10 Beverage Dos And Don’ts For Diabetes

Food choices like a carb-rich meal and alcohol can result in an excessive insulin response. 9 Foods to Avoid with Diabetes Making wise food choices can help you keep your blood sugar level within your target range. While moderation is important in many cases, there are some food items you may want to eliminate from your diet altogether. Shimomura T and Wakabayashi I. Inverse associations between light-to-moderate alcohol intake and lipid-related indices in patients with diabetes. Combining the medication metformin with alcohol raises the risk of developing lactic acidosis. This rare but very serious side effect may cause weakness, tiredness, dizziness, chills, trouble breathing, muscle pain, stomach problems, and sudden changes in heart rate or rhythm.

According to the Diabetes Teaching Center at the University of California, San Francisco, it takes approximately 1 to 1 ½ hours for the liver to process one drink. It’s during that processing time when people with diabetes are at risk for low blood sugar. If they have two drinks, they would be at risk for two to three hours. The more drinks someone has, the length of time they are at risk for low blood sugar increases. Hypertriglyceridemia is an important risk factor for cardiovascular diseases.

Diabetic patients being treated for alcohol abuse may regularly meet with a medical doctor, nutritionist, and attend sessions with a counselor to treat all medical and mental health needs. Programs typically last 30 to 90 days but may last longer depending on the progress and needs of each patient. Excessive alcohol, however, or chronic alcohol abuse can have several dangerous effects in the body of diabetics and nondiabetics alike. Diabetes and alcohol consumption is never something to take lightly. Although it is possible to drink alcohol on occasion as a diabetic, drinking always has to be closely monitored. When it comes to successfully managing type 2 diabetes, what you drink is just as important as what you eat. In fact, you may be surprised by how much a single drink can affect your blood sugar.

  • Instead, “Have a good meal before or during drinking,” said Arevalo.
  • If you choose to consume alcohol, here are some tips from our diabetes experts to help avoid problems.
  • The bottom line is that any person with diabetes who wishes to consume alcohol should first discuss it with a doctor.
  • When you’re at risk for hypoglycemia because you have consumed alcohol when you have diabetes, you may think that high carb drinks can solve that problem.
  • Hypoglycemia unawareness occurs when someone with diabetes has a drop in blood sugar but doesn’t recognize the symptoms.

Studies have suggested that a standard alcoholic beverage may lower blood sugar levels that tend to get too high. Heart disease — this condition is the primary cause of death in individuals with type 2 diabetes. Although the relationship between alcohol use and cardiovascular disease in this population needs further studying, alcohol is known to increase blood pressure.

Before you take your next sip, here are the top drinking dos and don’ts for people with diabetes. Because alcohol is highly addictive and research links heavy consumption to an array of adverse health effects, avoiding the beverage is the healthiest choice for anyone. “Tom couldn’t hold a job because of his drinking, and he’d spend the money for his medical needs on booze,” said Tom’s sister.

Healthcare Professionals

Taskinen MR, Valimaki M, Nikkila EA, Kuusi T, Ehnholm C, Ylikahri R. High density lipoprotein subfractions and prostheparin plasma lipases in alcoholic men before and after ethanol withdrawal. Shelmet JJ, Reichard GA, Skutches CL, Hoeldtke RD, Owen OE, Boden G. Ethanol causes acute inhibition of carbohydrate, fat, and protein oxidation and insulin resistance. Lin RC, Dai J, Lumeng L, Zhang M. Serum low density lipoprotein of alcoholic patients is chemically modified in vivo and induces apolipoprotein e synthesis by macrophages. Chait A, Mancini M, February AW, Lewis B. Clinical and metabolic study of alcoholic hyperlipidaemia. Boden G, Chen X, Desantis R, White J, Mozzoli M. Effects of ethanol on carbohydrate metabolism in the elderly.

“It’s okay to choose sparkling water with lemon or a diet soda instead of an alcoholic drink in a social setting,” said Swift. According to the CDC, moderate drinking is defined as two drinks or less per day for men, or one drink or less per day for women. The US Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee recommends one drink or fewer per day for people of any gender. It is illegal for people under 21 to drink alcohol in the United States. Your healthcare provider will tell you how much alcohol is safe for you to drink. Depending on your health condition, that may mean no alcohol at all.

Can I Drink Alcohol With Diabetes?

