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Bourbon And Diabetes

Diabetes And Alcohol: Do The Two Mix? (part 1)

Diabetes And Alcohol: Do The Two Mix? (part 1)

A nice glass of Chianti…a cold beer on a hot summer day…celebrating with a flute of champagne. There are so many ways that alcohol is integrated into both everyday life and special occasions. Granted, not everyone drinks alcohol, but many people do. And when it comes to the question, "Can I drink alcohol if I have diabetes?" the answer is about as clear as that for "Is a low-carb diet good for diabetes?" In other words, the answer really is, "It depends!" It’s important to mention right off the bat that there are certainly many reasons why people should not drink alcohol. Some may be related to diabetes and some may be related to other reasons. Therefore, it’s important to discuss this issue with your health-care provider if you have any doubts or concerns. And if you’re newly diagnosed with diabetes or starting on a new medicine, it’s worthwhile bringing up the topic if your provider doesn’t. While you’d be hard-pressed to find any health organization actually recommending that you drink alcohol, you might take some comfort in knowing that the American Diabetes Association, the American Heart Association, and even the American Cancer Society agree that drinking alcohol in moderation is certainly not off-limits to most people. But back to diabetes and alcohol. What’s the concern here? And why should some people with diabetes not drink alcohol? To answer these questions, it’s helpful to understand a little bit about how alcohol is processed in the body. The body treats alcohol as a drug, not as a food product. This means that, when you drink any type of alcoholic beverage, your liver kicks into high gear, preparing itself to “detoxify” the body of this “poison” (I’m using these words for dramatic effect). Essentially, the liver has to metabo Continue reading >>

Diabetes & Alcohol

Diabetes & Alcohol

Drinking alcohol can lead to serious low blood sugar reactions. Alcohol can also affect diabetic nerve damage, eye disease, and high blood triglycerides. You may wonder if drinking alcohol is safe for people with diabetes. If you drink alcohol, there are some things you need to know first about alcohol safety. Is it Safe to Drink Alcohol? Check with your doctor to make sure alcohol doesn’t interfere with your medications or complicate any of your medical conditions. Drinking alcohol can lead to serious low blood sugar reactions, especially if you take insulin or types of diabetes pills that stimulate the release of insulin from the pancreas. Alcohol can also affect other medical conditions you may have, like diabetic nerve damage, diabetic eye disease, and high blood triglycerides. Get guidelines for alcohol use from your medical provider. How Much Alcohol Can I Drink? If you choose to drink alcohol, drink in moderation. Limit your intake of alcohol to no more than one serving per day for women, and no more than two servings per day for men. One serving size of alcohol equals: 12 ounces of beer 5 ounces of wine 1½ ounces of distilled spirits (such as rum, whiskey, gin, etc.) Alcohol and Risk of Low Blood Sugar If you are managing your diabetes with diet and exercise alone, drinking alcohol can stil increase your risk of low blood sugars. And if you take insulin or types of diabetes pills that stimulate insulin production, drinking alcohol can lead to even more serious low blood sugar reactions. Normally, the liver releases glucose to maintain blood sugar levels. But when you drink alcohol, the liver is busy breaking the alcohol down, so it does a poor job of releasing glucose into the bloodstream. This can lead to a drop in blood sugar levels if you are drinking alco Continue reading >>

Effects Of Alcohol On Diabetes

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

Diabetes And Alcohol

Tweet There is no need for people with diabetes to give up alcohol simply because of their diabetes. Although alcohol does have an effect on blood sugar levels, with a few precautions and careful management, people with diabetes can also enjoy a drink. There are also alcohol substitutes for those who abstain. In fact, diabetes alcohol guidelines are the same as for the general population. Read about alcohol's effect on blood sugar What are the recommended alcohol guidelines for people with diabetes? The guidelines are two units for women and three units for men. However, it is worth being aware how many units a drink contains. In some cases, a glass of wine will constitute two units, and a pint of beer can even reach three units. How much alcohol do drinks usually contain? If you have diabetes and are wondering how much alcohol you should drink, it is worth reading the following list to see how much alcohol is contained in each type of drink. One unit (approximate measure): 1/2 pint of standard strength beer, lager or cider 1 pub shot/optic/measure (50ml) of sherry or vermouth 1 pub shot/optic/measure of spirit (25 ml), eg gin, vodka or whisky. So if I have diabetes I can drink as usual? Not quite. People with diabetes need to be extra careful with alcohol. Alcohol intake significantly increases the risk of hypoglycemia (low blood sugar levels). If your diabetes is already well under control, a moderate amount of alcohol may be fine either before, during or soon after a meal. Even if you have a drink, this may not influence short-term blood glucose levels. However, there are some precautions to be taken care of. What do I need to be careful of when it comes to diabetes and alcohol? Avoid drinking on an empty stomach, as this will quickly increase the amount of alcohol i Continue reading >>

