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Can You Drink Alcohol When You Have Type 1 Diabetes?

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 >>

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 >>

Alcohol And Diabetes

Alcohol And Diabetes

Alcohol and the heart Alcohol and diabetes Alcohol and the liver Alcohol and cancer Alcohol and women Alcohol and allergy Alcohol and older people Diabetes mellitus is a chronic disorder in the blood level of insulin, a pancreatic hormone, that helps convert blood glucose into energy. Diabetes 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. It’s a manageable condition. But when it’s not well managed, it is associated with serious complications including heart disease, stroke, blindness, kidney disease, nerve damage and amputations. In 2014, it was estimated that 29 million Americanse have diabetes (9.3% of the population) and 21 million of these have been diagnosed. Data reported by researchers from the CDC in the journal Population Health Metrics (November 2010) showed three scenarios for projected prevalence of diabetes in the year 2050 predicting that diabetes in the US population could rise to between 21% and 33% in 2050) It is estimated 95% of Americans with diabetes have type 2 diabetes, while 5% have type 1 diabetes (CDC). The total economic burden of diabetes in the US, including direct and indirect costs, was estimated to be $245 billion in 2012. There are two main types of diabetes 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 viru Continue reading >>

Touchy Topics

Touchy Topics

A comprehensive guide to all the sticky situations that arise when you’re a college student with diabetes. Have a question that isn't answered here? Ask our student advice columnists (anonymously) and we'll get it answered for you. Type 1 diabetes is sometimes linked to another autoimmune disease called Celiac Disease. Alcohol It’s no surprise that drinking happens on campuses all over the country. If you plan on drinking while at school, make sure you understand how to do it safely with diabetes. Check out our FAQ below, which includes many of the common questions young adults have regarding drinking, and make sure to check out our partners at Drinking with Diabetes for additional information. FAQs We know it’s hard to bring up certain questions in the doctor’s office. But often, the hard questions are the ones we most need answers to. Below is an exhaustive list of questions you might be thinking about, but may or may not have asked a healthcare professional. If your question isn’t here, we’re happy to help – send it along, and we’ll get it answered. The information below is not meant to replace the advice of your healthcare team. Individual responses to diabetes management approaches can vary considerably. Speak with your physician before making any changes to your therapy. Answers courtesy of Gary Scheiner MS (T1D since 1985!), CDE and his team at IDS. How can I tell the difference between being low and being drunk? And being low while drunk? Being drunk and being low can look the same. And both conditions can severely impair your judgment as well as your ability to function. Intoxication, however, does not usually cause the “shaking/sweating/rapid heartbeat” associated with hypoglycemia. Unfortunately, drinking can actually suppress these sympto Continue reading >>

Alcohol & Diabetes

Alcohol & Diabetes

As a general rule, there is no need to avoid alcohol because you have diabetes. You should not drink alcohol if you: Are pregnant or trying to get pregnant Are breastfeeding Have a personal or family history of drinking problems Are planning to drive or engage in other activities that require attention or skill Are taking certain medications. Ask your pharmacist about your medications. Consider the following questions when deciding what is best for you: Is my diabetes under control? Am I free from health problems that alcohol can make worse such as disease of the pancreas, eye disease, high blood pressure, high triglycerides, liver problems, nerve damage or stroke? Do I know how to prevent and treat low blood glucose (sugar)? If you answered “no” to any of these questions, you should speak to your diabetes educator or health-care professional before drinking alcohol. If you answered “yes” to all of these questions, it is OK to drink alcohol in moderation. Moderate alcohol intake is limited to two standard drinks/day or less than 10 drinks/week for women; and less than three standard drinks/day or less than 15 drinks/week for men. This recommendation is the same for people without diabetes. Health risks of alcohol use You may have heard that alcohol has certain health benefits. However, any pattern of drinking can be harmful. Proven ways of improving your health include: healthy eating, being active, and being a non-smoker. Diabetes Canada’s Clinical Practice Guidelines recommend that: People using insulin or insulin secretagogues should be aware of delayed hypoglycemia (low blood glucose) that can occur up to 24 hours after drinking alcohol. People with type 1 diabetes should be aware of the risk of morning hypoglycemia if alcohol is consumed two to three hour Continue reading >>

‘can I Drink Alcohol If I Have Diabetes?’

‘can I Drink Alcohol If I Have Diabetes?’

