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Can Type 1 Diabetics Drink Alcohol


The Effect Of Evening Alcohol Consumption On Next

Type 1 Diabetes: Can Diabetics Drink Alcohol???
  • Benjamin C. Turner, MRCP,
  • Emma Jenkins, BSC,
  • David Kerr, MD, FRCP,
  • Robert S. Sherwin, MD and
  • David A. Cavan, MD, FRCP
  • 1Bournemouth Diabetes and Endocrine Centre, Royal Bournemouth Hospital, Bournemouth, U.K.
  • 2Yale University School of Medicine, New Haven, Connecticut
    • Learn More About Alcohol And Diabetes At Nwpc

      Alcohol affects each person with diabetes differently, which is why talking with your health care provider about your medical history is crucial. If you are looking for advice and resources on managing your diabetes, or if alcohol is safe for you to drink, schedule an appointment with one of our practitioners at NWPC today. We offer Telehealth visitsand in-person appointments for all your medical needs.;

      Alcohol & Your Blood Sugar

      The reason alcohol can be tricky for people with diabetes is mostly because of the way it affects your liver which interferes with your livers role in managing your blood sugar!;;

      Your liver stores extra glucose from the food you eat. This stored glucose is called glycogen. Every day, your liver helps to regulate your blood sugar level by converting stored glycogen into glucose. Your liver is releasing this stored glucose throughout every day and night to give your brain and body the fuel it needs to function. This is the same store glucose that contributes to high blood sugars during dawn phenomenon, too. And its part of why we need background / basal insulin throughout the day.

      Meanwhile, when you consume alcohol, your liver sees this as a toxic poison that it needs to focus on processing to get it out of your body as quickly as possible. The more you drink, the longer this process takes.


      When your liver is focused on processing and eliminating the alcohol you drink, it actually stops its other job of converting stored glycogen into glucose to regulate your BG.

      Alcohol also slows down the digestion of food you just ate. This means that the insulin you may have taken for that meal is still working its way through your bloodstream while the food isnt necessarily being broken down into glucose.

      And that is why drinking a lot alcohol as a person with diabetes can be dangerous especially if you take insulin or another medication that lowers blood sugar levels.

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      Vodka Gin Whiskey Etc

      When it comes to spirits such as gins, whiskey, and Vodka, they are usually very concentrated in alcohol content and hardly have sugars. They are clearer and very low and almost absent on carbs.


      Adding other flavors like orange juices increases the number of carbs in these low-carb, distilled alcoholic drinks.

      Vodka is generally very pure alcohol and almost very low in carbs content. We will discuss Vodka in further detail.

      The best option to avoid any extra carbs or sugar overload is to ask the bartender for dietary drinks. They usually carry fewer calories and are a safer option for people with diabetes. It is best not to consume full sugar versions of alcoholic drinks as it can mess up your blood sugar level.

      Keep a regular count and record of your blood sugar, and observe any decrease or increase in its level due to alcohol.

      Vodka and its effects on Diabetes: is it a good drink for people with Diabetes?


      Vodka is among the most concentrated alcoholic drinks available. The amount of alcohol in Vodka is around 40 percent. The alcohol in Vodka is responsible for causing a reduction in blood sugar levels overnight.

      Any added flavor, taste, etc. containing artificial sugars and sweeteners can have a rising effect on peoples blood sugar levels with diabetes. The alcohols hypoglycemic effect then follows the rise in blood sugar in the drink.

      Extreme low levels of sugar in the body can have various harmful and severe symptoms like diabetic seizures.

      ;;;;;;;; Drink it slow.

      What Other Dangers Does Alcohol Pose For People With Diabetes

      Can I Drink Alcohol With Type 1 Diabetes

      Drinking alcohol in high quantities regularly can cause an increase in blood pressure. Furthermore, alcoholic drinks contain calories, and therefore can lead to weight gain. Drinking alcohol can exacerbate neuropathy by increasing pain and numbness.


