours for the liver to metabolize a single drink. If you continue to drink alcohol faster than your liver can metabolize it, the excess alcohol is carried by the bloodstream to the brain and other areas of the body. For those taking insulin -- a hormone that regulates glucose in the blood -- this can lead to low blood sugar because the liver is busy removing alcohol from the bloodstream rather than regulating blood sugar levels. High Blood Sugar and Hypoglycemia In frequent drinkers, the body can become less sensitive to insulin, which can result in high blood sugar levels. Accor Continue reading >>
Diabetes And Beer: 4 Tips For Your Night Out
People with diabetes are accustomed to monitoring their food choices and portions. However, they often overlook some critical areas of their disease. One of these is alcohol consumption. The common way of thinking is that unless the individual is an alcoholic, drinking beer isn't going to have a negative impact on their disease. But is that really true about diabetes and beer? Can even one beer alter blood glucose levels? The short answer is yes. Alcohol can lower glucose levels, whether you have one beer or 10. This can be dangerous for individuals who are taking insulin, since combining insulin with beer can create a hypoglycemic episode. Social drinking can be even more dangerous because it's easier to lose sight of how much alcohol you are consuming until your blood sugar drops too low. Some may argue that only drinking a few beers isn't going to cause enough damage to warrant concern. In reality, anytime blood sugar levels get too high or too low, your body will be impacted. Nevertheless, you don't have to give up drinking entirely. Here are four tips on how to drink responsibly. 1. Eat while you drink Remember: alcohol remains in your system longer than glucose from food, so you should only consume beer with food. Drinking beer with a meal helps slow the rate of alcohol absorption and offers some protection against sugar spikes or dips. 2. Try a light beer, but be aware Light beer or brands that are low carb can help a little, but they don't entirely solve the problem. Beer is loaded with sugar, so remember that you need to treat it like a sugar-laden dessert. Check out this table of popular beers and their alcohol and carb content to help you plan ahead. 3. Know your meds Those who use insulin aren't the only ones who need to be aware of their beer consumption. T Continue reading >>
Diabetes And Alcohol
If you have diabetes, everything you eat and drink takes on extra importance. You have to ask yourself whether that bowl of pasta will boost your blood sugar, and naturally you wonder if you can get away with having a little dessert. You may also wonder if it's OK to drink alcohol. You probably won't find beer or wine on any official "diabetic menu," but if your diabetes is well-controlled, a drink with dinner is not likely to do you harm. As reported in the Annals of Internal Medicine, light drinking might actually help you control your blood sugar -- at least in the short term -- while possibly lowering your risk for heart disease. The key word is "moderate." While light drinking usually isn't dangerous, too much alcohol can make your disease harder to control and put your health at risk. If you don't drink now, it's best not to start. If you're already a drinker, knowing when to say "when" can be a crucial step toward managing your diabetes and staying well. The American Diabetes Association recommends a limit of two drinks per day for men, and one drink per day for women. But even if you stick to these modest levels, you'll need to use a little caution and common sense to make sure alcohol won't turn against you. If you have diabetes, drinking is certainly a good topic to discuss with your doctor. Immediate impact If you do drink socially, you're already aware of alcohol's impact. Within minutes of your first sip, alcohol can start making its presence felt all over the body. The heart beats a little faster, the skin feels a little warmer, and the brain gets a small buzz. People with diabetes should know about other, lesser-known effects of alcohol. For one thing, alcohol keeps the liver from releasing sugar (glucose) to the bloodstream. As reported in the Annals of Continue reading >>
10 Things To Remember About Alcohol And Blood Sugar
If you can keep your alcohol consumption to one drink or under, you're probably okay, since most studies don't show increased risks for a single glass. Skip mixed cocktails, since they tend to be loaded with sugar, calories, and carbs, and don't drink on an empty stomach because it can spike blood sugar. Role-play difficult situations. If you dread being asked about why you won't eat cake or drink alcohol, you feel like you can't ask the doctor the questions you want answered, or you have an overbearing family member you don't know how to confront, practice how you'll handle the situation next time with a close friend or a counselor playing the other part. This way you can fine-tune your approach before you have to use it. If you've enjoyed so much as a glass of wine or beer in the hours leading up to your bedtime, do a quick check of your glucose levels. If your blood sugar is low, have a small snack if you need one before crawling under the covers. Alcohol makes it difficult for your body to recover from low blood sugar; having a bite to eat will moderate its effects. Alcohol and vigorous sex both lower blood sugar, and combining the two could cause a dangerous low. Be sure to monitor your blood glucose if you're having 'a glass of wine and thou.' This is critical, and the instructions for you might be different than for somebody else, so pay careful attention, and take notes. Make sure you know if you should take your medication or insulin before or after meals, at night or in the morning, with or without food, etcetera. Do you need to avoid alcohol? Are there potential interactions with other drugs that you should know about? This information will be in the bag when you pick up your prescription, but the language can be hard to understand, so it doesn't hurt to ask Continue reading >>
Is There A Better Beer For Diabetes?
