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Why Is Alcohol Bad For Diabetics?

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 >>

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 >>

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 >>

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 >>

The Most Important Things To Know About Diabetes And Alcohol

The Most Important Things To Know About Diabetes And Alcohol

back to Overview Tips & Tricks We recently held our annual mySugr holiday celebration. What a good opportunity to talk about drinking alcohol with diabetes and the effect on blood sugar, right? Reviewed for accuracy and updated December 18, 2017 — SKJ Party time! You can probably imagine it. Some snacks to nibble on, a live DJ spinning the (digital) wheels of steel, and some tasty adult beverages. In a situation like that, It’s all too easy to get caught up in the atmosphere and not think about your blood sugar. That’s totally natural – who wants to think about diabetes when you’re having a good time? I certainly don’t. But does drinking alcohol affect your diabetes and blood sugar? Is it something to be concerned about? Pay Respect! Here’s the deal. If you don’t pay some attention to alcohol and learn how it interacts with your diabetes, it will stop your party in one way or another, either during the dance-off or perhaps more commonly, hours later when you’re sound asleep and dreaming about your fancy moves. Cruelly, that’s when you’re least expecting it and when you’re at your most vulnerable. Having diabetes is no reason to avoid drinking if it’s something you’d like to do. But you should understand how it works so you can do so safely. I’m not personally a big drinker, but I’ve done some digging and hope to share a few bits of useful information to help keep you safe. We’re all different, but basics are basic… One of the most important things I can share is that we’re all different, especially when it comes to our diabetes. Many people also differ in how they respond to alcohol. So like everything – your mileage may vary. In any case, there’s no harm in talking about some of the basic ways alcohol affects metabolism, and wh Continue reading >>

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 >>

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 >>

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 >>

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 >>

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 >>

Does Wine Help Or Harm People With Diabetes?

Does Wine Help Or Harm People With Diabetes?

With commentary from study author Meir Stampfer, MD, DrPH, professor of epidemiology and nutrition, Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health Doctors have long faced a paradox when advising their patients with type 2 diabetes on drinking alcohol. Moderate drinking has been shown to reduce the risk of heart disease, which would benefit people with diabetes who are at increased risk of the disease. Yet, people with diabetes have traditionally been advised to reduce their alcohol consumption to help better control their glucose levels. Now preliminary results of a new study presented at the European Congress on Obesity in Prague, found that adults with diabetes may be able to safely drink in moderation and reap the heart benefits. The study randomly assigned 224 patients with controlled type 2 diabetes to have either mineral water, white wine or red wine (about a 5-ounce serving of wine) with dinner every night for two years. All patients were following a healthy Mediterranean diet with no calorie restrictions. Researchers found that red-wine drinkers had a modest improvement in high-density lipoproteins (HDL), the good cholesterol, and also had improved apolipoprotein A1, a component of HDL. Those who drank red or white wine also saw modest improvements in glucose metabolism. Drinking one 5-ounce serving of red or white wine wasn’t associated with any negative effect on medication use, blood pressure or liver function tests. “Obviously excess drinking is harmful, but there is no good evidence to discourage moderate consumption among diabetics who have no other contraindication,” says Meir Stampfer, MD, DrPH, professor of epidemiology and nutrition, Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, and one of the authors of the study. “This first long-term large scale alc 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 >>

Should I Drink Alcohol?

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 >>

Diabetes & Alcohol: What You Need To Know

Diabetes & Alcohol: What You Need To Know

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

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 >>

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