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How Much Does Beer Affect Blood Sugar?

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 >>

Does Alcohol And Tobacco Use Increase The Risk Of Diabetes?

Does Alcohol And Tobacco Use Increase The Risk Of Diabetes?

Yes, alcohol and tobacco use may increase the risk of type 2 diabetes. Alcohol Although studies show that drinking moderate amounts of alcohol may actually lower the risk of diabetes, the opposite is true for people who drink greater amounts of alcohol. Moderate alcohol use is defined as one drink a day for women of all ages and men older than age 65, and up to two drinks a day for men age 65 and younger. Too much alcohol may cause chronic inflammation of the pancreas (pancreatitis), which can impair its ability to secrete insulin and potentially lead to diabetes. Tobacco Tobacco use can increase blood sugar levels and lead to insulin resistance. The more you smoke, the greater your risk of diabetes. People who smoke heavily — more than 20 cigarettes a day — have almost double the risk of developing diabetes compared with people who don’t smoke. Continue reading >>

Does Beer Cause High Glucose Levels?

Does Beer Cause High Glucose Levels?

If you have diabetes and are thinking of cracking open a cold beer, think twice. Moderate alcohol consumption doesn't significantly impact overall blood sugar control, according to the American Diabetes Association. That beer, however, may lower your blood glucose level right after you drink it and into the next day. Video of the Day Beer and other types of alcohol have a tendency to lower your blood sugar shortly after consumption and for up to 24 hours afterward, according to the ADA. Low blood sugar, or hypoglycemia, may cause confusion, dizziness, blurred vision, rapid heartbeat and weakness. These symptoms are similar to what you may feel if you have drunk too much alcohol. Practice moderate drinking, which according to the ADA, is one drink a day for women and two a day for men. Check your blood sugar before imbibing, and avoid alcohol if your level is low. Avoid drinking on an empty stomach, which increases your risk for hypoglycemia. Wear diabetes identification at all times. This will prevent others from mistaking your low blood sugar symptoms for a drunken stupor. 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 >>

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 >>

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 >>

Type 2 Diabetes And Alcohol: Proceed With Caution

Type 2 Diabetes And Alcohol: Proceed With Caution

Alcohol can worsen diabetes-related nerve damage.(RON CHAPPLE STOCK/CORBIS)Hoping for a beer at the ball game, or a glass of wine with dinner? If you have type 2 diabetes, that's probably OK as long as your blood sugar is under control, you don't have any complications that are affected by alcohol (such as high blood pressure), and you know how the drink will affect your blood sugar, according to the American Diabetes Association. An alcohol-containing drink a day might even help your heart (though if you don't already drink, most experts say that's not a reason to start). In moderation, alcohol may cut heart disease risk According to a study by researchers at the Harvard School of Public Health, women with type 2 diabetes who drank relatively small amounts of alcohol had a lower heart-disease risk than those who abstained. A second study found that men with diabetes had the same reduction in heart risk with a moderate alcohol intake as non-diabetic men. In general, the recommendations for alcohol consumption for someone with type 2 diabetes are the same as anyone else: no more than two drinks per day for men and no more than one drink per day for women. (Make sure to measure: A drink serving is 12 ounces of beer, 5 ounces of wine, or 1.5 ounces of hard liquor such as scotch, gin, tequila, or vodka.) People with diabetes who choose to drink need to take extra care keeping food, medications, alcohol, and blood sugars in balance. Janis Roszler, RD, a certified diabetes educator in Miami, Fla., recommends: Mixing alcoholic drinks with water or calorie-free diet sodas instead of sugary (and calorie- and carbohydrate-laden) sodas and other mixers. Once you have had your drink, switch to a non-alcoholic drink, such as sparkling water, for the rest of the evening. Make sure yo Continue reading >>

