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Can You Drink Alcohol With Type 2 Diabetes


Should Diabetics Eat A Snack Before Bed

Myth: I cant drink alcohol if Ive got diabetes part 1

A high-protein, low-fat snack before bed may help people with diabetes stabilize their blood sugar levels overnight. Everyones blood sugar levels change throughout the night. In people with type 1 diabetes or type 2 diabetes, these fluctuations can cause high blood sugar levels, or hyperglycemia, in the morning.

Alcohol And Type 2 Diabetes Medications

Alcohol can interact with some Type 2 diabetes medications, such as:

  • Chlorpropamide: It aids in managing Type 2 diabetes by increasing insulin secretion. Some people on chlorpropamide may experience unpleasant symptoms such as nausea and vomiting after consuming alcohol.
  • Troglitazone: It improves insulin sensitivity. However, it may impair liver function, and alcohol might exaggerate this effect.
  • Metformin: This medication decreases insulin resistance. Metformin may cause severe side-effects in patients with liver disorders, and alcohol further increases this risk.

Is It Safe To Drink Alcohol

Check with your doctor to make sure alcohol doesnt interfere with your medications or complicate any of your medical conditions. Drinking alcohol can lead to serious low blood sugar reactions, especially if you take insulin or types of diabetes pills that stimulate the release of insulin from the pancreas. Alcohol can also affect other medical conditions you may have, like diabetic nerve damage, diabetic eye disease, and high blood triglycerides. Get guidelines for alcohol use from your medical provider.

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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.

What Are The Different Treatment Options

How does alcohol affect my medications or insulin?

T1D is the same as T2D, but the former is generally develops during early age and is not related to diet. Scientists are still searching the precise reason for type 1 diabetes. The most common reasons are genetics and hereditary.

If you are suffering fromT1D, your pancreas produces no insulin or very little insulin. Injecting insulin is critical to control it.


Type 1 diabetes is not curable, and it is not possible to reverse it. But it is possible to control it. The symptom of this is like those of type 2 diabetes.

In case of both, always consult/visit your doctor before changing your medicines. Your regular doctor can guide you create a balanced and appropriate meal plan as per your medications and blood sugar levels.

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How Much Alcohol Do Drinks Usually Contain

If you have diabetes and are wondering how much alcohol you should drink, it is worth reading the following list to see how much alcohol is contained in each type of drink.

One unit :


  • 1/2 pint of standard strength beer, lager or cider
  • 1 pub shot/optic/measure of sherry or vermouth
  • 1 pub shot/optic/measure of spirit , eg gin, vodka or whisky.

Glycemic Index Of Alcohol

Glycemic index is a value used to measure how much specific food increases blood sugar levels. It indicates how the body digests a particular type of food and converts it into blood sugar . The lower the GI of a specific food, the less it may affect your blood sugar levels, hence reducing obesity, heart disease, and diabetes. Foods are classified as low, medium, or high glycemic food and ranked on a scale of 0100. The table below will help further.

Low GI
56-69 70 and above

If we talk about alcoholic drinks, the Glycemic index of beer and non-alcoholic beer are a high GI food. The Glycemic index of whiskey is low and zero for vodka and wine due to the low carbohydrate content.

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How Many People Die Because Of Alcohol Every Year

As per, World Health Organization Report: 2018, around the world, 3 million deaths per year result from excessive use of alcohol, this shows 5.3 % of all deaths. Alcohol consumption at an early age, like 20-39 years, causes 13.5% of total deaths.

Other than direct death, the overdose of alcohol has a social and financial impact on individuals, families, and society.


What Kind Of Alcohol Can I Drink And How Much

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If you and your doctor decide that its OK for you to drink, here are a few guidelines you should follow when deciding what to drink and how much to consume:

  • Stick to light beers and dry wines, which have less alcohol and fewer calories.
  • Avoid sweet wines and mixed drinks with a lot of sugar, like piña coladas.;
  • If you order a mixed drink, use water and diet soda instead of regular soda or other sweet mixers.
  • Try to stick to the American Diabetes Association guidelines for how much to drink: no more than 1 drink a day for women and 2 drinks a day for men . One drink is defined as 12 oz. of beer, 5 oz. of wine, and 1.5 oz. of liquor.

Also Check: What Is A Normal A1c For A Non Diabetic

Be Cautious With Alcohol

There are other reasons to be cautious if you have type 2 diabetes and drink alcohol. For example, alcohol has calories, especially if you add in mixers like juice or soda. can add up quickly for someone who is trying to watch their weight, Brouillard says. When you are planning your meals and snacks, alcohol is actually counted as a fat, she notes, because of the calorie-load.

This problem can be compounded if drinking alcohol weakens your will to watch what you eat for the rest of the evening.

We recommend that women have no more than one drink , and men have no more than two, Brouillard says.


“One drink,” according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, is a serving that contains 14 grams of alcohol. Different types of alcohol have different concentration levels, so the sizes of a single serving of alcoholic beverages vary:

  • One serving of wine is 5 ounces.
  • One serving of beer is 12 ounces.
  • One serving of malt liquor is 8 ounces.
  • One serving of liquor, such as rum, gin, or whiskey, is 1.5 ounces.

Drink Artificially Sweetened Drinks Maybe

Drinks with artificial sweeteners, such as diet sodas, remain a controversial topic.

On the one hand, drinks with artificial sweeteners can be a calorie-reducing alternative to sweetened drinks. I do endorse artificially sweetened beverages for the purpose of controlling blood sugar and weight, Basbaum says.

Because artificially sweetened drinks have zero carbohydrates and low calorie counts, they may be a good alternative to soda and juice sweetened with traditional sugar, according to the Mayo Clinic.

