Can Diabetics Drink Alcohol?
If you have diabetes and are wondering if you can drink alcohol, you’ll be happy to know that many diabetics can — but only if they do so responsibly. Research indicates that drinking alcohol can actually reduce the risk for heart disease, among other health benefits. However, it’s important to consume only a moderate amount and to follow the same guidelines as someone who doesn’t have diabetes. Your doctor can give you more specific information on whether it’s safe for you to drink and how much you can drink. If your doctor determined that you can safely consume alcohol, it’s vital to always consider the potential risks. What Are the Risks of Drinking Alcohol as a Diabetic? Whether you have type 1 or type 2 diabetes, you’re likely already taking various precautions for your health, even without taking alcohol into account. With type 1 diabetes, the body doesn’t produce any insulin, while with type 2, the body is either resistant to insulin or has too little of it. Both types increase the risk for various health problems, which can worsen with alcohol. Also, if you struggle with alcohol misuse, it’s especially important to keep these potential risks in mind as a diabetic. Alcoholism and diabetes can be very dangerous when they co-exist. The following are some of the risks associated with drinking alcohol as a diabetic, according to the American Diabetes Association: •Alcohol can cause hypoglycemia (low blood sugar): Large amounts of alcohol can cause blood glucose levels to fall (moderate amounts may cause them to rise), resulting in hypoglycemia. This may last up to 24 hours after drinking, so always check your blood sugar level before and after drinking alcohol to make sure it’s where it should be. It’s also important to never drink on an empty Continue reading >>
Can You Drink Alcohol If You Take Insulin?
Can You Drink Alcohol If You Take Insulin? 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. However, if you have been diagnosed with diabetes or you take insulin or medication to control your blood sugar levels, it is usually not advisable. The reason drinking alcohol may be unsafe is if you have diabetes and you take medication to control your blood sugarinsulin shots or oral diabetes pillsyou can run the risk of low blood sugar levels when you drink alcohol. Why Alcohol Is More Dangerous for People With Diabetes When your blood sugar levels drop, your liver normally begins to produce glucose from stored carbohydrates to compensate. But drinking alcohol blocks the liver's ability to produce glucose. Because the liver treats alcohol like it is a toxin, it works to remove the alcohol from yourbody as soon as possible. Therefore, the liver does not produce glucose again until all of the alcohol has been metabolized and removed. Even if you are not on insulin, but take oral medications for diabetes, you should not drink alcohol to excess due to the chance of low glucose levels. According to the American Diabetes Association, most people with diabetes can have a moderate amount of alcohol. Moderate means one drink in a day for a woman andno more than two drinks in one day for a man. One drink meansone 12 oz beer, one 5 oz glass of wine, or one 1 oz of a distilled spirit, like vodka, whiskey, or gin. We know healthy eating is key to help manage diabetes, but that doesn't make it easy. Our free nutrition guide is here to help. Sign up and receive your free copy! Continue reading >>
Diabetes Medications And Alcohol Interactions
Diabetes Medications and Alcohol Interactions Written by L. Anderson, PharmD on Nov 7, 2017. Alcohol can affect blood sugar levels in patients with diabetes . Both low blood sugar (hypoglycemia) and high blood sugar (hyperglycemia) may occur, depending on how much and how often you drink. Combining alcohol with medications that also lower blood sugar can result in serious interactions due to an additive effect. It is important to know what to expect and recognize the symptoms of low blood sugar if you choose to drink. If your diabetes is not well controlled , you should avoid the use of alcohol. Drinking, due to the intoxicating effect, may lead to a lack of awareness of low blood sugar signals. Symptoms of excess alcohol consumption can also mimic the signs of low blood sugar, which might include: If you have type 1 diabetes or type 2 diabetes , have a frank discussion with your healthcare provider about drinking alcohol, and its impact on your health condition. If you drink, do so only in moderation. Moderate alcohol consumption generally does not affect blood glucose levels if your diabetes is under control. You should not have high triglycerides, neuropathy (nerve damage), or pancreatitis. Follow these guidelines for moderate alcohol consumption: One drink a day for women of all ages and men older than 65 Up to two drinks a day for men age 65 and younger One drink = 5 oz wine, 12 oz beer, or 1.5 oz distilled spirits Remember to include the carbohydrates from any alcohol you drink in your daily carbohydrate count, monitor your blood sugar before, during, and after drinking alcohol, and check your blood sugar levels before going to bed. Do not drink on any empty stomach or after exercising and always wear a diabetes medical I.D. Drug interactions with certain diabete Continue reading >>
