Can I Drink Alcohol If I Have Type 2 Diabetes?
Studies have shown that moderate alcohol consumption may have favorable effects, such as raising good cholesterol (HDL) and lowering the risk of cardiovascular disease.
Some studies suggest that moderate alcohol consumption may even reduce the risk of developing type 2 diabetes. The most important rule is to keep consumption moderate. The American Heart Association defines moderate alcohol consumption as one drink per day for women and two drinks per day for men.
One alcoholic beverage is measured as a 12-ounce beer, 5-ounce glass of wine, or 1.5-ounce distilled spirits (vodka, whiskey, gin, etc.).
On the other hand, excessive alcohol consumption or binge drinking, defined as more than five alcoholic beverages in a two-hour time span for men and four for women, can increase the risk of heart disease, type 2 diabetes, and metabolic syndrome. Excessive consumption can also make glucose control a challenge by increasing weight and insulin resistance.
If you do decide to drink alcohol, some options are better than others. In addition, if you have diabetes there are certain considerations you must take in order to stay safe. Alcohol consumption can result in increased insulin production, which can lower blood sugars. The American Diabetes Association recommends that persons with diabetes be educated on the recognition and management of delayed hypoglycemia (low blood sugar) when drinking alcohol, especially if those persons are using insulin or other medications that can cause blood sugars to drop.
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