Sober living

Consequences of Alcohol Use in Diabetics PMC

Be sure to eat a meal or snack containing carbohydrates if you are going to drink alcohol. View a list of calories and carbohydrates in popular alcoholic beverages on A Look at your Liquor. Check with your doctor to make sure alcohol doesn’t interfere with your medications or complicate any of your medical conditions. Alcohol can also affect diabetic nerve damage, eye disease, and high blood triglycerides. Because many of the symptoms of hypoglycemia—such as slurred speech, drowsiness, confusion, or difficulty walking—are also symptoms of being drunk, it can be difficult to tell the two apart. And if you often have hypoglycemia unawareness, a condition in which you don’t recognize you’re going low, drinking becomes especially dicey. Timing may also be an issue, as hypoglycemia can strike hours after your last drink, especially if you’ve been exercising.

As a guideline, plan to eat when having a drink, and know what your blood sugar level is before you start drinking. The biggest concern surrounding alcohol and diabetes alcohol consumption is for people who take insulin and/or glucose-lowering medication, which can cause the increased risk of hypoglycemia.

What to Know About Alcohol and Diabetes

McCulloch DK, Campbell IW, Prescott RJ, Clarke BF. Effect of alcohol intake on symptomatic peripheral neuropathy in diabetic men. 5Disulfiram (Antabuse®) is a medication used to treat alcoholics. It acts by inducing an unpleasant physical response (e.g., nausea and vomiting) after alcohol consumption.

  • For example, long-term alcohol use in well-nourished diabetics can result in excessive blood sugar levels.
  • The American Heart Association is a relentless force for a world of longer, healthier lives.
  • This could be three or four glucose tablets, 4 ounces of juice , or five pieces of hard candy .
  • When shopping for your groceries, be sure to buy organic and non-GMO foods.
  • If you drink alcohol, it’s important to factor in those sugars and calories when you’re looking at your overall diet.

If you have diabetes and high triglycerides, talk to your doctor about the best way to lower them. The general rule of thumb for moderate drinking is one drink per day for women and no more than two drinks for men.

How Does Alcohol Affect Blood Sugar?

Blood sugar that is too high is called hyperglycemia, while blood sugar that drops too low is called hypoglycemia. Although your doctor will tell you what your specific blood sugar goal range is, generally, a target blood sugar range is80 to 130 mg/dLif you are testing your sugar on an empty stomach. Anyone, even the person without diabetes, who depends on alcohol as a major source of calories will see a decline in their health, said Cooper. This is especially true for the person with diabetes, who relies heavily on proper diet to control blood-sugar levels.

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This effect is due to the alcohol’s adverse effect upon liver function, which typically works to regulate blood sugar levels. In fact, some evidence shows that many people with type 2 diabetes can safely enjoy drinking alcoholic beverages. And believe it or not, moderate drinking may even bring about some benefits. Alcohol can cause blood glucose levels to rise or fall, depending on how much you drink.

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Alcohol interacts with many medications, including those used to treat diabetes. Some medications, such as insulin, may not work well when combined with alcohol. This can cause low blood glucose levels or high blood glucose levels . Alcohol contains a lot of calories, and those calories can quickly add up.

In some people with Type 2 diabetes, medications may be necessary. If you have diabetes and want to drink alcohol, there are strategies you can use to drink more safely.