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 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 Most Important Things To Know About Diabetes And Alcohol
back to Overview Tips & Tricks We recently held our annual mySugr holiday celebration. What a good opportunity to talk about drinking alcohol with diabetes and the effect on blood sugar, right? Reviewed for accuracy and updated December 18, 2017 — SKJ Party time! You can probably imagine it. Some snacks to nibble on, a live DJ spinning the (digital) wheels of steel, and some tasty adult beverages. In a situation like that, It’s all too easy to get caught up in the atmosphere and not think about your blood sugar. That’s totally natural – who wants to think about diabetes when you’re having a good time? I certainly don’t. But does drinking alcohol affect your diabetes and blood sugar? Is it something to be concerned about? Pay Respect! Here’s the deal. If you don’t pay some attention to alcohol and learn how it interacts with your diabetes, it will stop your party in one way or another, either during the dance-off or perhaps more commonly, hours later when you’re sound asleep and dreaming about your fancy moves. Cruelly, that’s when you’re least expecting it and when you’re at your most vulnerable. Having diabetes is no reason to avoid drinking if it’s something you’d like to do. But you should understand how it works so you can do so safely. I’m not personally a big drinker, but I’ve done some digging and hope to share a few bits of useful information to help keep you safe. We’re all different, but basics are basic… One of the most important things I can share is that we’re all different, especially when it comes to our diabetes. Many people also differ in how they respond to alcohol. So like everything – your mileage may vary. In any case, there’s no harm in talking about some of the basic ways alcohol affects metabolism, and wh 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 >>
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 >>
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 >>
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 >>
Type 2 Diabetes And Alcohol: Proceed With Caution
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 Continue reading >>
The Alcohol And Diabetes Guide
Editors Note: This content has been verified byMarina Basina, MD, a Clinical Associate Professor at Stanford University. Shes a clinical endocrinologist and researcher with a focus on diabetes management and diabetes technology. Dr. Basina is an active member of multiple medical advisory boards and community diabetes organizations, and she is on the Beyond Type 1 Science Advisory Council. Alcohol and diabetes: do they mix? The short answer is yes, you can drink if you have diabetes. But before you drink, its a good idea to educate yourself on how drinking can impact your body and specifically your blood sugar management. Here are some tips on drinking responsibly with diabetes. The liver is the part of your body that stores glycogen (the stored form of glucose). Usually, your livers job is to steadily convert glycogen to glucose, regulating your blood glucose level (BGL). But when you drink, your liver sees alcohol, thinks poison!, and switches gears to detoxing your body of that alcohol. This means that your liver is no longer as focused on releasing glucose, which in turn affects your blood sugar management. Alcohol-induced hypoglycemia with diabetes Because alcohol decreases your livers efficiency at releasing glucose, drinking puts you at risk of a alcohol-induced hypoglycemia . Hypoglycemia, or a hypo, is when you dont have enough glucose in your bloodstream so your BGL is dangerously low. A hypo can happen immediately, or up to 12 hours after drinking. Plus, if you are on insulin for diabetes or you are taking diabetes medication that stimulates insulin-creation , your insulin will continue to work and drop your blood sugar further. Add to that the fact that a hypo can look a lot like being drunk: drowsiness, unsteady movements, slurred speech, etc. A severe hypo Continue reading >>
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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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 & 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 >>