Should I Drink Alcohol?
In Australia, drinking alcohol is generally acceptable and for many people is a normal part of social events. However, for as long as alcohol has been used and enjoyed, some people have experienced problems associated with it. Most people with diabetes can enjoy a small amount of alcohol. However, it’s best to discuss it first with your diabetes health care team. For people who are on insulin or certain diabetes tablets, alcohol may increase the risk of hypoglycaemia (‘hypos’). Guidelines Limit your alcohol intake if you choose to drink. Current guidelines recommend no more than two standard drinks a day for both men and women. For those who need to control weight or lose weight, it's a good idea to cut down your intake. It is also best to drink alcohol with a meal or some carbohydrate-containing food. One standard drink is equal to: 100 mL wine 285 mL regular beer 30 mL spirits 60 mL fortified wine 375 mL low-alcohol beer (less than 3% alcohol). It is important to remember: All alcoholic drinks are high in kilojoules and can contribute to weight gain Too much alcohol can increase the risk of developing complications by putting on weight and increasing blood pressure Drinking a lot of alcohol can cause hypoglycaemia if you are taking insulin or certain diabetes tablets Low alcohol or ‘lite’ beers are a better choice than regular or diet beers because they are lower in alcohol When mixing drinks use low joule/diet mixers such as diet cola, diet ginger ale, diet tonic water. Continue reading >>
4 Tips On Drinking When You Have Diabetes
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. 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. If your doctor's given you permission to drink, follow these guidelines to do it responsibly If your doctor's given you permission to drink, follow these guidelines to do it responsibly Continue reading >>
Asknadia: Safe Alcoholic Drinks For Diabetics
Is a low-sugar drink such as San Miguel light regarded as a safe alcoholic drink for type 2 diabetics? George Dear George: Your question is a perennial: Where do alcoholic beverages fit in to the life of a type 2? Is the best answer one that advises type 2s to abstain rather than run the risks that too much alcohol consumption generates? I personally think that there’s room in type 2s’ lives for some alcohol consumption—such as San Miguel Light—which I’ll explain below. But first, let’s look at the reasons why alcohol is not wholeheartedly accepted as part of a type 2’s lifestyle. There’s a hierarchy of carbohydrate content in alcoholic beverages: Liquor (vodka, whiskey, tequila, gin, etc.) has no carbohydrates Wine has some carbohydrates in it Beer, ale, and malt liquors have the highest number of carbs among alcoholic drinks Most type 2s can tell you that even though beer and wine have carbohydrates, their alcohol content can delay the liver’s manufacture of glucose as it processes the alcohol. The result is an often deceptive low blood glucose reading, which might lead the unaware think that alcohol is a friend when it comes to blood sugar control. But delaying the manufacture of glucose is nowhere near the same as achieving control via the pleasant consumption of alcohol. It’s a practice that can backfire: Alcohol’s effect in lowering blood sugar can be harmful if BG numbers drop too much—hypoglycemia is never something to take lightly Diabetes is associated with increased risk of liver disease. Adding the burden of metabolizing alcohol only increases that risk. The kidneys, too, work extra hard to process alcohol. Low numbers can entice a drinker into overdoing alcohol. After all, if a little has such a good effect on blood glucose numbers, Continue reading >>
What Can I Drink If I Have Diabetes?
Having diabetes means that you have to be aware of everything you eat or drink. Knowing the amount of carbohydrates you ingest and how they may affect your blood sugar is crucial. The American Diabetes Association (ADA) recommends zero-calorie or low-calorie drinks. The main reason is to prevent a spike in blood sugar. Choosing the right drinks can help you avoid unpleasant side effects, manage your symptoms, and maintain a healthy weight. Water Unsweetened tea Unsweetened coffee Sugar-free fruit juice Low-fat milk Zero- or low-calorie drinks are typically your best bet when choosing a drink. Squeeze some fresh lemon or lime juice into your drink for a refreshing, low-calorie kick. Whether you’re at home or at a restaurant, here are the most diabetes-friendly beverage options. 1. Water When it comes to hydration, water is the best option for people with diabetes. That’s because it won’t raise your blood sugar levels. High blood sugar levels can cause dehydration. Drinking enough water can help your body eliminate excess glucose through urine. Women should drink approximately 8 glasses of water each day, while men should drink about 10 glasses. If plain water doesn’t appeal to you, create some variety by: adding slices of lemon, lime, or orange adding sprigs of flavourful herbs, such as mint, basil, or lemon balm crushing a couple of fresh or frozen raspberries into your drink 2. Tea Research has shown that green tea has a positive effect on your general health. It can also help reduce your blood pressure and lower your LDL cholesterol levels. Some research suggests that drinking up to six cups a day may lower your risk of type 2 diabetes. However, more research is needed. Whether you choose green, black, or herbal tea, you should avoid sweeteners. For a refreshi Continue reading >>
Diabetes And Alcohol: Do The Two Mix? (part 3)