Is There a Better Beer for Diabetes? This article is by no means an endorsement for consuming alcohol. Every person with diabetes should check with his or her healthcare professional about the use of alcohol. In addition to the effects of alcohol on diabetes control, including pot entially causing hypoglycemia, there are possible interactions with other medications. “I like beer, it makes me a jolly good fellow,” goes an old Tommy T tune. Many people with diabetes agree. “Life’s too short not to drink it!” said one woman with type 1 diabetes. Although some will drink as they please and “suffer the health consequences,” most people with diabetes-if they drink-drink responsibly, according to their responses on the Insulin-Pumpers Web site. Is There a Better Beer for Diabetes? Low-Carb Beer-The Latest Lower-Carb Phenomenon We’re used to the low-calorie “light” beers that entered the marketplace over 25 years ago. They were lower in calories than mainstream beers, and they were also inadvertently lower in carbohydrates. latest group of “light” beers, however, is confusing to consumers. Light beer today can mean many things. It might be lighter in color, calories, carbs or body. Labels on alcoholic beverages are not required to provide nutritional information unless they make nutritional claims, such as being a low-carb product. Most U.S. breweries do not disclose alcohol content on their labels, which can be critical to those with diabetes. In Arkansas, Budweiser Light discloses its alcohol content on the bottle but not the can. In Colorado, Kansas, Oklahoma and Utah, beer can contain only 3.2 percent of alcohol by weight, while the rest of the country goes by 5 percent by volume. Interestingly, 3.2 percent alcohol by weigh equals about 4 percent alc Continue reading >>
Alcohol And Sugar
The fact that alcoholic drinks are full of empty calories and have no nutritional value is bad news for your waistline. But, what many people don’t consider is that they can also be full of sugar. A pint of cider can contain as many as five teaspoons of sugar – almost as much as the World Health Organisation recommends that you do not exceed per day1. What’s more, alcohol can negatively alter blood sugar levels, putting heavy drinkers at increased risk of developing alcohol-related diabetes. How sugar affects your body Too much sugar is bad for your heath in a number of ways. Firstly, it’s very high in calories, and excessive consumption can lead to unhealthy weight gain. Being overweight can make you more susceptible to long term health problems, including life threatening illnesses such as heart disease. A high-sugar diet can also lead to type 2 diabetes, which occurs when a person’s blood sugar levels are too high. Quite apart from the damage it can do to your body, sugar is also the main cause of tooth decay, which can lead to cavities if left untreated. Sugar in alcohol Alcoholic drinks account for 10% of 29 to 64 year olds in the UK’s daily intake of added sugar, and 6% for over 65s.2 Despite this, many people forget to factor in what they drink when calculating daily sugar intake. All alcoholic beverages contain some sugar, but Dr Sarah Jarvis, a member of Drinkaware’s medical panel, identifies fortified wines, sherries, liqueurs and cider as being particular causes of excessive consumption. It’s also important to consider what you’re mixing your drinks with, as the carbonated drinks popular with spirits are often very high in sugar. Alcohol and blood sugar However, it’s not only the high sugar content of alcohol that can affect your body – Continue reading >>
Effects Of Alcohol On Diabetes
Alcohol, which is made from fermented yeast, sugars, and starches is a very commonly used substance. In fact, 87.6% of adults aged 18 and over have consumed it at some point in their lifetime. It is also known as a depressant due to its capability to depress the central nervous system. About 71% have drank in the past year. When enjoyed in moderation, alcohol does not pose a risk, and actually has some health benefits to it. However, for those with diabetes, it can be a struggle to maintain a safe blood sugar while drinking. It is very easy to become hypoglycemic (low blood sugar) or hyperglycemic (high blood sugar), depending on which type of diabetes you have and the medications that you take. Understanding the effects drinking has on diabetes is very important. This article discusses the risks and benefits of drinking. It also explains what drinks are best for individuals with Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes. Can I drink if I have diabetes? You can most certainly drink alcohol with diabetes. The key, just like many other things, is to do so in moderation. Also, if your blood sugar is not under good control, you should not drink because it can cause it to become too high or too low. Your doctor should be aware of your drinking habits so that they can make sure that you are not experiencing any complications related to it. I recommend reading the following articles: How does alcohol affect diabetes and my blood sugar levels? Normally, the liver is the organ that stores and secretes glucose to the cells in the body to fuel them when you are not eating. The liver is also responsible for cleansing the body of toxins. The liver does not recognize alcohol as food. Instead, it sees it as a drug and a toxin. When alcohol is in the system, the liver changes gears and begins to deto Continue reading >>
Alcohol And Diabetes: How Does It Affect Blood Sugar Levels?
For many people, a glass of alcohol here and there does not pose a problem. However, for those with health conditions, such as diabetes, alcohol can affect blood sugar levels and pose a health risk. Understanding what you are consuming and how alcohol influences blood glucose levels is particularly important for people with diabetes. Alcohol can interfere with blood sugar levels. People with diabetes should sip drinks slowly and not drink on an empty stomach. Alcohol and the body Alcohol is a depressant; it is classed as a "sedative-hypnotic drug" because it depresses the central nervous system. Every organ in the body can be affected by alcohol. Once consumed, it is rapidly absorbed by the stomach and small intestine and enters the bloodstream. In an average person, the liver can breaks down roughly one standard drink of alcohol per hour. Excess alcohol moves throughout the body. The amount not broken down by the liver is removed by the lungs,kidneys, and skin in urine and sweat. How alcohol affects a person's body depends on how much they consume. At low doses, alcohol can act as a stimulant - people may feel happy, or become talkative. Drinking too much alcohol, however, can impair the body. Alcohol and blood sugar levels A person's overall health plays a big role in how they respond to alcohol. People with diabetes or other blood sugar problems must be careful when consuming alcohol. Alcohol consumption can interfere with blood sugar as well as the hormones needed to maintain healthy blood sugar levels. Frequent heavy drinkers can wipe out their energy storage in a few hours. Over time, excessive alcohol consumption can reduce the overall effectiveness of insulin. This results in high blood sugar levels. Many people with alcoholic liver disease also have either gluc Continue reading >>
Red Wine And Type 2 Diabetes: Is There A Link?
