How Does Drinking Alcohol Affect Diabetes and Raising Blood Sugars?

Small amounts of alcohol will not hinder your control over diabetes but there are some precautions that diabetics should take to make sure that alcohol can be safely enjoyed. If you are diabetic and are currently treated with either tablets or insulin the main risk of consuming alcohol is hypoglycemia.

Hypoglycemia, which most diabetics already know, is when your blood sugar level drops down to an unsafe level.

A major problem with drinking alcohol as a diabetic is that other people will have trouble knowing whether you are experiencing hypoglycemia or if you are simply intoxicated. Many of the early warning signs of hypoglycemia are mimicked by alcohol and friends may not seek help for you until you lose consciousness, and maybe not even then.

Another problem with a diabetic consuming alcohol is the potential weight gain. Gaining weight while battling diabetes will cause a diabetic to lose control over their disease.

There is also the lapse in judgment that comes with drinking. impaired judgment could lead to you eating a whole bunch of things you shouldn’t be eating.

Moderation, awareness and good judgment are key when a diabetic is consuming alcohol. It’s good to remember that just because you may be out having a grand old time doesn’t mean that you are taking a vacation from your diabetes.

You still need to check your blood sugar levels and look for signs that something is not right.

If you are going to drink...

Experts consider a sensible drinking limit to be 2-3 alcoholic drinks per day for people without diabetes. Diabetics should drink less, especially those with type 1 diabetes, and should always eat while drinking. They should also check their glucose levels before drinking. It's also very important to let your doctor know if you drink so that he can take this into account when prescribing medication. Some medications have strong interactions with alcohol that could prove harmful.

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