Drinking And Type 2 Diabetes

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 >>

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

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

For many people, a glass of alcohol here and there does not pose a problem. However, for those with health conditions, such as diabetes, alcohol can affect blood sugar levels and pose a health risk. Understanding what you are consuming and how alcohol influences blood glucose levels is particularly important for people with diabetes. Alcohol can interfere with blood sugar levels. People with diabetes should sip drinks slowly and not drink on an empty stomach. Alcohol and the body Alcohol is a depressant; it is classed as a "sedative-hypnotic drug" because it depresses the central nervous system. Every organ in the body can be affected by alcohol. Once consumed, it is rapidly absorbed by the stomach and small intestine and enters the bloodstream. In an average person, the liver can breaks down roughly one standard drink of alcohol per hour. Excess alcohol moves throughout the body. The amount not broken down by the liver is removed by the lungs,kidneys, and skin in urine and sweat. How alcohol affects a person's body depends on how much they consume. At low doses, alcohol can act as a stimulant - people may feel happy, or become talkative. Drinking too much alcohol, however, can impair the body. Alcohol and blood sugar levels A person's overall health plays a big role in how they respond to alcohol. People with diabetes or other blood sugar problems must be careful when consuming alcohol. Alcohol consumption can interfere with blood sugar as well as the hormones needed to maintain healthy blood sugar levels. Frequent heavy drinkers can wipe out their energy storage in a few hours. Over time, excessive alcohol consumption can reduce the overall effectiveness of insulin. This results in high blood sugar levels. Many people with alcoholic liver disease also have either gluc Continue reading >>

Alcohol And Sugar

Alcohol And Sugar

The fact that alcoholic drinks are full of empty calories and have no nutritional value is bad news for your waistline. But, what many people don’t consider is that they can also be full of sugar. A pint of cider can contain as many as five teaspoons of sugar – almost as much as the World Health Organisation recommends that you do not exceed per day1. What’s more, alcohol can negatively alter blood sugar levels, putting heavy drinkers at increased risk of developing alcohol-related diabetes. How sugar affects your body Too much sugar is bad for your heath in a number of ways. Firstly, it’s very high in calories, and excessive consumption can lead to unhealthy weight gain. Being overweight can make you more susceptible to long term health problems, including life threatening illnesses such as heart disease. A high-sugar diet can also lead to type 2 diabetes, which occurs when a person’s blood sugar levels are too high. Quite apart from the damage it can do to your body, sugar is also the main cause of tooth decay, which can lead to cavities if left untreated. Sugar in alcohol Alcoholic drinks account for 10% of 29 to 64 year olds in the UK’s daily intake of added sugar, and 6% for over 65s.2 Despite this, many people forget to factor in what they drink when calculating daily sugar intake. All alcoholic beverages contain some sugar, but Dr Sarah Jarvis, a member of Drinkaware’s medical panel, identifies fortified wines, sherries, liqueurs and cider as being particular causes of excessive consumption. It’s also important to consider what you’re mixing your drinks with, as the carbonated drinks popular with spirits are often very high in sugar. Alcohol and blood sugar However, it’s not only the high sugar content of alcohol that can affect your body – Continue reading >>

The Beer And Blood Sugar Effect

The Beer And Blood Sugar Effect

Yes, I have type 1 diabetes and I can drink beer. In fact, I'm a craft beer lover who's pretty passionate about trying new brews and supporting my local beer makers (who invent awesomeness in a mug). The fact that I'm pancreatically-challenged changes nothing about that. Over the years, I've lost count of the times I've heard folks wonder whether PWDs (people with diabetes) are able to drink anything, particularly beer. And I've been amazed to meet medical professionals who take the lazy way out and just tell patients that any drop of alcohol is off-limits. This very directive came my way early in the year, from a general practitioner who clearly didn't make the cut when I was searching for a new family physician. Obviously, I'm not a doctor. But in my 16 years of legally drinking countless beers, I would like to think I've learned a thing or two -- particularly that YES, you can and should be able to enjoy beer with diabetes if you want to, of course doing so responsibly in the context of society and your health. Until this past summer, I never thought too deeply about the specifics of beer influencing my diabetes management. Sure, I knew it raises my blood sugar in the short-term, and can increase my hypo risk over the ensuing hours and next day. But that's about it. The general information available online isn't particularly helpful, either. Try searching for "beer and diabetes," or toss "blood sugar" into the Google mix, and you'll find boring, cautious bits of information that are certainly not practical. You might find general info that a light beer or "regular" 12-ounce beer has a certain number of carbs, but it's quickly followed by "don't drink more than X servings and to talk to your doctor." Of course, beer affects different people in different ways, so it's Continue reading >>

Can I Drink With Diabetes? Does Alcohol Affect Blood Sugar?

Can I Drink With Diabetes? Does Alcohol Affect Blood Sugar?

