Alcohol and Diabetes: A Never Good Enough Match

Anju Bisht

, Health A2Z

“Getting wasted” is no more an option in the mind of the diabetic. The fear of any negative effect hovers in the mind- the relation of alcohol and diabetes can be toxic. Will it be safe to drink alcohol with diabetes? There are things alcohol can interfere with like how the body uses blood sugar (glucose) or certain diabetes medicines.


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However, there are people with diabetes drinking alcohol in moderation-  you better know the possible risks associated and ways to lower them. Above all, you can ask your doctor if it is safe for you too.


Alcohol and Diabetes: Risk Involved


Drinking alcohol can involve a certain risk to the health of people with diabetes. Those certain risk to healths are detailed below:


1. Risk of low blood sugar


What exactly happens is liver releases glucose into the bloodstream to keep blood sugar normal. You drinking alcohol makes the liver break down the alcohol where it stops releasing glucose. Resulting, a drop in blood sugar level further putting you at risk of hypoglycemia (low blood sugar).

Low blood sugar risk remains for hours after your last shot. The more shots you take at once, the higher is the risk. Besides, consuming alcohol without eating food adds risk.  You must drink in moderation and add food with drinks.


2. Alcohol and diabetes medicines


People with diabetes taking oral medication should consult a doctor to know if alcohol is okay for you. But yeah alcohol can interfere with the effects of diabetes medication can put you at risk of low or high blood sugar (hyperglycemia). Where both the condition depends upon the medicine and how much you drink.


3. Other risks to a diabetic


Apart from some, the health risk of alcohol is the same otherwise as to healthy people. Here are those some risks to people with diabetes that one must know about:


  • Raises blood sugar level as alcoholic drinks are high in carbohydrates.


  • Calories in it make harder to manage diabetes as it leads to weight gain.


  • Calories are stored as fat in the liver and that makes liver cells insulin resistant. Which makes your blood glucose higher over time.


  • Symptoms of alcohol intoxication and low blood sugar might seem confusing.


  • You having alcohol intoxication will turn things difficult to recognize low blood sugar. Further leads to increases the risk.


  • People with diabetes complications will be recommended by the provider to not drink- as it will make complications worsen.


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Alcohol and Diabetes; Before you decide to drink


Before you choose to drink alcohol be sure of certain things that Medline plus looks at.


  • Diabetes in control


  • Effects of alcohol and prevention of such effects.


  • Instruction of your health care provider.


  • Drink in moderation


  • Women to not go beyond 1 drink per day.


  • Men to limit not more than 2 drinks per day.


Not everybody can suppress the thirst of alcohol- before you go for it determine how much is safe for you from your provider. Consult the doctor as soon as you or someone with diabetes feel symptoms of low blood sugar.


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