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Read on to learn more about what carb counting is and whether or not it’s right for you. That effect has been observed in both type 1 and type 2 diabetics as well as in nondiabetics . Hypoglycemia can have serious, even life-threatening, consequences, because adequate blood sugar levels are needed to ensure brain functioning. Heavy alcohol effects of alcohol consumption (i.e., 200 grams of pure alcohol, or approximately 16 standard drinks, per day) can cause ketoacidosis in both diabetics and nondiabetics (Wrenn et al. 1991). People who consume those high amounts of alcohol typically have been drinking and not eating for days and/or have vomited or developed other illnesses from drinking.

can diabetics have alcohol

In three patients, those changes did not reverse, even after months or years. The two other patients died as a result of complications indirectly related to their hypoglycemia-induced neurological changes.

Improves Insulin Sensitivity

A martini made with gin or vodka, dry vermouth, and garnishes like olives, lemons, and baby onions is a good option for those on a diabetic diet. Dirty martinis also work well for people who are seeking to keep the sugar in their diet to a minimum. However, if you're out, clarify what ingredients are in your drink as many martinis served in bars are full of sugar. If you're looking for a flavorful cocktail that won't cause your blood sugar to spike, a Bloody Mary is a terrific option. Make a Bloody Mary using this basic Bloody Mary recipe, making sure the tomato juice you use has no added sugar.

It also has a low carb version suitable for people with diabetes. If you are going out with friends, be sure that they know the symptoms of low blood sugar and what they can do to help. Sometimes, your blood sugar can drop so quickly that you won't be able to notice it yourself, so you need to have help from those around you.

The Best Alcoholic Drinks For People With Diabetes

It's important to keep your personal health top-of-mind, right along with the advice of your healthcare provider. Drinking alcohol in moderation has also been linked to a number of other health benefits, such as increasing the amount of good cholesterol in the blood. This may help lower the risk of heart disease, which you're at greater risk for if you have type 2 diabetes. While alcohol can lower blood sugar levels, it also has the potential to increase them. Regular, long-term use of alcohol has been shown to increase insulin resistance. This may happen because your liver can’t maintain basal blood sugar levels while also metabolizing alcohol. This may lead to excessively low blood sugar — and even more so if you drink on an empty stomach .

can diabetics have alcohol

Your doctor can give you more specific information on whether it’s safe for you to drink and how much you can drink. If your doctor determines that you can safely consume alcohol, it’s vital to always consider the potential risks.


In any case, alcohol abuse in both diabetics and nondiabetics can have deadly consequences without treatment. Large amounts of alcohol, however, can cause low blood sugar – or, hypoglycemia. Diabetics in a fasting state (i.e. don’t eat before drinking) are at an especially high risk for this. In severe cases of very low blood sugar, excessive alcohol can have life-threatening consequences. Having a medical condition such as diabetes can complicate the treatment of alcohol abuse and addiction, but it does not make it untreatable.

As mentioned above, there are many facts to think about when drinking while you have diabetes. Because there are many ways in which alcohol can affect your blood sugar, mainly causing it to go too low, you should come prepared.

Sugar Alcohol and Diabetes: Benefits, Risks, and Alternatives - Greatist

Sugar Alcohol and Diabetes: Benefits, Risks, and Alternatives.

Posted: Tue, 30 Mar 2021 07:00:00 GMT [source]

Moderate alcohol use is defined as one drink a day for women of all ages and men older than age 65, and up to two drinks a day for men age 65 and younger. Diabetes Teaching Center at the University of California, San Francisco. Past results from the National Health Interview Survey suggest that nearly 46% of people with diabetes currently drink. The hemoglobin A1C test, which provides an estimate of your average glucose levels over a 3-month period.

Effects Of Alcohol On Diabetes

Remember to count the carbs as part of your overall meal, and plan for the blood sugar spike the juice might cause. Water is sufficient to keep you hydrated for moderate exercise. You can also plan on ahealthy postworkout snack that provides you with some carbs and protein, such as an apple with a bit of peanut butter or a hard-boiled egg and an orange.

The glucose, insulin, and cortisol data from this study were presented in abstract form at the annual professional meeting of the British Diabetic Association (Brighton, U.K., 15–17 March 2000). can diabetics drink alcohol We thank Jai Ingleby for assisting with the overnight studies, Dr. Joe Begley for performing the alcohol measurements, and Aida Groszmann and Andrea Belous for performing the hormone assays.

People with diabetes should be especially careful with alcohol. Alcohol causes blood sugar to rise, and it can interfere with the effectiveness of certain medications. Diabetic patients being treated for alcohol abuse may regularly meet with a medical doctor, nutritionist, and attend sessions with a counselor to treat all medical and mental health needs. Programs typically last 30 to 90 days but may last longer depending on the progress and needs of each patient. If you have diabetes, talk to your doctor or a diabetes specialist about how to safely consume alcohol.