Adults with diabetes are up to two to four times as likely to have heart disease than people who don’t have diabetes, says the American Heart Association. Some evidence suggests that drinking moderate amounts of red wine could lessen the risk of heart disease, but other sources caution people with diabetes against drinking, period. So what’s the deal? A few words on diabetes More than 29 million people in the United States have diabetes. That’s nearly 1 in 10 people, according to figures from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Most cases of the disease are type 2 diabetes — a condition in which the body doesn’t make enough insulin, uses insulin incorrectly, or both. This can cause high levels of sugar in the blood. People with type 2 diabetes must control this sugar, or blood glucose, with a combination of medications, like insulin, and lifestyle changes, such as diet and exercise. Diet is key to diabetes management. Found in many foods such as breads, starches, fruits, and sweets, carbohydrate is the macronutrient that causes blood sugar levels to go up. Managing carbohydrate intake helps people manage their blood sugar. But contrary to popular belief, alcohol may actually cause blood sugar levels to go down instead of up. How red wine affects blood sugar According to the American Diabetes Association, drinking red wine — or any alcoholic beverage — can lower blood sugar for up to 24 hours. Because of this, they recommend checking your blood sugar before you drink, while you drink, and monitoring it for up to 24 hours after drinking. Intoxication and low blood sugar can share many of the same symptoms, so failing to check your blood glucose could cause others to assume you’re feeling the effects of an alcoholic beverage when in realit Continue reading >>
Diabetes, Alcohol, And Social Drinking
People with diabetes should be particularly cautious when it comes to drinking alcohol because alcohol can make some of the complications of diabetes worse. First of all, alcohol impacts the liver in doing its job of regulating blood sugar. Alcohol can also interact with some medications that are prescribed to people with diabetes. Even if you only rarely drink alcohol, talk with your healthcare provider about it so that he or she knows which medications are best for you. Here’s what you need to know: 1. Alcohol interacts with diabetes medications Alcohol can cause blood glucose levels to rise or fall, depending on how much you drink. Some diabetes pills (including sulfonylureas and meglitinides) also lower blood glucose levels by stimulating the pancreas to make more insulin. Combining the blood-sugar-lowering effects of the medication with alcohol can lead to hypoglycemia or “insulin shock,” which is a medical emergency. 2. Alcohol prevents your liver from doing its job The main function of your liver is to store glycogen, which is the stored form of glucose, so that you will have a source of glucose when you haven’t eaten. When you drink alcohol, your liver has to work to remove it from your blood instead of working to regulate blood sugar, or blood glucose. For this reason, you should never drink alcohol when your blood glucose is already low. 3. Never drink alcohol on an empty stomach Food slows down the rate at which alcohol is absorbed into the bloodstream. Be sure to eat a meal or snack containing carbohydrates if you are going to drink alcohol. 4. Always test blood sugar before having an alcoholic beverage Alcohol impairs your liver’s ability to produce glucose, so be sure to know your blood glucose number before you drink an alcoholic beverage. 5. Al Continue reading >>
Why Does Alcohol Lower Blood Sugar?
