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Drinking With Diabetes Type 1

Diabetes Type 1

Diabetes Type 1

Alcohol confused many young people we talked to for this project - many said they didn't know what a 'unit' of alcohol was - and several had ended up in hospital after evenings out drinking. One young woman said the 'culture of drinking' was hard to handle when she was 16 and she wanted to fit in with her friends. Most young people said that they enjoyed drinking and had learned by trial and error which drinks they could take. Some had had experimented with different drinks to see how they felt, and several had experienced hypos from drinking too much - and said that afterwards they took more care. Everyone said they had been told they must eat before they had a drink and that it was very important to eat something starchy (like bread or cereals) after they had been out drinking and before they went to bed. They understood that they risked having a hypo if they didn't eat before going to sleep. And do you drink alcohol? Yes, probably more than I should. It's a, it's not really, it's not been a particularly big problem. I mean obviously a student at university, everyone drinks kind of a fair bit from time to time, but as long as you don't go and make a complete mess of yourself it's not normally been too much of a problem. So kind of drink and have fun, but don't go and wake up in the gutter somewhere. That's pretty much the same advice you'd give to anyone, but you have to kind of be a bit more strict with yourself about following it really. Which kind of safety guidelines do you follow? Do you eat before you, if you know that you're going to drink, do you eat beforehand? Yes, definitely. There was one time when I started drinking without eating and it played all kinds of havoc. It was quite interesting the way that different drinks affect my blood sugar as well. So if Continue reading >>

5 Things You Need To Know About Drinking And Diabetes

5 Things You Need To Know About Drinking And Diabetes

Having a drink at a barbecue or the cottage is a popular way to unwind and relax on the long weekend, but for people living with diabetes there are some serious risks involved. Joanne Lewis, dietitian and Manager of Diabetes Research for the Canadian Diabetes Association, sat down with Current to discuss some facts and tips for drinking and diabetes. Whether it’s counting your calories or making the right beverage choices, here are five things every person with diabetes needs to know: 1) Alcohol Alone Won’t Raise Your Blood-Sugar: Although it’s a common misconception, Lewis says alcohol in itself won’t raise your blood sugar. It’s often the added sugars found in coolers, liqueurs and soda that can raise your levels. “A lot of people are under the misconception that it can raise your blood sugar, and so what they might do is they might have a drink and not eat, because they’re thinking, ‘ok, the alcohol is going to raise my sugar’. “But if they’re taking insulin or certain oral medications, they can actually end up with a low blood sugar, because alcohol affects the liver that way. The liver gets busy detoxifying the alcohol to where it’s not producing the sugar it needs to produce to get into the blood to keep everything leveled,” she says. 2) Choose Your Beverage Wisely: You may be longing for a tangy margarita, or tempted to try a mixed drink with sugar sodas, but the reality is these drinks will raise your blood sugar levels. Lewis says if you have to drink, dry wines (including Merlot, Malbec, Sauvignon Blanc and Pinot Grigio), beer or straight liquor is less likely to raise your blood sugar. 3) Beer and Carbs are Complicated: Carbohydrate counting can often be as much a concern as blood sugar levels. Lewis says experts no longer count 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 & 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 >>

Type 1 Diabetes And Drinking: Tips For Young Adults

Type 1 Diabetes And Drinking: Tips For Young Adults

Type 1 diabetes shouldn't get in the way of a great night. Here are some tips to help you make sure it doesn't. First thing's first: the principles of sensible drinking apply whether you have diabetes or not. It’s safest not to regularly drink more than 14 units a week. You can read more at drinkaware.co.uk And when you have Type 1 diabetes, there are some extra things to think about to make sure you’re safe. Drinking alcohol can make managing blood sugar levels more tricky, and increase your risk of hypos while you're drinking and the day after. We've brought together tips from young adults and guidance to help you manage your diabetes so nothing gets in the way of having a great time. Before a night out Don’t drink on an empty stomach. Eating a carb-containing meal like pasta before a night out drinking will help balance your blood sugar levels. Get all your diabetes kit and hypo treatments ready in advance, especially if you’re pre-drinking. It'll help you avoid forgetting any of your essentials, or having a mad rush when the taxi arrives. Make sure the friends you are with know about your diabetes and what to do if you have a hypo. Check your blood sugar level before you go out. Make sure you have a pint of water and your hypo treatments ready next to your bed for when you get home. On a night out Pace yourself and check your blood sugar level regularly so you can catch any hypos early. Have diet or sugar-free mixers with any spirits. There's more information about different types of alcohol and the affect they might have on your sugar levels on the main alcohol page. Remember that physical activity often makes blood sugar levels drop. This includes dancing or walking around town trying to find a place to go. You might need some snacks to keep your blood sug Continue reading >>

The Effect Of Evening Alcohol Consumption On Next-morning Glucose Control In Type 1 Diabetes

The Effect Of Evening Alcohol Consumption On Next-morning Glucose Control In Type 1 Diabetes

OBJECTIVE—Alcohol is associated with acute hypoglycemia in patients with type 1 diabetes. After drinking alcohol in the evening, delayed hypoglycemia has also been described, although its cause is unknown. We performed a controlled study to investigate this phenomenon. RESEARCH DESIGN AND METHODS—We admitted six men with type 1 diabetes (aged 19–51 years, HbA1c 7.0–10.3%) on two occasions, from 5:00 p.m. to 12:00 noon the following day. They received regular insulin injections before standardized meals, at 6:00 p.m. and 8:00 a.m., and a basal insulin infusion (0.15 mU · kg−1 · min−1) from 11:00 p.m. They drank either dry white wine (0.75 g/kg alcohol) or mineral water at 9:00 p.m. over 90 min. Blood glucose, alcohol, insulin, cortisol, growth hormone, and glucagon levels were measured. RESULTS—Blood ethanol reached a mean (SEM) peak of 19.1 (1.2) mmol/l and was undetectable by 8:00 a.m. There were no significant differences in evening or overnight blood glucose levels between the studies. In the morning, fasting and postprandial blood glucose levels were significantly lower after consumption of wine (postprandial peak 8.9 [1.7] vs. 15 [1.5] mmol/l, P < 0.01), and from 10:00 a.m., five subjects required treatment for hypoglycemia (nadir 1.9–2.9 mmol/l). None of the subjects had hypoglycemia after consumption of water. After consumption of wine, growth hormone secretion was significantly reduced between midnight and 4:00 a.m. (area under the curve 2.1 [1.1] vs. 6.5 [2.1] μg · l–1 · h–1, P = 0.04). There were no differences in insulin or other hormone levels. CONCLUSIONS—In type 1 diabetes, moderate consumption of alcohol in the evening may predispose patients to hypoglycemia after breakfast the next morning. This is associated with reduced noctu 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 >>

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 >>

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 >>

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 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 >>

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 >>

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, And Social Drinking

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 >>

The Alcohol And Diabetes Guide

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 >>

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