Alcohol use disorders can have a profound, negative impact on a person’s ability to function in their personal and professional lives. The added difficulty of a medical condition like diabetes only makes this worse and can greatly harm both physical and psychological health. Both types are characterized by an inability to produce or regulate insulin in the body. • Do not consume more than two drinks of alcohol in one day if you are a man, and no more than one drink per day if you are a woman. When mixing alcohol and diabetes, a little extra attention to preventative measures can make all the difference between a safe experience and one that requires medical attention.

Choose foods that have some carbohydrates, so that you have some glucose in your system and, therefore, are at lower risk of having low blood sugar. When blood sugar levels dip too low, the liver converts glycogen into glucose that can then be shuttled into the bloodstream and bring levels up to normal. Of course, your healthcare provider can best determine what’s right for you. But if you do drink, know that not all alcoholic beverages are created equal when it comes to diabetes.

It’s also the body’s detoxification center, breaking down toxins like alcohol so the kidneys can easily flush them away. 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.

If alcohol consumption causes vomiting, test at least once an hour for several hours while drinking non-alcoholic beverages and eating some crackers, cereal, bread, etc. If unable to keep food down and hypoglycemia occurs, they should follow their health care providers guidance to treat low blood sugar.

Guidelines For Drinking Alcohol With Diabetes

This article explains how alcohol affects blood sugar levels and what benefits it may bring. It also provides guidelines for how to include alcohol in a type 2 diabetes diet, should you choose to. For people with diabetes, drinking alcohol can cause low or high blood sugar, affect diabetes medicines, and cause other possible problems. Always start with a blood glucose level that’s at a healthy, in-range level, sip—don’t chug—your alcohol, and avoid drinking to excess. Your body, your brain, and your diabetes will all be easier to manage once you’re done drinking, either for the evening, the event, or for good. Diabetes is a chronic medical condition that can have various negative effects on your health and wellbeing.

10 beverage dos and don'ts for diabetes

However, what may be lesser known to nondiabetics is alcohol’s effects on insulin production, blood sugar or glucose levels, and its negative interaction with some diabetes medications. Exercise can also increase the risk of hypoglycemia when coupled with other factors, such as drinking alcohol. Doctors strongly encourage people with diabetes to engage in regular physical activity because it reduces blood sugar. However, exercising, drinking alcohol, and taking blood sugar-lowering medication could cause hypoglycemia.

This might mean dinner or appetizers out with friends, or making something for yourself before heading out. A small snack, like an apple or piece of toast with peanut butter is good idea. Work with your doctor or other diabetes expert to find what is best for you. Make sure you know whether it is safe to drink if you are taking medicine for diabetes. You should always consult your doctor before engaging in strenuous exercise to be sure you are physically able though.

How Alcohol Interacts With Diabetes Medications

Alcohol prevents the liver from maintaining blood sugar levels. This means you are more likely to experience hypoglycemia for 24 hours after drinking alcohol. If you choose to consume alcohol, here are some tips from our diabetes experts to help avoid problems. Some of these blood sugars are stored in the liver as glycogen. This stored sugar is released between meals to help maintain your blood sugar levels. This is what is known as the blood glucose curve, the rise and fall of blood glucose in relation to eating a meal. When you drink alcohol, since it’s neutralized in the liver, sugar is not released from the liver to maintain blood sugar levels.

10 beverage dos and don'ts for diabetes

One drink equals 1½ oz of liquor, 12 oz of beer, or 5 oz of wine. If you experience a low blood glucose reading while drinking, stop drinking. Remember that you could get to the point that you are not aware that you’re having low blood sugar symptoms. Being drunk and hypoglycemia cause the same symptoms of sleepiness and dizziness, and this means your treatment could be delayed. Remember to monitor your sugar and always wear your diabetes identification when drinking to avoid this problem.

Drinking alcohol can lead to hypoglycemia—abnormally low blood glucose. Don’t drink on an empty stomach or when your blood glucose isn’t under control.

The Risks

Alcohol can interfere with the effects of some diabetes medicines, putting you at risk for low blood sugar or high blood sugar , depending on how much you drink and what medicine you take. The risk for low blood sugar remains for hours after you take your last drink. This is why you should only drink alcohol with food and drink only in moderation.

Alcohol, in particular, can have damaging health effects for you. At Providence Treatment, we help professionals like you overcome an addiction to alcohol and drugs. We understand that it can be overwhelming for you to admit that you need help for your addiction to alcohol.