Many health benefits are associated with drinking a moderate amount of alcohol each day -- such as lowering blood pressure, improving insulin sensitivity and reducing risk of developing cancer and heart disease. However, excessive alcohol intake can have negative health effects, such as liver disease and cancer. Alcohol can lower your blood sugar and, if you are diabetic, may interact with your diabetes medication. Video of the Day Alcohol is absorbed through the gastrointestinal tract and metabolized through several pathways. The majority of alcohol metabolism takes place in the liver, which is also the primary location of glucose production. Because of this, alcohol intake can interfere with the liver’s production of glucose and may cause hypoglycemia – or low blood sugar. Alcohol intake can lower blood sugar immediately and up to 12 hours after ingestion. While this effect can occur both in diabetics and non-diabetics alike, diabetics should use additional caution when drinking alcohol, especially if taking glucose-lowering medications such as insulin. Alcohol and Blood Sugar Symptoms of hypoglycemia are similar to alcohol intoxication, which include dizziness and disorientation. If you have diabetes and decide to drink, it may be helpful to wear identification that states you have diabetes to ensure you receive the proper care. Avoid consuming alcohol on an empty stomach and if you do drink, eat a snack that contains carbohydrates either before or while you drink to help avoid hypoglycemia. According to the American Diabetes Association, check your blood sugar before and after you drink to make sure it is within a normal range of 100 to 140 mg/dL. Paying attention to the proper serving size of alcohol can help avoid excess consumption. One serving of alcohol is Continue reading >>
Beer And Health: Nine Questions Answered
In honor of International Beer Day, an unofficial holiday that was observed on August 1, I thought I’d take the opportunity this week to focus on this well-loved beverage. Beer has been around for a long time. Evidence of beer dates back about 5,000 years (those ancient Sumerians surely knew how to have a good time). Archeologists have unearthed vessels from about 3,400 BC lined with beer residue. And the ancient Egyptians enjoyed beer as part of their daily lives — even children drank this bubbly brew. What is beer? According to the website A Perfect Pint, beer is an alcoholic beverage usually made from malted cereal grain such as barley that is flavored with hops (female flowers of the hop plant that impart a bitter flavor) and brewed by fermentation with yeast. (The fermentation process is what creates the alcohol.) Some craft beers are made with grains such as rice, corn, or sorghum instead of barley. What are the different types of beer? There are two main types of beer: ales and lagers. The difference lies in the temperature at which the beer is fermented and the type of yeast used. Ales are generally fermented at warmer temperatures than lagers and involve top-fermenting yeasts that rise to the surface of the liquid (lagers are made by a bottom-fermenting yeast). Ales come in a number of varieties, including India pale ale (IPA), Irish red ale, Flanders red ale, and Dunkelweizen. Lager varieties include MÃ¤rzenbier, Munich Dunkel, and Doppelbock. How much alcohol is in beer? The alcohol content of beer typically ranges from roughly 2% to 12% but can vary considerably depending on the type. Most beers are, on average, about 5% alcohol. Alcohol content is based on volume. Light beer, by the way, is beer that contains less alcohol and/or fewer calories. What i Continue reading >>
Can A Shot Of Vodka Lower My Glucose?
