• Alcohol may affect judgment, causing you to make poor food choices. Diabetes educator Andrea Harris, RN, recommend following these five safety tips. Now a freelance health and food writer, Carrie worked as a nurse for over a decade. Sign up for free, and stay up to date on research advancements, health tips and current health topics, like COVID-19, plus expertise on managing health. Make an erythritol-based simple syrup by combining 1/2 cup of a granulated erythritol such as Swerve with 1/2 cup of water and simmering it on the stove until the sweetener dissolves.
In severe cases of very low blood sugar, excessive alcohol can have life-threatening consequences. “Light” beers have the least carbs, usually 5 or less grams per serving. So if you know you’re going to have more than one beer while you’re watching a game, stick with light beers. Beer is typically higher in carbs than other alcoholic drinks like wine or liquor.
Other Problems Related To Alcohol And Diabetes
It’s a good idea to choose a can or bottle as they usually come in a 12 ounce size. If you’re getting something on draft, you can request a smaller size than a typical pint, or make sure to take into account the can diabetics drink alcohol extra 4 ounces. 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.
The following cocktails limit carbohydrates naturally, so they can be part of a diabetic diet. This process “puts people with diabetes at high risk of low blood sugar when they drink,” Arevalo said. Abnormalities in the levels and metabolism of lipids are extremely common in people with either type 1 or type 2 diabetes and may contribute to those patients’ risk of developing cardiovascular disease . Alcohol consumption can exacerbate the diabetes-related lipid abnormalities, because numerous studies have shown that heavy drinking can alter lipid levels even in nondiabetics. C-peptide levels, and thus insulin production, were significantly lower in both groups of diabetics than in non-diabetics. No difference in C-peptide levels existed, however, between drinking and nondrinking diabetics, indicating that chronic alcohol consumption did not alter the diabetics’ insulin production.
Alcohol Abuse And Addiction Among Diabetics
Glycogen is a large molecule that consists of numerous glucose molecules and serves as a storage form of glucose in the tissues, particularly the liver. Generally, the glycogen supply is depleted after 1 or 2 days of fasting. Thus, a person who has been drinking alcohol and not eating for 1 or more days has exhausted his or her glycogen supply. Numerous studies have investigated alcohol’s effects on the control of blood sugar levels in diabetics. The two most common forms of diabetes are type 1 and type 2 diabetes, with type 2 diabetes accounting for at least 90 percent of all cases. Type 1 diabetes is an autoimmune disease—that is, a disease in which the body’s immune system attacks and destroys not only foreign molecules or organisms but also some of the body’s own cells. In most patients, the disease develops before age 40, primarily during childhood or adolescence.
Additionally, part of living a healthy lifestyle is to be acutely aware of how foods and beverages impact our bodies, especially when living with a health condition. Alcohol can have dramatic effects on blood sugar and liver function, which is why it’s important to understand how drinking interacts with certain health conditions like diabetes. While the impact of alcohol on diabetes is multi-faceted, we’ve compiled five key takeaways that people living with diabetes should know.
What Type Of Alcohol?
These may be confused with or mask the symptoms of low blood sugar. 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 stevia or a sugar substitute.
- You should monitor your blood sugar even if you do not feel drunk.
- Type 1 diabetes is an autoimmune disease—that is, a disease in which the body’s immune system attacks and destroys not only foreign molecules or organisms but also some of the body’s own cells.
- Beer cans and bottles do not typically come with a nutrition facts label, so it can be hard to know how many calories and carbs are in a serving.
- What we consume daily affects the amount of blood sugar measured in our bodies.
Excess weight can contribute to the onset of type 2 diabetes, and it can make the condition worse. Hypoglycemia unawareness occurs when someone with diabetes has a drop in blood sugar but doesn’t recognize the symptoms. As you mull these ideas, keep in mind that much remains to be learned about how alcohol affects people with diabetes. Drinking is individualized and there’s no universal rule for how to do it safely when you live with diabetes. Talk to your doctor about your drinking habits and they can provide you with tips and tricks for how drink in a way that works for you.
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. Before choosing what types of alcohol you want to be drinking, make sure that you understand the risks of drinking with diabetes and how to drink safely.
An article published in Trends in Endocrinology and Metabolismnotes that eating artificial sweeteners may cause brain changes that trigger overeating. The article also references research that may link consumption of these sugar alternatives to a higher risk of type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease. Stay refreshed with healthy drink choices while skipping drinks that cause blood sugar levels to spike.
Type 1 & Type 2
Get cost-effective, quality addiction care that truly works. Knowing the alcohol-related diseases and disorders can prevent you from experiencing severe physical complications. Inform the people you are with that you have diabetes for the same reason, so they can get help if needed.
What we consume daily affects the amount of blood sugar measured in our bodies. Foods and beverages with high sugar content translate to more glucose in the bloodstream. If you are struggling to control your alcohol intake despite making it harder to manage your diabetes, you may be at risk for alcohol addiction. Our addiction experts at The Recovery Village can help you break free from alcohol, leading to a Alcohol healthier life and possibly better-controlled diabetes. Contact us today to learn about alcohol rehab treatment programs that can help. Diabetes is one of the most common diseases in the United States, impacting around 10% of Americans. Alcohol use is also very common, with almost 86% of Americans stating they have had alcohol at some point in the past and nearly 55% having had alcohol over the past month.
The Best Alcoholic Drinks For People With Diabetes
And if you have type 2 diabetes, drinking alcohol may have some benefits—such as lowering glucose levels in the blood— and some real risks, like driving glucose levels down too low. Unlike protein, fat, or carbohydrate, alcohol doesn’t require insulin to provide energy to the body. The exception is sweet dessert wines, which pack 14 grams of carb in a tiny three-and-a-half-ounce glass. The authors did not study the effect of beer or hard liquor. Moderate drinking can be safe, but excessive alcohol use can exacerbate diabetes symptoms, damage the liver and create severe health problems. However, eating before drinking and periodically monitoring glucose levels can reduce the effects of alcohol on diabetes.
“Sports drinks are usually not necessary unless someone has been very active for over an hour,” Zanini says. “Skim or low-fat milk is also a good beverage option, but it must be counted toward your carb total for a particular meal or snack,” Basbaum says. The A1C is a blood test that helps determine if your diabetes management plan is working well.
Or consider avoiding alcohol to rid your diet of empty calories. Check with your doctor to make sure alcohol doesn’t interfere with your medications or complicate any of your medical conditions. 5Disulfiram (Antabuse®) is a medication used to treat alcoholics.