Diabetes is a common, life-long condition that occurs when the pancreas doesn’t produce enough insulin, or the insulin it does produce doesn’t work properly. Insulin is a hormone that transfers glucose from the bloodstream into the cells to be used for energy. If you have diabetes, your body cannot make proper use of this glucose so it builds up in the blood instead of moving into your cells. The chances of developing diabetes may depend on a mix of your genes and your lifestyle. Drinking to excess, for example, can contribute to individuals becoming diabetic. Diabetes is a manageable condition. But when it’s not well managed, it is associated with serious health complications including heart disease, stroke, blindness, kidney disease, nerve damage and amputations2. There are two main types of diabetes3 Type 1 diabetes develops if the body can’t produce enough insulin, because insulin-producing cells in the pancreas have been destroyed. It can happen: Because of genetic factors When a virus or infection triggers an autoimmune response (where the body starts attacking itself). People who have this type of diabetes are usually diagnosed before they’re 40 and there’s currently no way to prevent it. It’s the least common type of diabetes – only 10% of all cases are type 14. Type 2 diabetes. Develops when the body can still make some insulin, but not enough, or when the body becomes resistant to insulin. It can happen: When people are overweight and inactive. People who are an ‘apple-shape’ (with lots of fat around the abdomen) have a greater risk of developing type 2 diabetes Because of genetic factors. People who have this type of diabetes are usually diagnosed when they’re over 40, and it’s more common in men. However, more overweight children and Continue reading >>
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Does Beer Cause Diabetes?
There are two major types of diabetes: one is diabetes insipidus and other diabetes mellitus (I guess the one you are concerned with) Diabetes mellitus has multifactorial pathogenesis. This mainly includes hereditary factors(genetic), dietary factors(not directly, I will explain later), and environmental factors. Diabetes mellitus (DM) is seen when one or both of the following occur: either there is inappropriate insulin release or there is insulin resistance meaning that the target organ does not respond to insulin, even though it is secreted in appropriate quantity. When I say dietary factors are responsible for diabetes I do not mean direct causation. Eating high carbhohydrate diet, increased calorie intake etc. Will lead to obesity which causes insulin resistance (check metabolic syndrome x on the web). Thus dietary factors have indirect role in causation. Also there is a theory which says that with prolonged high carbhohydrate (not only glucose or sugary foods), high calorie, high fat diet intake the islet beta cells (the cells that secrete insulin) eventually burn out. So the answer to your question is yes and no. If your overall diet is healthy and beer intake is in moderation it 'may' not cause diabetes (may because there are other factors as well). Ethanol directly affects glucose metabolism and also has a direct toxic effect on the beta cells. So moderation is the key. Now if you are already diagnosed with diabetes it is better to avoid beer or any other alcohol all together. The reason being beer is purely carbhohydrate. High carbhohydrate = high blood glucose = aggravation of the condition plus it has a toxic effect on the beta cells as I said before and may lead to increased requirement of anti diabetic drugs. Alcohol intake also leads to weight gain and dy Continue reading >>
Does Alcohol And Tobacco Use Increase The Risk Of Diabetes?
Yes, alcohol and tobacco use may increase the risk of type 2 diabetes. Alcohol Although studies show that drinking moderate amounts of alcohol may actually lower the risk of diabetes, the opposite is true for people who drink greater amounts of alcohol. Moderate alcohol use is defined as one drink a day for women of all ages and men older than age 65, and up to two drinks a day for men age 65 and younger. Too much alcohol may cause chronic inflammation of the pancreas (pancreatitis), which can impair its ability to secrete insulin and potentially lead to diabetes. Tobacco Tobacco use can increase blood sugar levels and lead to insulin resistance. The more you smoke, the greater your risk of diabetes. People who smoke heavily — more than 20 cigarettes a day — have almost double the risk of developing diabetes compared with people who don’t smoke. Continue reading >>
Is Beer Off The Menu If You Have Diabetes?
Managing diabetes, while still enjoying your favourite food and drink, is a skill that I have the privilege of teaching to people of all walks of life. While my practice is located in Miramichi, New Brunswick, I am one of many registered dietitians in Canada who are Certified Diabetes Educators. A hot topic that clients often inquire about is whether or not it’s still okay for them to have alcohol/beer. So, what’s the answer? According to Diabetes Canada, “as a general rule, there is no need to avoid alcohol because you have diabetes.” However, this is not true for every person. It is essential you always consult your health care provider about alcohol and your health, particularly if you are living with diabetes. Are you a person living with diabetes who has asked a Diabetes Educator if it’s okay to consume alcohol? If so, you likely spent an entire appointment discussing the answer. Unfortunately, there have not been many user-friendly guides for Canadians to take home with them – until now. New Resource to Help Answer Your Questions For the past several months, I have worked with Beer Canada on the creation of a new resource which I am excited to share with you. Your Guide to Diabetes and Beer was developed as a collaboration between Diabetes Canada and Beer Canada. The guidelines around drinking alcohol, specifically beer, is probably one of the most common questions that I am asked right after “can I still eat bananas?” I think because everyone knows there are carbohydrates (sugar) in beer, it’s believed (albeit mistakenly) that people living with diabetes can’t follow Canada’s Low-Risk Alcohol Drinking Guidelines. And, let’s face it, it can be confusing sifting through all the information on the rabbit hole that is the Internet! Why is this 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 >>
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 >>
Drinking And Type 2 Diabetes