If you have diabetes, should you say no to a beer or glass of champagne when you're at a party or celebrating with friends? The answer is that a moderate amount of alcohol will not have a serious effect on the blood sugar levels of people with type 1 or 2 diabetes. Experts, however, caution that people with diabetes should always be very careful when consuming alcohol. Most alcoholic drinks contain no nutrients and are high in calories. According to registered dietitian and Association for Dietetics in South Africa spokesperson Ria Catsicas one gram of alcohol contains approximately 29.3 kJ of energy and one standard drink about 600 kJ. “It is more important to control how much we drink, rather then what we drink,” she says. Alcohol affects everyone differently depending on their age, gender, body weight and capacity. Catsicas points out that the liver gives preference to detoxifying the blood of alcohol over metabolising food, and therefore excessive consumption can contribute to weight gain. “Alcohol inhibits the liver’s ability to release glucose into the bloodstream and can cause a low blood sugar attack (hypoglycaemia),” she explains. “As alcohol lowers blood glucose levels, people with diabetes should never consume alcoholic drinks on an empty stomach.” If you have diabetes, always eat something while you are drinking and avoid consuming sugar-based drinks such as dessert wines or fruity alcoholic drinks (e.g. ciders or Smirnoff Spins). “People on insulin can experience a low blood glucose attack at night. They need to adjust their insulin when consuming alcoholic drinks and/or eat while consuming alcohol.” The effect of alcohol on blood glucose levels According to the American Diabetes Association, alcohol can cause hypoglycaemia shortly after d 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 >>

Alcohol Poses Serious Risks For Those With Diabetes

Alcohol Poses Serious Risks For Those With Diabetes

FRIDAY, July 20, 2012 (HealthDay News) — People who have certain chronic medical conditions, such as type 1 diabetes, are even more susceptible than most to the ill effects of alcohol, though they may not be aware of how potentially dangerous alcohol can be. That was the case for Cynthia Zuber when she first went away to college. Although Zuber had type 1 diabetes, also known as insulin-dependent diabetes, she didn't know at the time that mixing an alcohol binge and insulin use might have deadly consequences. Zuber was just 18 when she went to a fraternity party. "It was a party of upperclassmen, and my friend and I, both freshmen, felt very young and out of place," she recalled. "To deal with the discomfort, I started drinking beer." Throughout the evening, she said, she went back for refills on her own, and people also repeatedly brought her refills. "I had no idea how many beers I had," she said, nor did she know her blood sugar levels because she didn't test them during the party. Alcohol can cause blood sugar levels to drop dangerously low for people on blood sugar-lowering medications for as long as 12 hours after their last drink, according to the American Diabetes Association. "Things got out of control quickly, and when we went to leave I had to be carried to the car and into my dorm," she explained. Zuber said she vomited throughout the night, probably from the beer, but she doesn't know for sure because she didn't test her blood sugar levels before going to bed, either. At some point during the night, she passed out, and when she woke in the morning, she was still vomiting. When she tested her blood sugar, it was low enough that she knew she'd have to eat something or she would quickly be in serious trouble. The problem was, she couldn't keep food down. She Continue reading >>

Diabetes And Alcohol: What You Need To Know

Diabetes And Alcohol: What You Need To Know

If you are meeting a friend for a drink after work or attending a holiday party where alcohol is being offered, is it a health risk or a benefit? The medical and nutrition literature reports that moderate consumption of alcohol can offer some health benefits, particularly for your heart. The Dietary Guidelines for Americans 2005 defines drinking in moderation as no more than one drink per day for women or two drinks per day for men. One drink, by definition, is a 12-ounce beer, eight-ounce glass of malt liquor, five ounces of wine, or 1.5 ounces of hard liquor. Moderate alcohol consumption may reduce the risk of having a heart attack or stroke, lower the risk of developing gallstones, and prevent the development of type 2 diabetes in people with pre-diabetes. Studies show that those benefiting from moderate consumption are middle-aged and older adults. It is not recommended, however, that anyone begin drinking or drink more frequently on the basis of health considerations. Drinking more than the recommendation is harmful to your health. Excessive alcohol consumption increases the risk of adverse health consequences. Over time, excess alcohol can cause cirrhosis of the liver and heart damage, increase the risk for cancer and pancreatitis, and increase the occurrence of injuries due to impairment. Alcohol consumption must be evaluated in reference to any health conditions or prior history of alcohol abuse. Many prescription medications are contraindicated with even moderate intake of alcohol. In cases of a medical condition, regardless of medication, alcohol consumption should be discussed with a healthcare provider. People with diabetes can consume alcohol in moderation if they are prepared and regularly monitor their blood glucose. Take into consideration the medication Continue reading >>

Drinking, Drugs And Diabetes* Do You Know?

Drinking, Drugs And Diabetes* Do You Know?

Page 1 While we don’t recommend that you drink, smoke, or take drugs, we know that adoles- cence is a period where people often try new things, even risky ones. If you choose to experiment, we want you to know how to be safer as these substances relate to your health as a person with diabetes. ALCOHOL AND DIABETES As a person with T1D, your body handles alcohol differently than someone else’s, which can be dangerous if you are not prepared, paying attention, and know what to look out for. What happens in your body when you drink alcohol? - Your body considers it a toxin and wants to get rid of it, so your liver starts working to break down the alcohol. - Your liver stores sugar. So if you drink a moderate amount, your blood glucose can rise. But if you drink a lot, you have a much higher risk of having a severe low blood sugar because your liver is too busy breaking down the alcohol and can’t raise your blood sugar for you. - This risk of low blood sugars can continue for 24 hours after drinking—until your liver clears all the alcohol out of your body. What’s your risk? You are at risk of severe lows if you are taking insulin or certain diabetes pills. If you make the decision to drink alcohol, here are some tips to keep you safe: • Wear your medical ID. • Use the buddy system – you don’t have to tell everyone at the party you have diabetes, but make sure you drink with a friend who can look out for you, keep you safe, and knows what to do if you get low. • NEVER drink on an empty stomach. Eating a meal first will take the pressure off your liver. • Check your blood sugar frequently, including before your first drink. • Drink slowly (sips, not gulps!) and in moderation. • Keep track of 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 >>