Glucose, a substance obtained by eating carbohydrates such as cereal and pasta, is an important source of energy. Drinking alcohol can cause hypoglycemia, or dangerously low blood glucose levels resulting in dizziness, disorientation, and even coma. While a maximum of one alcoholic beverage per day is considered safe for most people, including individuals with blood glucose disorders, it's important talk to your doctor about the amount of alcohol that's safe for you, especially if you have diabetes or another health condition. Video of the Day Drinking alcohol can lower your blood sugar, particularly if you drink hard liquor such as vodka. When you have alcohol in your system, your body will process it before it breaks down carbohydrates or other nutrients. Thus, your liver does not release glucose, the end-product of carbohydrate metabolization, while it is busy removing alcohol. Liquor also causes the pancreas to sustain its release of insulin. Unlike beer and wine, distilled liquors such as vodka do not contain any carbohydrates and are thus more likely to cause a drop in blood sugar, especially if you drink it straight or on an empty stomach. Recommendations for People with Blood Glucose Disorders While alcohol consumption can cause hypoglycemia in otherwise healthy people, individuals with diabetes who take insulin or other blood glucose-lowering medications are especially at risk for developing hypoglycemia from drinking alcohol. While it's probably safe for most people with diabetes to have a single alcoholic drink -- the equivalent of a 1.5-oz shot of vodka or another distilled spirit -- per day, you should not exceed this amount. Your doctor may recommend testing your blood glucose levels and eating some food before drinking alcohol with diabetes. While a shot Continue reading >>
Type 2 Diabetes And Alcohol: Proceed With Caution
Alcohol can worsen diabetes-related nerve damage.(RON CHAPPLE STOCK/CORBIS)Hoping for a beer at the ball game, or a glass of wine with dinner? If you have type 2 diabetes, that's probably OK as long as your blood sugar is under control, you don't have any complications that are affected by alcohol (such as high blood pressure), and you know how the drink will affect your blood sugar, according to the American Diabetes Association. An alcohol-containing drink a day might even help your heart (though if you don't already drink, most experts say that's not a reason to start). In moderation, alcohol may cut heart disease risk According to a study by researchers at the Harvard School of Public Health, women with type 2 diabetes who drank relatively small amounts of alcohol had a lower heart-disease risk than those who abstained. A second study found that men with diabetes had the same reduction in heart risk with a moderate alcohol intake as non-diabetic men. In general, the recommendations for alcohol consumption for someone with type 2 diabetes are the same as anyone else: no more than two drinks per day for men and no more than one drink per day for women. (Make sure to measure: A drink serving is 12 ounces of beer, 5 ounces of wine, or 1.5 ounces of hard liquor such as scotch, gin, tequila, or vodka.) People with diabetes who choose to drink need to take extra care keeping food, medications, alcohol, and blood sugars in balance. Janis Roszler, RD, a certified diabetes educator in Miami, Fla., recommends: Mixing alcoholic drinks with water or calorie-free diet sodas instead of sugary (and calorie- and carbohydrate-laden) sodas and other mixers. Once you have had your drink, switch to a non-alcoholic drink, such as sparkling water, for the rest of the evening. Make sure yo Continue reading >>