      Low carbohydrate and low-alcohol drinks may be better than standard alcohol, but the dangers still need to be considered.; Often alcohol is mixed with fizzy, sugary drinks that can impact on blood sugars.

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      How Alcohol Affects Blood Sugar Levels

      Sugar carried to your bloodstream is referred to as blood glucose or blood sugar. 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.;

      Due to its sugar and carbohydrate content, alcohol profoundly affects our blood glucose levels. Moderate consumption typically causes glucose levels to rise. However, excessive consumption, especially for people with type 1 diabetes, can have the opposite effect and actually drop blood sugar levels. Beer, wine, and liquor can also impede liver function responsible for regulating blood glucose levels throughout the day, which can surface health concerns for some diabetics.;

      Can I Drink Alcohol When I Have Type 1 Diabetes

      You dont need to stop drinking, but it is best to avoid drinking excessive amounts;of alcohol, as it could cause you to have a hypo. Thats because when you drink alcohol, the liver has to stop work to break down the toxins and remove it. While your liver is doing this it cant do all the other jobs it normally would, such as releasing stored glucose if your levels start to fall. This effect can last for many hours after you have been drinking and may continue overnight and into the next day.


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      How Will Alcohol Affect My Blood Sugar Control

      Different alcoholic drinks will have varying effects on your blood sugar It also depends how much you drink. A single alcoholic drink may not have a huge effect on your overall blood sugar.

      If you have more than a single drink, most alcoholic drinks will tend to initially raise your blood sugar.

      Typically beers, lagers, wines, sherries and liqueurs will have this effect. However, alcohol inhibits the liver from turning proteins into glucose which means youre at a greater risk of hypoglycemia once your blood sugars start to come down. If you have a number of these drinks, you can expect to see a rise in blood sugar followed by a steady drop a number of hours later, often whilst asleep. People who take insulin, in particular, therefore need to be wary of hypoglycemia.

      Each person will have a slightly different reaction to alcoholic drinks so its well worth using blood tests to check how your body responds to it.


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      The Serving Size Dilemma

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      Of course, one challenge for people with diabetes is that most bars and restaurants serve drinks that are larger than the official standard size, as defined by the National Institutes of Health .

      A 16-ounce beer is a common size , as are both 6 and 9 ounce glasses of wine . And many mixed drinks contain two shots of spirits.

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      How To Make A Low Sugar Pomegranate Martini

      This pomegranate orange cocktail is super simple to make. Start with your orange wedge and squirt it into the bottom of your tumbler. Then, add in one shot of orange liqueur , 1/2 shot of vodka , and one shot of pomegranate juice. Shake it up real good and pour it over ice in a new glass. Then, just top it off with water or sparkling water to the top of the glass.


      Now, if you want to get fancy, you can do a fine sea salt rim on the glass this is a great tutorial if youve never done it before. Dont worry, its super easy! If you want to do this, make sure to do it first before adding ice to the glass and before pouring your drink in.

      And thats it! Garnish with a lime wedge if youd like, and then sit back and enjoy your Pomegranate Martini with Orange Liqueur!

      What Is Alcohol Induced Hypoglycemia

      Alcohol consumption, event light consumption, can cause low blood sugar levels. This is especially concerning when it comes to type 1 diabetes and alcohol.

      Everyday your liver works hard doing a number of different things, and one of those jobs is to produce glucose into your blood stream. This is a normal and necessary body function. So, for those of us with diabetes, we need to take medication or adjust our carbohydrate intake to account for this glucose production by the liver.

      But, when we consume alcohol, something different happens. While your liver might normally be hard at work producing glucose, when you drink alcohol, it stops producing glucose and goes to work processing that alcohol. So, blood sugar levels can drop, and if your medication or insulin doses are prescribed based on your livers usual level of glucose output, this can be a big problem!


      The 5 rules we discuss below address how to avoid alcohol induced hypoglycemia.

