Diabetes and Alcohol

Alcohol can affect your health in many ways. When it comes to deciding whether to drink alcohol or not, it is always best to talk with your healthcare provider. Alcohol can:

  • Cause a high or low blood sugar
  • Interfere with how your medicines work
  • Lead to weight gain
  • Increase blood pressure
  • Increase cholesterol
  • Cause flushing, nausea, dizziness
  • Reduce mindfulness and lead to overeating

Hypoglycemia (Low blood sugar)

Alcohol can affect your blood sugar up to 12 hours after drinking. Often alcohol can lead to a low blood sugar, which is very dangerous. Symptoms of hypoglycemia look very similar to what it looks like when someone has had too much to drink: weakness, blurred vision, confusion, unusual behavior, slurred speech, clumsiness, feeling sleepy, collapsing, etc. Hypoglycemia is serious and must be treated right away. If someone mistakenly thinks you have had too much to drink, you may not get the medical attention you need.

To help prevent hypoglycemia, it is recommended to eat food while you are drinking alcohol. Also, be sure to wear, or carry, identification that says you have diabetes.

Recommendations

Usually, it is okay to drink if all of these apply:

  • Your healthcare provider says it is okay
  • You limit yourself to one drink per day as a woman, or two drinks per day as a man
  • Your blood sugar is well managed
  • You know the effects of alcohol and how to prevent issues
  • You have food with your alcohol
  • You drink slowly

Alcohol can make some medical conditions worse. It is best to avoid alcohol if you have any of the following:

  • Nerve damage – tingling or burning in hands and feet
  • Eye damage
  • High blood pressure
  • High triglycerides
  • Kidney damage
  • Liver problems

Portions & Calories

Alcohol                                               Serving size (fl oz)        Number of drinks                Calories

Regular beer

12

1

153

Light beer

12

1

103

Forty-ounce regular beer

40

3

491

Wine

5

1

90-165

Champagne

4

1

84

Liquor

1.5

1

97

Malt liquor

8

1

165

Forty-ounce malt liquor

40

5

420

Margarita

8

2

336

Pina Colada

9

2

490

 

 

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