Does Alcohol And Tobacco Use Increase The Risk Of Diabetes?

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 >>

A Bourbon A Day Helps Keep The Blood Sugars At Bay

A Bourbon A Day Helps Keep The Blood Sugars At Bay

If you follow this blog you know I have Type 2 Diabetes and I’ve reversed my diabetic symptoms through the adoption of a Paleo lifestyle but there has been a nagging question in my mind over the last few months about how much alcohol consumption relates to my blood sugar measurements. I normally consume a moderate amount of alcohol (one bourbon or a couple of beers) after dinner and have found, on the days when I do not drink alcohol, my following morning blood sugar measurements were higher than normal. There are plenty of medical studies that show moderate consumption of alcohol in the evening leads to lower blood sugar measurements in the morning (and throughout the day). The apparent chemical mechanism for this is the liver is so pre-occupied with metabolizing the alcohol that is ‘forgets’ to produce glucose and thereby drops our body’s blood sugar levels. The science seems sound but I’ve never designed a controlled experiment to prove the causal relationship between alcohol and lower morning blood sugar measurements. So I decided to put that theory to the test on my own body. Here was the design of my experiment – For 2 weeks I’d intentionally build in two blocks of consecutive days where I would consume no alcohol and compare my morning blood sugar measurements to the days I would consume alcohol. My exercise and diet routine was not varied during this 2 week time frame so the only variable was alcohol consumption. The graph below shows the results and note that I provided the morning blood sugar measurements for the week prior to this experiment to show that the data from days I drank alcohol were not outside the norm for what I normally measure in the morning. You can see that the mornings following a no-alcohol day have blood sugar measurements th Continue reading >>

Fitting Alcohol Into Your Meal Plan

Fitting Alcohol Into Your Meal Plan

The use of alcohol should be discussed with your physician and healthcare team. As a general guideline, for persons using insulin, two alcoholic beverages may be used in addition to their regular meal plan. No food should be omitted in exchange for an alcoholic drink. For persons who are not on insulin and are watching their weight, alcohol is best substituted for fat choices and in some cases extra bread/starch choices. Some alcoholic beverages contain higher amounts of sugar and carbohydrate — these include sweet wines, sweet vermouth and wine coolers. Use these sparingly as they may increase your blood glucose levels too much. Additional guidelines for the use of alcohol are printed below. Beverage Amount Calories Carbo- Equal to: hydrate (gms) ------------------------------------------------------------- Beer Regular beer 12 ounces 150 14 1 starch & 1-1/2 fats Light beer 12 ounces 100 6 2 fats Nonalcoholic beer 11 ounces 50 10 1 starch Distilled spirits 1.5 ounces 105 trace 2 fats 86 proof (gin, rum vodka, whiskey, scotch, bourbon) Wine red table or rose 4 ounces 85 1.0 2 fats dry white 4 ounces 80 .4 2 fats sweet wine 2 ounces 90 6.5 1/2 starch & 1-1/2 fats light wine 4 ounces 55 1.3 1 fat wine coolers 12 ounces 190 22.0 1-1/2 fruit & 3 fat champagne 4 ounces 100 3.6 2 fats sherry 2 ounces 75 1.5 1-1/2 fats sweet sherry/port 2 ounces 95 7.0 1/2 starch & 1-1/2 fats Vermouths dry 3 ounces 105 4.2 2 fats sweet 3 ounces 140 13.9 1 starch & 2 fats General Guidelines for the Use of Alcohol Alcoholic beverages are a common part of our social lives. Each adult must decide whether or not to use alcohol. When making this decision, you should understand what the potential effects of alcohol are on your health. Although alcohol has little effect on blood glucose control, it Continue reading >>

Alcohol And Diabetes: How Does It Affect Blood Sugar Levels?