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      Type 1 Diabetes And Alcohol

      Almost 300,000 Canadians have Type 1 diabetes, a condition in which the pancreas produces less or no insulin.;Insulin is a hormone that favors the transfer of glucose from the blood into the cells, where it is used as energy. In Type 1 diabetes, the body cannot use glucose optimally, and so it builds up in the bloodstream.;Although it is a manageable condition, if not managed properly, it can cause health complications such as stroke, blindness, heart disease, and nerve damage.

      Various factors can increase the risk of diabetes-related complications, and alcohol is one of them. While this does not mean that one cannot have alcohol at all, it should be consumed in moderation, as it increases the risk of hypoglycemia, requiring frequent monitoring of blood sugar levels.

    • Final Thoughts
    • When It Comes To Type 1 Diabetes And Alcohol I Have 5 Rules I Advise Everyone To Follow

      (8) Twitter

      Whatâs the deal with type 1 diabetes and alcohol, and type 2 diabetes and alcohol? Whatâs safe and whatâs not safe?


      Unfortunately, many people are either told they have to avoid alcohol all together, or are told its fine with little to no guidance or support. Both scenarios leave the patient feeling confused on whats ok and whats not ok.

      *This article is not intended to provide medical advice, diagnosis, opinion, treatment or services. This article and the links contained in it provide general information for educational purposes only. The information provided in this article is not a substitute for medical care. It should not be used in place of the advice of your physician or registered dietitian.*

      *Be responsible when consuming alcohol. Alcohol is a known carcinogen and will impair judgement when consumed in excess.;Do not consume alcohol if you are pregnant or think you might be pregnant.*

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      Alcohol Use Among Diabetics Can Cause Cardiovascular Disease And Other Issues

      Alcohol interacts with certain medications that treat diabetes, such as Glynase and Prandin. The liver processes these medications and alcohol. For people who take diabetic medications, drinking too much can damage the liver.

      Heavy alcohol use can cause people with Type 1 diabetes to develop ketoacidosis, a condition that produces nausea, abdominal pain and fatigue. The condition occurs when the body produces high levels of blood acids called ketones.

      Heavy drinking can also cause alcohol-induced hypertriglyceridemia, a condition that can lead to cardiovascular disease. Moderate drinking can increase the risk of peripheral neuropathy, a disorder related to nerve damage that can cause weakness, numbness and pain.

      Drinking may cause people to ignore their health needs. A 2013 study published in the journal Acta Diabetologica indicated that alcohol use can reduce adherence to self-care recommendations for diabetes treatment, such as exercising or monitoring glucose levels.

      Excessive Alcohol And Type 1 Diabetes

      Individuals with Type 1 diabetes have to be extremely careful while consuming alcohol. According to the guidelines set by Diabetes Canada, one cannot have more than three standard drinks and more than 15 drinks in a week and no more than two standard drinks in a day and more than ten drinks a week . A standard drink is 341 mL of beer, 142 mL of wine, or 43 mL liquor.


      However, if a person with Type 1 diabetes already has nerve damage, hypertension, or eye complications, alcohol consumption is not recommended.;Alcoholic drinks have carbohydrates, which are broken into sugar, and consuming excess alcohol could cause a sudden spike in blood sugar levels.

      Some other complications include:

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      The Pancreas And Its Hormones

      The pancreas, which is located behind the stomach, serves two functions. The first function, which involves most of the pancreatic cells, is the production of digestive enzymes. Those enzymes are secreted directly into the gut to ensure effective food digestion. The second function is the production of several hormones. Two of the hormones are potent regulators of blood sugar levels. Both hormones are produced in areas of the pancreas called the Islets of Langerhans, which, quite literally, are islands of hormone-producing cells in a sea of digestive enzyme-producing cells. Among other cell types, the Islets of Langerhans include an inner core of insulin-producing beta cells surrounded by a layer of glucagon-producing alpha cells.