As a diabetes educator, I frequently get asked from patients, “can I drink alcohol and, if so, how much?” A lot of people don’t know that alcohol can actually lower your blood glucose level. If you use insulin or certain diabetes medications you are at greater risk of having a low blood glucose reaction if you drink alcohol. It’s important to have this conversation with your doctor to see if it’s safe. Keep in mind that alcohol should always be consumed in moderation, however if you choose to have an alcoholic drink, here are some tips to help keep you safe: Don’t drink on an empty stomach or when your blood glucose is low. Drink alcohol with a meal or carbohydrate snack like pretzels or crackers. Don’t carb count your alcohol. If you count carbohydrates, don’t add alcohol to the equation. Replacing alcohol with carbohydrate foods can be risky and lead to low blood glucose or hyperglycemia. Alcohol is considered empty calories. It provides no nutritional value, so drinking too much will add no benefit to you. Drink in moderation. The American Diabetes Association recommends drinking in moderation and people with diabetes should follow the same guidelines as those without diabetes. Women should have no more than 1 drink a day, and men, no more than 2 drinks a day. You might be wondering, what is one drink? To give you an idea, one drink is equal to 12 ounces of beer, 5 ounces of wine or 1 ½ ounces of distilled spirits (American Diabetes Association). Sip on your drink and make it last. By drinking in small sips, you can savor the flavor and make that one drink feel like much more. Hydrate yourself by keeping water close by. It’s easy to forget to drink especially when you’re in the midst of a conversation. Grab a glass of water when you grab your alc Continue reading >>

Diabetes And Beer: 4 Tips For Your Night Out

Diabetes And Beer: 4 Tips For Your Night Out

People with diabetes are accustomed to monitoring their food choices and portions. However, they often overlook some critical areas of their disease. One of these is alcohol consumption. The common way of thinking is that unless the individual is an alcoholic, drinking beer isn't going to have a negative impact on their disease. But is that really true about diabetes and beer? Can even one beer alter blood glucose levels? The short answer is yes. Alcohol can lower glucose levels, whether you have one beer or 10. This can be dangerous for individuals who are taking insulin, since combining insulin with beer can create a hypoglycemic episode. Social drinking can be even more dangerous because it's easier to lose sight of how much alcohol you are consuming until your blood sugar drops too low. Some may argue that only drinking a few beers isn't going to cause enough damage to warrant concern. In reality, anytime blood sugar levels get too high or too low, your body will be impacted. Nevertheless, you don't have to give up drinking entirely. Here are four tips on how to drink responsibly. 1. Eat while you drink Remember: alcohol remains in your system longer than glucose from food, so you should only consume beer with food. Drinking beer with a meal helps slow the rate of alcohol absorption and offers some protection against sugar spikes or dips. 2. Try a light beer, but be aware Light beer or brands that are low carb can help a little, but they don't entirely solve the problem. Beer is loaded with sugar, so remember that you need to treat it like a sugar-laden dessert. Check out this table of popular beers and their alcohol and carb content to help you plan ahead. 3. Know your meds Those who use insulin aren't the only ones who need to be aware of their beer consumption. T Continue reading >>

10 Things To Remember About Alcohol And Blood Sugar

10 Things To Remember About Alcohol And Blood Sugar

If you can keep your alcohol consumption to one drink or under, you're probably okay, since most studies don't show increased risks for a single glass. Skip mixed cocktails, since they tend to be loaded with sugar, calories, and carbs, and don't drink on an empty stomach because it can spike blood sugar. Role-play difficult situations. If you dread being asked about why you won't eat cake or drink alcohol, you feel like you can't ask the doctor the questions you want answered, or you have an overbearing family member you don't know how to confront, practice how you'll handle the situation next time with a close friend or a counselor playing the other part. This way you can fine-tune your approach before you have to use it. If you've enjoyed so much as a glass of wine or beer in the hours leading up to your bedtime, do a quick check of your glucose levels. If your blood sugar is low, have a small snack if you need one before crawling under the covers. Alcohol makes it difficult for your body to recover from low blood sugar; having a bite to eat will moderate its effects. Alcohol and vigorous sex both lower blood sugar, and combining the two could cause a dangerous low. Be sure to monitor your blood glucose if you're having 'a glass of wine and thou.' This is critical, and the instructions for you might be different than for somebody else, so pay careful attention, and take notes. Make sure you know if you should take your medication or insulin before or after meals, at night or in the morning, with or without food, etcetera. Do you need to avoid alcohol? Are there potential interactions with other drugs that you should know about? This information will be in the bag when you pick up your prescription, but the language can be hard to understand, so it doesn't hurt to ask Continue reading >>

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