Popping a champagne bottle, clinking glasses for a toast, or sharing a beer with friends are time-honored rituals. If you have type 2 diabetes, does this mean those rituals can no longer be part of your life? Questions to Ask Before Imbibing You should ask yourself these three questions before you consider drinking alcohol: Is your diabetes under control? Do you have any other illnesses that could be made worse by drinking alcohol? Do you know how to manage your blood sugar if it dips too low or rises too high? If your diabetes is not under control; if you have other illnesses affecting your liver, heart, or nerves; or if you don’t know what to do if your blood sugar fluctuates too much, alcohol may cause some significant side effects. Finally, if you didn’t drink alcohol before you were diagnosed with diabetes, you probably shouldn’t start now. Regular drinking can also interfere with good diabetes self-care. A large study of nearly 66,000 patients with diabetes published in April 2013 in the journal Acta Diabetologica found that the more patients drank, the less likely they were to adhere to important self-care behaviors like getting enough exercise, not smoking, eating a healthy diet, and taking their diabetes medications. Your Physician’s Input Is Important Cynthia Herrick, MD, a Washington University endocrinologist with Barnes-Jewish Hospital in St. Louis, says people with type 2 diabetes should talk with their physician about how often — and how much — they drink. If you’re healthy and your doctor doesn’t see any reason why you can’t drink alcohol, as always, moderation is the key. Robert Ruxin, MD, an endocrinologist in Ridgefield, Connecticut, says moderation means a daily limit of "one alcoholic drink equivalent or less for women and two or l 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 >>
Beer And Diabetes
If you enjoy beer, your options are plentiful. When you have diabetes, however, there are concerns beyond which beer to choose. You may wonder whether drinking beer poses a health risk or might make your blood sugar more difficult to control. While there are potential blood sugar problems associated with drinking beer, many people with diabetes are able to safely drink in moderation -- meaning no more than 12 ounces of beer daily for women and no more than 24 ounces for men. Talk with your doctor to determine whether drinking beer is safe for you. Video of the Day Beer is made from cereal grains, making it a source of carbohydrates. A 12-ounce serving of regular beer typically contains 10 to 15 g of carbohydrates, and light beer contains about 5 g. As these carbohydrates are digested, your blood sugar may rise. The increase in blood sugar relates to the carbohydrate content of the beer, although other factors are involved. Long-term, excessive alcohol intake can cause high blood sugar by damaging your pancreas and its ability to make the blood-sugar-lowering hormone insulin. Falling Blood Sugar The carbohydrates in beer can cause an initial rise in your blood sugar, but the alcohol content can lead to low blood sugar 2 to 12 hours later. This occurs primarily because alcohol inhibits liver production of blood sugar, or glucose. When the supply of stored glucose is exhausted, your blood sugar may fall. This is most likely when glucose stores are low from exercise or not eating enough, and a large quantity of alcohol is consumed. You are more vulnerable to this effect if you take insulin or pills that stimulate insulin release. Low blood sugar is less likely if you eat food when drinking alcohol. Beer and other alcoholic beverages can have mixed effects on your health. A Continue reading >>
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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 >>
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 >>
The Beer And Blood Sugar Effect
Yes, I have type 1 diabetes and I can drink beer. In fact, I'm a craft beer lover who's pretty passionate about trying new brews and supporting my local beer makers (who invent awesomeness in a mug). The fact that I'm pancreatically-challenged changes nothing about that. Over the years, I've lost count of the times I've heard folks wonder whether PWDs (people with diabetes) are able to drink anything, particularly beer. And I've been amazed to meet medical professionals who take the lazy way out and just tell patients that any drop of alcohol is off-limits. This very directive came my way early in the year, from a general practitioner who clearly didn't make the cut when I was searching for a new family physician. Obviously, I'm not a doctor. But in my 16 years of legally drinking countless beers, I would like to think I've learned a thing or two -- particularly that YES, you can and should be able to enjoy beer with diabetes if you want to, of course doing so responsibly in the context of society and your health. Until this past summer, I never thought too deeply about the specifics of beer influencing my diabetes management. Sure, I knew it raises my blood sugar in the short-term, and can increase my hypo risk over the ensuing hours and next day. But that's about it. The general information available online isn't particularly helpful, either. Try searching for "beer and diabetes," or toss "blood sugar" into the Google mix, and you'll find boring, cautious bits of information that are certainly not practical. You might find general info that a light beer or "regular" 12-ounce beer has a certain number of carbs, but it's quickly followed by "don't drink more than X servings and to talk to your doctor." Of course, beer affects different people in different ways, so it's 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 >>
Beer And Diabetes: Do They Mix?
Summer is almost here and recently I’ve been to some gatherings where food was being grilled and beer was being served. I love beer. I wanted to have a beer. Or two. Or three. When I was first diagnosed with diabetes, although I gave up carbs easily, I didn’t give up beer. (What can I do? I’m half Irish). During the winter I don’t actively miss beer, but this time of year – the barbeques, picnics, weekends on the beach – they all scream ice cold beer. And my brains screams back beer and diabetes don’t mix. A few months ago, after completing a race, I went out for a drink with a few of the guys I ran with. Everyone ordered a beer, and I, after many months of not having any because I know that beer and diabetes do not mix well, decided to go with the flow. I ordered a pint of Stella. I figured my body would have an easier time dealing with it after the race, and I also decided ahead of time that I would only have one. I enjoyed my cold beer. I really enjoyed it. And although I only had one, it felt like enough. I felt rewarded for the good race I had run. Some occasions demand a beer, despite diabetes, and this was one of them. The truth is that there are many occasions that call for a beer. Call me a quintessential (diabetic) male, if you must, but there’s nothing like a cold beer on a hot day and watching a game, baseball, football, basketball or soccer. There also some meals I always associate with beer, like pizza, steak, burgers… But since being diagnosed with diabetes I’ve found drinking beer to be a challenge, one I don’t always feel like I win. On the day of the race I had my beer, bolused for it, and enjoyed having it, but when I started walking home (the bar was less than a mile from home) I got that feeling I get when my blood sugar goes i 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 >>