      Insulin primarily serves to lower blood sugar levels by promoting the uptake of sugar in the muscles and fat tissue as well as the conversion of glucose into its storage form, glycogen. In addition, insulin inhibits the production of more sugar molecules in the liver. Conversely, glucagon primarily serves to increase blood sugar levels. Accordingly, it promotes gluconeogenesis and the breakdown of glycogen into glucose. The actions of insulin and glucagon must be finely balanced, because both lower than normal blood sugar levels and higher than normal blood sugar levels can have deleterious effects on the body.


      Blood glucose regulation by insulin in healthy people and in people with type 1 or type 2 diabetes.

      Drink 100 Percent Fruit Juices Occasionally And In Moderation

      TYPE 1 DIABETES & ALCOHOL

      You can have the occasional 4 to 6 oz glass of 100 percent fruit juice as a treat, Basbaum says. Remember to count the carbs as part of your overall meal, and plan for the blood sugar spike the juice might cause.

      For example, if you like to have breakfast with fresh-squeezed orange juice, which has 26 g carbs per cup, per the USDA, calculate its nutrient makeup along with your eggs and whole-grain toast for a complete picture of the meal.

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      What Type Of Alcohol

      The type of alcohol that you choose to drink can influence how your night turns out if you have diabetes. Different drinks will affect your body with diabetes wildly differently. This is because there are two competing factors. On one hand, alcohol alone inhibits the steady release of glucose from the liver, which can cause low blood sugar. Read more about why that is here.

      On the other hand, the sugar and carbs in many drinks can cause high blood sugar. ;Because of how volatile your bodys reaction to drinking can be, make sure to be constantly checking your blood glucose levels . Be cognizant of what is in whatever you are drinking.

      Your Guide To Alcoholic Beverages With Prediabetes

      If you have been diagnosed with prediabetes, its important to watch your food and beverage intake carefully. When it comes to alcohol, its best to avoid drinking whenever you can. But if you do choose to drink, then you might be wondering which drinks are worst and which ones are best.

      Heres your guide to alcoholic beverages with prediabetes, so you can better understand how to choose the healthiest drink options.

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      Advice For Managing Your Diabetes When Drinking Alcohol:

      • Be prepared. Get your diabetes kit and hypo treatments ready and check your blood sugar level before you start drinking.
      • Make sure you check your blood sugar levels regularly throughout the night.
      • Tell your new friends you have diabetes and what to do if you have a hypo.
      • Dont drink on an empty stomach. Eating foods that have carbs in them like a sandwich before a night out will help avoid a hypo.
      • Remember that eating isnt cheating. Make sure you carry snacks with you just in case, and eat before you go to bed.
      • Stick to diet mixers
      • Dancing is exercise, so remember that it can make your blood sugar levels drop. If youre walking around from venue to venue, this also counts.
      • Drink plenty of water when you get home, and check your blood sugar levels.
      • If you have a hypo, treat it before you fall asleep.
      • We have more in-depth information on drinking alcohol.

      How Alcohol Interacts With Diabetes Medications

      How does alcohol affect my medications or insulin?

      As with any prescription, its essential to talk with your doctor about how a medication may interact with what you drink. Consuming alcoholic beverages while taking some diabetes medications can also cause some negative side effects while potentially inhibiting their effectiveness. Interactions may include:;

      • Mixing alcohol and insulin can intensify the medications effects on your blood sugar levels, causing severe low blood glucose levels. Combining the two can also interrupt insulins ability to help regulate blood sugar, causing it to rise to unhealthy levels.;
      • Medications like sulfonylureas and meglitinides help lower blood sugar levels, but may intensify when combined with alcohol.
      • Metformin, when combined with heavy alcohol consumption, can increase the risk of lactic acidosis. While this disease is rare, it can be deadly if not treated properly.;;

      If you are taking any diabetes medications, remember to talk to your NWPC provider about potential risks and complications associated with drinking.;

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