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 >>

Diabetes And Alcohol

Diabetes And Alcohol

With your doctor's permission, you may enjoy alcohol in moderation. Moderation is defined as no more than one drink per day for women; no more than two drinks per day for men. Here are some guidelines for drinking alcohol for people with diabetes: Check with your doctor before drinking any alcoholic beverages. Discuss the safety and possible side effects of mixing alcohol and your medicines. Never drink on an empty stomach. Drink alcohol with food to avoid low blood sugar reactions. Do not drink alcohol before, during, or after exercise. Wear diabetes identification if drinking away from home in case of a low blood sugar reaction or any other emergency. Limit your alcohol consumption if you are overweight to help control calories. Avoid alcohol if you are pregnant or if you have any of the following: One drink equals 4 ounces of wine, 12 ounces of beer, or 1 ounce of distilled spirits. Pure Distilled Liquors (1 ounce) (Bourbon, Brandy, Gin, Rum, Scotch, Tequila, Vodka, Whiskey, etc.) 80 proof Calories: 65 Carbs: 0 90 proof Calories: 74 Carbs: 0 100 proof Calories: 83 Carbs: 0 Other drinks (4 ounces) Daiquiri Calories: 224 Carbs: 8 Manhattan Calories: 256 Carbs: 4 Martini Calories: 250 Carbs: 0 Red Wine Calories: 80 Carbs: 2 Tequila Sunrise Calories: 125 Carbs: 13 White Wine Calories: 80 Carbs: 1 Beer (12 ounces) Amstel® Light Calories: 95 Carbs: 5 Bud Light® Calories: 110 Carbs: 6.6 Coors Light® Calories: 102 Carbs: 5 Corona® Light Calories: 105 Carbs: 5 Guinness® Stout Calories: 125 Carbs: 9.9 Michelob® Ultra Calories: 95 Carbs: 2.6 Miller Lite® Calories: 96 Carbs: 3.2 Sam Adams Light® Calories: 124 Carbs: 9.7 Liqueurs (1 ounce) Amaretto Calories: 80 Carbs: 17 Baileys® Calories: 75 Carbs: 5.5 Kahlua® Calories: 120 Carbs: 17 Triple Sec Calories: 80 Carbs: 12.5 Continue reading >>

Drinking Alcohol Safely With Diabetes

Drinking Alcohol Safely With Diabetes

Alcohol. Yep, some people with diabetes drink it. I do, on occasion. Some argue that drinking alcohol with diabetes isn’t the healthiest choice, but I could say the same thing about diet soda. Whatever your stance on it is, it is something that should be handled with care, especially when you are dealing with diabetes. As anyone with diabetes (or someone who loves a PWD) knows, it is a balancing act. Between food, exercise, hormones and the like, we are constantly chasing that elusive 100 mg/dl on the meter. Alcohol can really throw your blood sugars into a tailspin. Let’s not even start on carbohydrates in your drink. Your liver and its functions are a very big player in how you manage diabetes while drinking. Instead of helping to regulate your blood sugar, your liver is busy metabolizing the alcohol, which can result in some scary lows. Be prepared with glucose tabs and make sure to check regularly if you are having a drink. What to Drink? I like to stick to drinks that don’t have carbohydrates in them: a good red wine, vodka and club soda or Fresca, or an occasional martini are predictable for me. Plus, I don’t have to take any insulin with them which makes it easier. If I am having a beer or something fruity like rum punch, I make sure to limit how much I am having. I once had an endocrinologist tell me that after every 3 drinks make your fourth one with carbs. I don’t know how good that advice was, I don’t follow it… But I do stick to what I know, I test very often, and I make sure to eat something while I am drinking. Bedtime Cautions Yes, you should be cautious before bed even when not drinking but you need to be even more on track of what your blood sugar is when you are. I cannot stress enough to test right before bed (and before you brush your t Continue reading >>

