can I Drink Alcohol If I Have Diabetes?

Now a freelance health and food writer, Carrie worked as a nurse for over a decade. Most liqueurs and cordials, including Kahlúa, are high in sugar. If you’d like a sweet substitute for Kahlúa, then try the following recipe.

can diabetics have alcohol

Depending on the severity of your diabetes and other related health considerations, it may be a good idea to quit or limit your use of alcohol, as alcohol has a big effect on your blood sugar levels. The liver releases glucose to help the body maintain a healthy blood sugar level. So when a person is drinking, the liver is less effective at releasing glucose when the body needs it. 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. Have your supplies handy, such as a hypoglycemia preparedness kit.

Diabetic

The pro about drinking straight alcohol is that the carb count is typically very low. Since there is so much alcohol in liquors, it makes you more susceptible to drinking too much and feeling the negative side effects of drinking with diabetes. Furthermore, if you are drinking liquor, make sure that you are also drinking water or other liquids. You don’t want to end up dehydrated, which can mess up your blood sugar levels. Wine is another popular choice of alcohol, kinda like beer’s classier sibling. The alcohol content of wine ranges from 12-15%, and therefore, the serving size for wine is a smaller 5 oz. Much like with beer, when drinking wine, it is important to factor in the carb content, which can vary wildly with different types of wine.

Being tipsy has another downside, making it easy to mix up your medications or to forget to take them entirely. A daily cocktail or two may improve blood sugar management and insulin sensitivity. If you have one or more drinks a day, you may find that your A1C is lower than during times you weren’t drinking. But if you don’t drink regularly, this doesn’t mean you should start.

Beverage Dos And Don’ts For Diabetes

It has a light and refreshing flavor and can be enjoyed on alone or mixed with other beverages. Lite beer and low-carb beer may also be a good option for people with diabetes provided you only consume them in limited amounts. Look for lite beers that have 5g of carbs or fewer per 12 ounce serving. Moderate alcohol consumption is perfectly safe for most people with diabetes.

can diabetics have alcohol

If you have prediabetes or type 2 diabetes, carb counting can help you manage your blood glucose level and feel your best, whether or not you take any diabetes medications. If you have type 1 diabetes, carb counting can help you match your mealtime insulin dosage to the amount Sober living houses of carbs you are eating. Overall, carb counting can be a great tool, but it may not be for everyone. It takes a lot of work to find out how many carbs are in different foods, and you have to be diligent in keeping track of what you’re eating and adding up the carbs.

What Are The Risks Of Drinking Alcohol As A Diabetic?

Martinis can be a good choice for people with diabetes because they contain no sugar or carbs. Just be mindful of sticking to one drink as they are higher in alcohol content. Limit your serving to 2.25 ounces (2 ounces vodka and 1/4 ounce vermouth) and help yourself toa healthy snack like this garden quinoa salad to keep your blood sugar stable. 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. In one study of 275 originally potent diabetic men, heavy drinkers were significantly more likely to develop impotence during the 5-year study period than were moderate drinkers (McCulloch et al. 1984). Ketoacidosis typically occurs in patients with type 1 diabetes who completely lack insulin.

can diabetics have alcohol

This amount is equal to one 12-ounce bottle of beer or wine cooler, one 5-ounce glass of wine, or 1.5 ounces of distilled spirits. 1The prefix “hyper-” always indicates higher than normal levels of a substance, whereas the prefix “hypo-” indicates lower than normal levels. The suffix “-emia” refers to the levels of a substance in the blood. Thus, hyperinsulinemia refers to higher than normal insulin levels in the blood, whereas hypoglycemia refers to lower than normal glucose levels in the blood. Troglitazone, another medication that decreases insulin resistance, also must not be used by patients with liver disease and therefore should not be used by alcohol abusers. Moreover, troglitazone itself may impair liver function, and alcohol might further exacerbate this harmful effect. Metformin, a medication that decreases insulin resistance, can cause potentially lethal side effects in patients whose liver is not functioning properly.

