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Can You Drink Alcohol When You Have Diabetes?

Diabetes & Alcohol: What You Need To Know

Diabetes & Alcohol: What You Need To Know

Alcohol should be avoided at all costs by diabetics and should be added to the list of forbidden things people with diabetes can’t have including sugar, pizza, thoughts about carbs, cake, and fun. If you didn’t catch the flagrant sarcasm above, diabetes is probably the least of your worries in life. Drinking alcohol as a person with diabetes (type 1 or type 2) is not a problem at all given you are aware of how different alcohols and situations will affect you. While we may have diabetes, we are not lepers cast away from society. On the same note, we do have diabetes so while we can do pretty much anything we want, we need to do so with proper education and preparation. This is not an encouragement post to go get hammered or validate being a closet alcoholic. This post is aimed to provide you with the knowledge needed to have a drink with confidence knowing how to stay safe while intoxicating yourself. I never condone underage drinking or drinking excessively just as a necessary disclaimer. Here’s what you need to know. How Alcohol Affects Blood Sugar Some types of alcohol raise blood sugar levels acutely while some types of alcohol lower blood sugar levels. On top of the initial blood sugar response based on your alcohol(s) of choice, almost all types of alcohol have a blood sugar lowering effect for up to 16 hours (usually 8-12). Leave it to diabetes to make everything complicated. It is important to know which types of alcohol affect blood sugar differently so you can manage your diabetes without ruining a good night. Types of Alcohol & How They Affect Blood Sugar All alcohol has calories but not all alcohol has carbs. Here is a quick lesson on the main nutrients that contain calories: Protein has 4 calories per gram Carbs have 4 calories per gram Fat has 9 calo Continue reading >>

Alcohol And Diabetes: How Much Is Too Much

Alcohol And Diabetes: How Much Is Too Much

If you are diabetic, do you need to give up drinking? While there is a connection between diabetes and alcohol, there is no reason why diabetics must give up alcohol completely. Yes, alcohol affects your blood sugar levels, and it does contain a lot of calories. But with a few precautions and careful management, it is possible for diabetics to enjoy a couple of drinks from time to time. Diabetes and Alcohol: The Connection Yes, sugar alcohol and diabetes are closely linked. Alcohol has a confusing effect on the body. Now, moderate amounts of alcohol may cause a spike in blood sugar levels, but on the other hand, drinking too much alcohol will cause your blood sugar levels to drop too low. Diabetics are usually advised to eat something along with their drinks to compensate for the expected drop in blood sugar levels. Truth be told, alcohol does affect different people in different ways. So, when in doubt, test your blood glucose to see how alcohol affects you. A good idea is to follow recommended alcohol guidelines for people with diabetes. Safe drinking limits for diabetics are – 3 units of alcohol for men and 2 units of alcohol for women. However, it is worth being aware that ‘one unit’ is counted differently for different drinks. It’s a good idea to check with your doctor to see if drinking alcohol is safe for you. If you can’t cut out drinking completely, it’s wise to cut back. Drink occasionally, and make sure you only do so when your blood sugar levels are well controlled. 5 Facts You Should Know About Type 2 Diabetes and Alcohol If you enjoy your alcohol too much to give it up completely, here are 5 facts you must know about type 2 diabetes and alcohol. Alcohol can cause blood sugar to rise or fall. Different alcoholic drinks affectblood sugar levels d Continue reading >>

Diabetes And Alcohol

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 >>

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 >>

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

If you have either type 1 or type 2 diabetes, you’re probably aware of how different foods influence your blood glucose. But what about alcohol? How does it influence glucose readings, and can people with diabetes really consume alcohol safely? If I have diabetes, is alcohol off-limits? "People with diabetes can include alcohol in their diet in a responsible way," states Elizabeth Staum, M.S., R.D., of the Joslin Diabetes Center. Joslin recommends that women with type 1 or type 2 diabetes consume at most one drink per day, and men a maximum of two drinks per day. An important note: consumption of alcoholic beverages must be done with food. Why? "Alcohol actually puts patients at higher risk for low blood glucose, so it is safest to consume alcohol either with a meal that includes carbs, like starches for example, or with a carb-containing snack like crackers," Staum says. If I have type 2 diabetes, are there any special concerns about alcohol consumption I should be aware of? People with type 2 diabetes are often concerned with issues surrounding weight management, because it directly pertains to controlling their diabetes. As a result, minimizing consumption of alcoholic beverages can go a long way toward cutting calories and thus helping to achieve weight loss goals. How does alcohol interact with the insulin I take to control diabetes? If you have type 1 diabetes and have to take insulin, or if you have type 2 diabetes and have been prescribed an insulin regimen to better control the disease, you should be especially aware of alcohol’s tendency to lower blood glucose. "Patients who are counting carbohydrates may be better off not counting the carbohydrate in alcoholic beverages since the alcohol will lower their blood glucose. However, you should count the carboh Continue reading >>

Can You Drink Alcohol If You Have Diabetes?

Can You Drink Alcohol If You Have Diabetes?

