05 June, 2010

Can a Diabetic have ALCOHOL??

Beyond all the health and safety concerns about alcohol, if you have diabetes and are on diabetes medications that lower blood glucose, you need to practice caution. Insulin and some diabetes pills can lower blood glucose. So, you should not drink when your blood glucose is low or when your stomach is empty.

Alcohol can cause hypoglycemia shortly after drinking and for 8-12 hours after drinking. So, if you want to drink alcohol, check your blood glucose before you drink and eat either before or while you drink. You should also check your blood glucose before you go to bed to make sure it is at a safe level -- between 100 and 140 mg/dL. If your blood glucose is low, eat something to raise it. The symptoms of too much alcohol and hypoglycemia can be similar -- sleepiness, dizziness, and disorientation.

A Few Guidelines

If you choose to drink alcohol, limit the amount and have it with food. Talk with your health care team about whether alcohol is safe for you.

Women should drink 1 or fewer alcoholic beverages a day (1 alcoholic drink equals a 12 oz beer, 5 oz glass of wine, or 1 ½ oz distilled spirits (vodka, whiskey, gin, etc.)
Men can drink 2 or fewer alcoholic drinks a day.
If you drink alcohol at least several times a week, make sure your doctor knows this before he/she prescribes a diabetes pill.

More Tips to Sip By

Drink only when and if blood glucose is under control.
Do not omit food from your regular meal plan.
Test blood glucose to help you decide if you should drink.
Wear an I.D. that notes you have diabetes.
Sip a drink slowly to make it last.
Have a no calorie beverage by your side to quench your thirst.
Try wine spritzers to decrease the amount of wine in the drink.
Use calorie-free drink mixers -- diet soda, club soda, diet tonic water, or water.
Drink alcohol with a snack or meal. Some good snack ideas are pretzels, popcorn, crackers, fat-free or baked chips, raw vegetables and a low-fat yogurt dip.
Find a registered dietitian to help you fit alcohol into your food plan.
Do not drive or plan to drive for several hours after you drink alcohol.


  1. First of all, nice to see the changes in your blog. You are Upgrading the looks also.Congratulations.
    But the alcoholics might not be very happy to see this update. Your restriction on the quantity, and taking slow slips is too stingy(though it is recommended).As a indiya kudi magan you may understand their feelings.
    I have one pt to add.The reason for using calorie free drink mixers is that,by adding fanta or pepsi, the glucose in it can actually trigger insulin release and worsen the anticipated hypoglycemia.Since there is no calorie in alcohol the insulin release cannot be neutralised. The reason why pt develop hypo after taking alcohol is that it suppresses HGO.And most of the pts skip the food after taking alcohol, so the condition is even more worse.

  2. Nice... and important info for all drinkers..!!


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