Alcohol Interacts With Diabetes Medications

Be sure to eat a meal or snack containing carbohydrates if you are going to drink alcohol. The best types of alcohol for people with diabetes are those with a low sugar or carb content. Avoid mixing liquor with sugary juices or sugar-containing soda. If you do drink these with alcohol, your blood sugar may spike and then dip to dangerously low levels. However, their carb content can be virtually the same as that of red wines. It’s also important to have a healthy diet, quit smoking, lose weight if you’re overweight, and exercise regularly.

  • If you have diabetes, drinking alcohol may be safe for you as long as you choose the right types of drinks and consider alcohol’s effects on your blood sugar levels.
  • The article also references research that may link consumption of these sugar alternatives to a higher risk of type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease.
  • 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.
  • For instance, drinking 1½ cups of tomato juice a day for a month cut down on some measures of inflammation in obese women, according to research published in the British Journal of Nutrition.

Most people with diabetes can safely drink alcohol in moderation. However, it is important that people monitor how alcohol makes them feel and stop drinking right away if they feel dizzy or weak. Instead, “Have a good meal before or during drinking,” said Arevalo. But know the carb count of what you are eating and work with your healthcare professional to determine how to take medication for that meal along with the alcohol you are consuming. This table lists popular alcoholic beverages and gives the average serving size, carbohydrate content, and number of calories. You can have the occasional 4 to 6 oz glass of 100 percent fruit juice as a treat, Basbaum says.

Drink Unsweetened Coffee And Tea

According to the ADA, moderate drinking is defined as up to one drink for women and two drinks for men per day. One drink equals 1½ oz of liquor, 12 oz of beer, or 5 oz of wine. For example, studies have shown that for people who have type 2 diabetes, occasionally drinking alcohol may slightly reduce glucose levels. Within a few minutes of drinking alcohol, and for up to 12 hours afterward, alcohol can cause your blood glucose level to drop. After consuming alcohol, always check your blood glucose level to make sure it is in the safe zone. Diabetes is a condition in which the body does not properly process glucose, or blood sugar, from food. As a result, glucose in the blood can reach dangerous levels and create serious health problems.

can diabetics have alcohol

Most research shows that drinking a small amount of alcohol occasionally does not significantly affect blood glucose levels. People with diabetes who want to drink wine can, therefore, do so in moderation. However, they should take care to do this in conjunction with a healthful diet and only when their blood sugar is well-controlled. 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.

If you are on insulin or other anti-hyperglycemic medications, this can lead to dangerously low blood sugar up to 24 hours after you stop drinking. Alcohol can also cloud your judgement, so you may not realize that your blood sugar is low.

Sometimes it helps to discuss a lifestyle with diabetes with others. We invite you to attenda free support group at Johnson Memorial Hospital. If you are with someone that you know is diabetic, get medical help if you notice them becoming less alert or become unconscious. Get cost-effective, quality addiction care that truly works. Knowing the alcohol-related diseases and disorders can prevent you from experiencing severe physical complications.

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All alcohol contains about 7 calories per gram, which is more than carbohydrates and only slightly less than fat . If you’re making a Bloody Mary, opt for a variety of tomato juice without added salt to lower its sodium content. People often think of this as a “healthy” cocktail due to its vegetable content.

Most people with diabetes may enjoy alcohol in moderation, but you should always check with your healthcare provider first. Your condition or the medications you are taking could be affected by alcohol consumption. To sum it up, the key to safe drinking if you have diabetes is to drink in moderation can diabetics drink alcohol and to monitor your blood sugar regularly. This will keep you healthy and safe when you enjoy a toast with friends and family this holiday season. Consider these extra calories and sugars and always avoid liqueurs, sweet wines, tonic, regular soda, fruit juice and sugary drink mixers.