Many inpatient alcohol abuse programs can individualize patients’ treatment plans to suit their medical and mental health needs. A couple of recent research studies have shown that adults with diabetes might see a slight improvement in their insulin sensitivity with moderate alcohol consumption. This means the body may make more efficient use of the insulin the pancreas continues to make. If you have diabetes and want to drink alcohol, there are strategies you can use to drink more safely, such as regularly checking your blood sugar. Too much alcohol can also affect your ability to know when your blood sugar is low and to treat it. Drinking alcohol can make you feel lightheaded at first and drowsy as you drink more, both of which may be similar to the symptoms of low blood sugar. Some people confuse low blood sugar with drunkenness, so be sure to wear a medical alert tag and tell people you have diabetes.

The Best And Worst Foods To Eat In A Type 2 Diabetes Diet

Since it doesn’t contain juices or other mixers, it contains 0.2 grams of total carbs in a 4-ounce (120-mL) drink. This makes it a good choice for people with diabetes — provided you drink it in moderation . Busch beers are good alternatives for people with diabetes due to the low carb content of most of the brand’s products — including their beers that are not branded as low carb. Your doctor can explain the dangers of alcohol use and how it affects diabetes.

  • Some mixed drinks don't call for sugary ingredients, while low-sugar or sugar-free products are available to reduce the sugar content of adult beverages that often have a high sugar content.
  • This means the body may make more efficient use of the insulin the pancreas continues to make.
  • Normally, the liver releases glucose to maintain blood sugar levels.
  • In a recent review of the medical literature, Thomas McLellan of the Treatment Research Institute in Philadelphia and his colleagues listed others.
  • 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.
  • You can find nutrition information for some of the major beer brands on websites like

In accordance with the American Society of Addiction Medicine, we offer information on outcome-oriented treatment that adheres to an established continuum of care. In this section, you will find information and resources related to evidence-based treatment models, counseling and therapy and payment and insurance options. We provide integrated treatment for mental health disorders and addiction. Supplement your intake of alcohol with plenty of water, as alcohol dehydrates your body. According to the American Diabetes Association, alcohol can cause hypoglycaemia shortly after drinking and for up to 24 hours after drinking.

Also avoid drinks that are higher in alcohol content, such as craft beers and spirits that are more than 80 proof. Some wines have high residual sugar, particularly off-dry, sweet, and dessert wines. However, while all wines have some carbohydrate, dry red wines and dry white wines are low in residual sugar and can be an appropriate alcoholic libation for people with diabetes. If you have diabetes but want to relax with an alcoholic drink, it's important to know what cocktails are most appropriate for people with diabetes. Avoid sugary concoctions that are loaded with carbs and choose from a variety of alcoholic drinks that won't cause you to consume too much sugar. Alcohol, including wine, may increase the risk of dangerously low blood sugar, even in people who are not taking insulin or other diabetes medications. Most people with diabetes can drink alcohol, including wine, as long as they do not have another medical condition that makes drinking unsafe.

Type 2 diabetes, which in most cases develops in people over age 40, has a somewhat different pathophysiology than type 1. People with type 2 continue to produce insulin in early disease stages; however, their bodies do not respond adequately to the hormone (i.e., the patients are resistant to insulin’s effects). Thus, insulin does not lower blood sugar levels to the extent that it does in people without diabetes. The insulin resistance is partly inherited and partly acquired. For example, obesity, inactivity, and cigarette smoking may worsen genetically determined insulin resistance.

can diabetics have alcohol

The biggest concern surrounding alcohol consumption is for people who take insulin and/or glucose-lowering medication, which can cause the increased risk of hypoglycemia. These include all of the insulins and pills in the sulfonylurea category and in the glinide category. The most commonly used glucose-lowering medications for type 2 diabetes today generally don't cause hypoglycemia.

Is It Safe To Drink With Diabetes?

It is a good idea to check with your doctor to see if drinking alcohol is safe for you. It’s a good idea to wear identification to inform people that you are diabetic. Medical ID such as a necklace, bracelet or keychain will alert others that your symptoms of intoxication may actually be signs of hypoglycemia. And it may discourage bartenders from serving you too much alcohol. Our community offers unique perspectives on lifelong recovery and substance use prevention, empowering others through stories of strength and courage. From people in active recovery to advocates who have lost loved ones to the devastating disease of addiction, our community understands the struggle and provides guidance born of personal experience. The recovery process doesn't end after 90 days of treatment.

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