Over the last two weeks, we’ve been taking a closer look at alcohol. Several of you have submitted great questions and comments about alcohol, too. The use of alcohol among people with diabetes often stirs up controversy: There are those who feel that people with diabetes shouldn’t drink at all, while others remain on the fence and believe it’s OK to have alcohol once in a while. It’s important to point out that there are no hard and fast rules when it comes to drinking alcohol. That’s why I repeatedly state that it’s important to have this discussion with your health-care provider, as the “rules” can vary from person to person. But, assuming that you’ve gotten the green light from your provider to carefully and safely enjoy alcohol on occasion, how do you fit it into your meal plan? How much can you drink? And what are the best choices? Let’s go through these questions one by one. Fitting alcohol into your meal plan Alcohol is unlike carbohydrate, protein, and fat. However, alcohol is metabolized, or handled, by the body in a manner similar to fat. This means that calories from alcohol can easily be stored as fat unless you burn them off. Alcohol contains 7 calories per gram; fat contains 9 calories per gram, and carb and protein contain 4 calories per gram. So alcohol is a prime source of calories. If you’re trying to lose or maintain your weight, you need to think about this carefully. An occasional glass of wine isn’t a problem. But if you tend to have a glass of wine every night, you need to consider that 4 ounces of wine contains about 90 calories. Over time, this can add up. You may want to cut out 90 calories somewhere else in your meal plan to balance things out and avoid that spare tire around your waist. Remember, too, that alcohol may Continue reading >>
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 >>
What Drinks Are Good And Bad For People With Diabetes?
When a person has diabetes, insulin, a hormone that helps cells absorb glucose, is either nonexistent or in short supply. A person with diabetes is unable to use insulin properly, which causes sugars to build up in the blood. Diabetes can be dangerous if it is not properly managed. Different drinks can affect blood sugar levels in a number of ways. Contents of this article: The best drinks for people with diabetes The following drinks are good choices for people with diabetes. Things to look out for when choosing a drink Many drinks contain lots of sugars and carbohydrates. Paying attention to food labels and nutritional facts can provide important information. Labels should state the serving size and carbohydrate content of any drink. People with diabetes have different bodily needs, so there are no exact dietary rules. However, some tips can help. To make it easier to control blood sugar, it is important to: eat a balanced diet and manage the amount of carbohydrate consumed keep carbohydrate levels consistent from day to day consume managed amounts of carbohydrate, because the brain and body need some carbohydrate to function. Paying attention to food labels and nutritional facts can provide important information. Labels should state the serving size and carbohydrate content of any drink. The worst drinks for people with diabetes The following drinks are bad choices for people with diabetes. Soda and energy drinks Sodas and other sugar-sweetened beverages can increase the risk of type 2 diabetes. For people who already have diabetes, this type of drink provides large amounts of sugar and requires little digestion. Drinking sodas without healthy food can lead to large spikes in blood sugar levels. As it is important to spread carbohydrate intake out evenly, it would be Continue reading >>
The Alcohol And Diabetes Guide
Editors Note: This content has been verified byMarina Basina, MD, a Clinical Associate Professor at Stanford University. Shes a clinical endocrinologist and researcher with a focus on diabetes management and diabetes technology. Dr. Basina is an active member of multiple medical advisory boards and community diabetes organizations, and she is on the Beyond Type 1 Science Advisory Council. Alcohol and diabetes: do they mix? The short answer is yes, you can drink if you have diabetes. But before you drink, its a good idea to educate yourself on how drinking can impact your body and specifically your blood sugar management. Here are some tips on drinking responsibly with diabetes. The liver is the part of your body that stores glycogen (the stored form of glucose). Usually, your livers job is to steadily convert glycogen to glucose, regulating your blood glucose level (BGL). But when you drink, your liver sees alcohol, thinks poison!, and switches gears to detoxing your body of that alcohol. This means that your liver is no longer as focused on releasing glucose, which in turn affects your blood sugar management. Alcohol-induced hypoglycemia with diabetes Because alcohol decreases your livers efficiency at releasing glucose, drinking puts you at risk of a alcohol-induced hypoglycemia . Hypoglycemia, or a hypo, is when you dont have enough glucose in your bloodstream so your BGL is dangerously low. A hypo can happen immediately, or up to 12 hours after drinking. Plus, if you are on insulin for diabetes or you are taking diabetes medication that stimulates insulin-creation , your insulin will continue to work and drop your blood sugar further. Add to that the fact that a hypo can look a lot like being drunk: drowsiness, unsteady movements, slurred speech, etc. A severe hypo Continue reading >>
Diabetes & 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 >>
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 >>
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 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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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 >>
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 >>
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 >>