Slideshow: Diabetes-friendly Drinks And Cocktails

Slideshow: Diabetes-friendly Drinks And Cocktails

Drink in Moderation Most people with diabetes can enjoy some alcohol. Rules are the same as for everyone else: one drink per day for women; two for men. But you need to know how alcohol affects your blood sugar. A sugary drink might spike your blood sugar. But if you drink on an empty stomach or take certain meds, your levels could swing too low. A 12-ounce beer has about 15 grams of carbohydrates, compared to 3 to 6 grams in light beer. Also, “light” and “low carb” are pretty much the same thing -- and also your best bet. Be careful with craft beers. Most have twice the alcohol and calories as regular beer. Some research says wine (red or white) may help your body use insulin better and may even make you less likely to get type 2 diabetes in the first place. It may also have heart benefits, to boot! Moderation is the key as too much alcohol can cause hypoglycemia. A standard 5-ounce serving has about 120 calories, nearly all of which come from alcohol, not carbs. Recipes vary, but depending on the fruit and juices involved, this drink may have as much sugar as a regular soda. Instead of sangria, go with one glass of dry red or white wine. Those only have about 4 grams of carbs. Avoid sweeter varieties, like flavored wines and dessert wines. One ounce of liquor, depending on the proof, has about the same amount of alcohol as 5 ounces of wine. While liquor is often carb-free, mixers like soda and juice can send blood sugar levels through the roof. To prevent a spike, mix your liquor with a calorie-free drink like water or seltzer. Sweet drinks like margaritas and mojitos don’t have to be off-limits. Use sugar-free mixers for margaritas and fresh fruit for daiquiris. And instead of pouring simple syrup into mojitos and martinis, try a natural sweetener like stev Continue reading >>

Alcohol And Type 2 Diabetes: What You Need To Know

Alcohol And Type 2 Diabetes: What You Need To Know

Many people with type 2 diabetes think they need to eliminate alcohol completely from their diet. But, in moderation, alcohol may actually have some health benefits. For instance, moderate alcohol consumption may reduce the risk of developing diabetes in people who don’t have the condition, particularly women, according to a data analysis published in the September 2015 issue of Diabetes Care. And in people who have type 2 diabetes that is well-controlled, a glass of red wine a day as part of a healthy diet may help improve heart disease risk factors, according to results of a two-year study published in Annals of Internal Medicine in October 2015. However, you need to be thoughtful about including any type of alcohol, even red wine, in your type 2 diabetes management plan. “The most important thing is to make sure you aren’t drinking alcohol on an empty stomach,” says Liz Brouillard, RD, LDN, CDE, nutrition manager at the Boston Medical Center’s Center for Endocrinology, Nutrition, and Weight Management in Massachusetts. She recommends only drinking alcohol with a meal or snack that contains both carbohydrates and protein. That's because alcohol can lower your blood sugar, creating a risky situation for people with type 2 diabetes. Symptoms of low blood sugar — sleepiness, dizziness, and disorientation — can look like being intoxicated, she says, adding that people who use insulin or other medications that lower blood sugar are at greater risk for hypoglycemia. If signs of hypoglycemia are mistaken for drunkenness, you may not get the help and treatment you need. For added safety and security, tell someone you're with about your condition. The American Diabetes Association (ADA) recommends wearing a medical ID that lets people know you have diabetes. Be C Continue reading >>

And Diabetes

And Diabetes

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 >>

Type 2 Diabetes And Alcohol: Proceed With Caution

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 >>

Diabetics & Whiskey

Diabetics & Whiskey

Having diabetes means you must be vigilant about closely monitoring your diet, but if you find yourself at a bar with friends, don't throw caution to the wind. Although diabetics can safely consume spirits because they're low in calories, be careful about enjoying whiskey in a mixed drink. Many types of mixers are high in calories, but by switching your mixer for a diet version -- using diet ginger ale instead of regular ginger ale, for example -- you can safely avoid consuming too many calories. Video of the Day Diabetics should practice moderation when planning to consume an alcohol such as whiskey, according to the American Diabetes Association. Although whiskey doesn't contain any carbohydrates and the ADA reports that alcohol leads to minimal change in your blood glucose, the organization still recommends that diabetic women should consume only one alcoholic beverage per day. Men can consume two. One serving of whiskey is 1.5 ounces, which is a standard serving size. The ADA recommends only drinking alcohol when you're effectively managing your blood glucose and drinking a calorie-free beverage such as water at the same time. Avoid mixed drinks, as they often contain high-sugar, high-calorie mixers. Continue reading >>

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