Yet artificial sweeteners can be several hundred to several thousand times more intense than natural sugar, research has shown. Plus, in Zaninis experience, they cause people to crave sweets more.


Some studies support this notion. An article published in Trends in Endocrinology and Metabolism;notes 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. Ultimately, more studies are needed, the authors concluded.

Whether you decide to drink artificially sweetened beverages is a matter of taste and preference, and a choice to make with your healthcare team.

RELATED: How Much Caffeine Is Safe for People With Diabetes?

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Drink Alcohol Sparingly And On Special Occasions

While previous research, such as a;study published in May 2014 in Diabetes Care, found that moderate alcohol consumption may offer heart-protective effects for people with diabetes, more recent The Lancet suggests that no amount of alcohol is safe.


If you choose to imbibe, do so in small quantities, especially because alcohol can cause blood sugar fluctuations, notes the;American Diabetes Association . 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.

And because the benefits of alcohol are debated, for people with diabetes and the general public, if you dont already drink alcohol, dont start, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention advises.

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Can I Drink Alcohol If I Have Type 2 Diabetes

Can alcohol lead to Type 2 Diabetes?

Moderate alcohol consumption is believed to have health benefits for some people, such as raising good cholesterol levels and lowering the risk of cardiovascular disease, but does that evidence hold up for patients with type 2 diabetes?

Research shows moderate drinking and diabetes often can safely mix. In fact, some studies show moderate drinking can have positive health effects on people with type 2 diabetes. Red wine is especially beneficial.


The important word here is “moderate”: Excessive alcohol drinking can increase the risk of conditions such as heart disease and metabolic syndrome. What’s more, drinking too much can be a cause of type 2 diabetes by leading to weight gain and insulin resistance.;

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Be Good To Your Heart And Waistline

Alcohol is high in calories and low in nutrients. Thats why alcohol is often called empty calories. When your liver breaks down alcohol, it turns the alcohol into fat. That means drinking alcohol can make you gain weight. At 7 calories per gram, alcohol is nearly as calorie-dense as fat . Thats where that beer belly comes from! Alcohol use can also lead to elevated blood fats, or triglycerides, which raises your heart disease risk.

Drink 100 Percent Fruit Juices Occasionally And In Moderation

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.


RELATED: Is Juicing a Good Idea for People With Diabetes?

Read Also: How To Mix Nph And Regular Insulin

What Other Dangers Does Alcohol Pose For People With 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.

Type 2 Diabetes And Alcohol: Proceed With Caution

What can you drink with diabetes – Alcohol, Soda, Diet Soda

Alcohol can worsen diabetes-related nerve damage.Hoping for a beer at the ball game, or a glass of wine with dinner?


If you have type 2 diabetes, that’s probably OK as long as your blood sugar is under control, you don’t have any complications that are affected by alcohol , and you know how the drink will affect your blood sugar, according to the American Diabetes Association.

An alcohol-containing drink a day might even help your heart .

In moderation, alcohol may cut heart disease riskAccording to a study by researchers at the Harvard School of Public Health, women with type 2 diabetes who drank relatively small amounts of alcohol had a lower heart-disease risk than those who abstained. A second study found that men with diabetes had the same reduction in heart risk with a moderate alcohol intake as non-diabetic men.

In general, the recommendations for alcohol consumption for someone with type 2 diabetes are the same as anyone else: no more than two drinks per day for men and no more than one drink per day for women.

People with diabetes who choose to drink need to take extra care keeping food, medications, alcohol, and blood sugars in balance.


“If you become hypoglycemic and there is alcohol on your breath, police or paramedics may mistake your condition for being drunk and may not get the care you need,” says Roszler.

Drinking can worsen nerve damage from diabetes and increase the pain, burning, tingling, and numbness that people with nerve damage often experience.

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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.;


I Have Diabetes Is It Still Safe To Drink Alcohol

Doctors;advise everyone, including diabetics, that they;if they chose to drink, to keep health risks to a low level its important to stay within the UK Chief Medical Officers’ ;low risk;drinking;guidelines;and not regularly drink more than 14 units a week. After all, it’s not just diabetes that you need to consider,;the more you drink the greater your risk of developing a number of other short and long-term health issues such as;seven types of cancer, mental health, heart and liver problems.;

It’s also important,;if you want to avoid developing diabetes, or;already have it and want to manage it well, that you;look after your general health by eating a healthy diet and taking regular exercise, to help control blood sugar levels.;

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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.;

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

Diabetes alcohol

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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Can Drinking Alcohol Cause Insulin Resistance

Can drinking alcohol cause insulin resistance? Summary: Binge drinking causes insulin resistance, which increases the risk of Type 2 diabetes, according to the results of an animal study. The authors further discovered that alcohol disrupts insulin-receptor signaling by causing inflammation in the hypothalamus area of the brain.

How does alcohol affect insulin levels?;Alcohol consumption causes an increase in insulin secretion, which leads to low blood sugar . This causes light headedness and fatigue, and is also responsible for a host of longer-term alcohol-related health problems.

Can alcohol induced insulin resistance be reversed?;Abstaining from alcohol on a short-term basis improved insulin resistance, according to new research by scientists in the U.K. However, a U.S. expert says the findings are counter to other research and to traditional advice that moderate alcohol intake may benefit those with diabetes.

What alcohol can you drink if you have insulin resistance?;Some research says wine may help your body use insulin better and may even make you less likely to get type 2 diabetes in the first place. It may also have heart benefits, to boot! Moderation is the key as too much alcohol can cause hypoglycemia.

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