Q: My husband has diabetes and says it's OK to drink alcohol. Is that true? A: Alcohol poses several problems for people with diabetes. First, after an initial spike in blood sugar, alcohol causes that level to drop. Because being tipsy causes the same symptoms as low blood sugar (sleepiness and disorientation), your husband may not know his levels are low. Second, if he drinks alcohol while taking glucose-lowering medications, his blood sugar levels can drop to dangerous levels. Third, heavy alcohol use can aggravate some diabetes complications, including nerve and kidney disease. Encourage your husband to drink only at meals and only when his blood glucose is under control. Ask him to wear an ID explaining he has diabetes, in case people mistake his low blood sugar symptoms for drunkenness. Make sure he talks to his doctor about alcohol, so he can get personal advice. -- Elizabeth Bashoff, MD, staff physician with Joslin Diabetes Center, an affiliate of Harvard Medical School. Continue reading >>

Diabetes And Alcohol

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 >>

Alcoholism And Diabetes: Exploring The Connection

Alcoholism And Diabetes: Exploring The Connection

According to the National Diabetes Statistics Report, 2014, 29 million people in the U.S. (9.3 percent of the population) have diabetes. About 86 million adults have pre-diabetes, a condition that significantly increases their risks of developing diabetes. The onset of diabetes or concerns over the risk of developing the disease prompts many people to examine their food and lifestyle choices. Among the questions that top their minds is “Can I drink if I have diabetes?” According to the American Diabetes Association, most people with diabetes can drink a moderate amount of alcohol if their blood sugar level is well under control. The key here is moderation. Moderate amount of alcohol is known to be beneficial for the heart and can reduce the risk of developing heart disease. However, you should always consult your doctor to find out if alcohol is safe for you. Before delving into the correlation between alcoholism and diabetes, learn more about diabetes. This knowledge will help you understand why doctors and scientists warn against excessive drinking. Diabetes is a life-long condition where either the body (the pancreas) does not produce adequate insulin or the insulin does not work as expected. Insulin is a hormone that facilitates the conversion of glucose in the bloodstream to cellular energy that fuels us. Diabetics have an excess of glucose in the bloodstream. Over time, excessive blood glucose levels damage all the major organs of the body, like the heart, kidneys, and eyes. Unmanaged diabetes can increase the risk of cardiovascular diseases, strokes, nerve damage, blindness, and kidney failure. Diabetes: Type I and Type II The National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases classifies the types of diabetes. Type I diabetes is the least common 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 >>

The Most Important Things To Know About Diabetes And Alcohol

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 >>

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 >>

Diabetes & Alcohol

Diabetes & Alcohol

Although alcohol does have an effect on blood glucose levels, with a few safety measures and careful management, people with diabetes can also enjoy a drink. Does alcohol affect diabetes? People with diabetes have to be extra careful with alcohol. Alcohol can affect diabetes in a few ways: Alcohol increases your chances hypoglycaemia (low blood glucose): Drinking can cause low blood glucose for up to 24 hours after drinking. You need to be especially aware of this if you are taking medication to control your diabetes such as insulin or sulphonylureas such as glicazide and glipizide. Drinking too much alcohol can also affect your ability torecognise or know when your blood glucose is too low: Alcohol can often make you feel lightheaded, dizzy and drowsy, which are similar to the symptoms you may experience if your blood glucose is too low. Having low blood glucose (hypoglycaemia) is often confused with being drunk. If you have nerve damage related to diabetes, drinking alcohol can make it worse and increase pain, numbness or the tingling sensation. Alcohol has a high-calorie content, so frequent intake may cause weight gain. Can I drink alcohol if I have diabetes? If you have diabetes, check with your doctor if you are allowed to drink alcohol. If your diabetes is poorly controlled and you have experienced hypoglycaemia often, your doctor may advise that you hold off until your diabetes is better controlled. Tips for drinking with diabetes Limit the quantity of alcohol that you drink. Women should not have more than 2 standard drinks per day. Men should limit their intake to not more than 3 standard drinks per day. (One standard drink is 100 ml wine, 30 mls spirits or 300 mls beer). Avoid binge drinking. Do not drink alcohol on an empty stomach. Always ensure that you dr Continue reading >>

4 Tips On Drinking When You Have Diabetes

4 Tips On Drinking When You Have Diabetes

If your doctor's given you permission to drink, follow these guidelines to do it responsibly Drink with care Is there room for alcohol in your diet if you have diabetes? Perhaps, if you are particularly vigilant about its use. The first problem with alcohol is that it lowers blood sugar levels due to its effect on the liver. The second is that it is high in calories-almost as high as fat-but with few nutrients. If you get the green light from your health-care team that it is okay to drink on occasion, here are some useful tips. Pair alcohol with food Food acts like a sponge, helping to absorb some of the alcohol and in turn minimizing its effect on blood sugar. Likewise, sip your drink slowly to further slow absorption. A person with diabetes should always eat carbohydrate foods when drinking alcohol, and never drink on an empty stomach. Don’t drink when your blood sugar is low By taking consistent daily blood sugar readings, you will be in a much better position to make an intelligent decision about whether to drink. If your blood sugar is already low, there is no need to cause more problems by drinking. Moderation is best There are fewer risks to your diabetes, and possible benefits, by keeping to current guidelines: No more than one drink per day for women, two per day for men. But be sure your diabetes is well controlled. If weight loss is a goal, drinking may hinder progress, so discuss this with your health-care team. Keep the mixers calorie-free If you choose hard liquor, watch out for added calories due to the mixers. Stick with club soda, mineral water, diet soft drinks, Bloody Mary mix, or coffee for hot drinks. 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 >>

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