Living With

Living With

If you have type 1 diabetes, it's important to look after your own health and wellbeing, with support from those involved in your care. Your diabetes care team As type 1 diabetes is a long-term condition, you'll be in regular contact with your diabetes care team. Your GP or diabetes care team will also need to check your eyes, feet and nerves regularly because they can also be affected by diabetes. You should also be tested regularly – at least once a year – to check how well your diabetes is being controlled over the long term. A blood sample will be taken from your arm, and the HbA1c test will be carried out. It measures how much glucose is in the red blood cells, and gives your blood glucose levels for the previous two to three months. For help managing your diabetes on a day-to-day basis, check out the mumoActive app in our Digital Apps Library. Lifestyle changes Healthy eating Eating a healthy, balanced diet is very important if you have diabetes. However, you don't need to avoid certain food groups altogether. You can have a varied diet and enjoy a wide range of foods as long as you eat regularly and make healthy choices. You can make adaptations when cooking meals, such as reducing the amount of fat, salt and sugar you eat, and increasing the amount of fibre. You don't need to completely exclude sugary and high-fat foods from your diet, but they should be limited. The important thing in managing diabetes through your diet is to eat regularly and include starchy carbohydrates, such as pasta, as well as plenty of fruit and vegetables. If your diet is well balanced, you should be able to achieve a good level of health and maintain a healthy weight. Read more about healthy recipes. Diabetes UK has more dietary advice and cooking tips. Regular exercise As physical 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 >>

Alcohol And Diabetes

Alcohol And Diabetes

For some people, having a few drinks at home or in the pub is part of everyday life. And having diabetes shouldn’t get in the way of this. But when you have diabetes, it’s a bit more complicated. You might want to know whether it's safe to drink alcohol, and how much is okay. So yes, you can still drink, but you need to be aware of how it can affect your body and how to manage this. For example, drinking can make you more likely to have a hypo, because alcohol makes your blood sugars drop. It can affect your weight too, as there can be a lot of calories in alcoholic drinks. We’ll give you all the facts here. Alcohol and risk factors for Type 2 We don’t know exactly what causes Type 2 diabetes. But we do know that your family history, age and ethnic background affects your risk of developing it, and we know you’re more likely to develop it if you’re overweight. These are all called risk factors. Alcohol isn’t a risk factor in itself. But it can contain a lot of calories, which can lead to putting on weight. Take a look at our information about risk factors and find out your risk of developing Type 2 diabetes. Government guidelines on alcohol units To help keep health risks from alcohol at a low level, it’s safest not to regularly drink more than 14 units a week. These guidelines are the same for men and women. But what does this actually mean when you’re in the pub or having dinner with a glass of wine at home? It means you shouldn’t drink more than six medium glasses of wine or six pints of lager a week. But the size of the glass and type of alcohol affects the number of units, so it’s best to check the guidelines at drinkaware.co.uk Alcohol and hypos If you use insulin or some other diabetes medications like sulphonylureas, you’re more likely to Continue reading >>

Drinking With Diabetes Chart

Drinking With Diabetes Chart

We’re living in something of a golden age of beer in the United States, with an estimated 2,700 craft breweries in the country alone. And beer options are abundant—from your traditional pilsners and ales, to lambic beer, imperial IPAs, Russian stouts, and a litany of Belgian wheat beers. Your social life doesn’t need to stop when you have Type 1 diabetes, and neither does your love of beer. That’s right, if you feel the urge to drink up, go right ahead, just consider our advice for safe Type 1 beer consumption. Drinking Must-dos Eat before you drink – drinking on an empty stomach can send you especially low, since alcohol has a tendency to spike BGLs high then drop them low. This is due to the liver processing the alcohol. For this reason, do not count alcohol carbs as food carbs. The elevated carb content in beer, compared to thither alcohols, can lead to an even greater spike and plummet scenario. Hydrate! Drink a glass of water between beers or an other calorie-free option (e.g. diet soda or iced tea). Hydration is key to avoiding a hangover as well as helping you stay in better range. Test you BGLs frequently – before going out, while you’re out, and before going home to bed. This continuous monitoring will help you manage the unpredictable numbers beer can give you. Make sure you’re with someone who knows you’re Type 1 – if you exhibit signs of hyperglycemia or hypoglycemia, they know how to assist you if need be. Remember that hypoglycemia has similar signs of drunkenness such as drowsiness and disorientation. Avoid drinking too much – stay mindful. When one drinks, the liver stops to break down and remove toxins, preventing the organ from doing all the other jobs it normally would, such as releasing stored glucose if your levels start to fal Continue reading >>

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