Most people who ask can i drink alcohol if i have diabetes and they already know the answer. Yet, they are looking for a reason to convince themselves that alcohol is ‘not too bad’ if it’s consumed occasionally. One glass of wine can’t hurt, right?
Can I Drink Alcohol If I have Diabetes?
Before this article answers the above question, you’ll need to understand the effect alcohol has on a person with diabetes. It doesn’t matter if it is type 1 or type 2 diabetes. The effects are the same, just varying in degree.
Normal people who consume alcohol become more loquacious, loud or obnoxious. These are just personality traits. For the most part, their health is not adversely affected. Unfortunately, for someone with diabetes, there are certain health implications that should not be ignored.
Alcohol may raise you triglyceride levels. That’s not good. It can also raise your heart rate, slur your speech and increase your blood pressure. Many diabetes patients have reported feeling hot flushes and nausea too.
Alcohol has a few other effects that affect both normal people and those with diabetes. Alcohol causes food craving and it’s usually for unhealthy food that is often oily, fatty and rich in carbohydrates. You may notice that people who consume alcohol often crave for food such as pizza later.
The carbs and oily food will cause a spike in your blood sugar. This is something a diabetic patient cannot afford to have happening to them. Alcohols such as beer and sweet wine also contain carbohydrates which will cause a spike in your blood sugar.
In worst case scenarios, alcohol may interfere with your diabetes medication and insulin injections. It’s really difficult to predict how your body will react to alcohol. Some effects may be mild in the short term. However, you will not know the long term effects.
A diabetic person cannot make normal use of sugar, and so sugar builds up in the blood. The kidneys discharge some of the excess sugar in the urine. In severe cases of diabetes, fats and proteins cannot also be used normally.
Is it wise to consume alcohol if you have diabetes? No. Is it safe? No.
But, ultimately it is your choice. It may seem like a huge sacrifice to cut out alcohol completely. You may even know people who have diabetes and still drink alcohol… yet, they’re just fine.
No. Diabetes just sits quietly in the background slowly wreaking havoc in the body’s system and when the symptoms such as vision loss, nerve damage, seizures, heart attacks, strokes, etc. start popping up, it may be too late.
There are other diets such as the paleo diet, Atkins diet, etc. However, these diets are more extreme than the Mediterranean. When a diet is difficult to follow, the compliance level will be low. The Mediterranean diet is much easier to adopt and live with.
This may be true but it is better to err on the side of caution. Maybe an occasional glass of alcohol is OK but drinking often like you’re aspiring to be a sommelier is not.
A few tips if you insist on drinking alcohol.
• Drink slowly. Do not gulp your drinks fast and ask for refills quickly.
• If you’re a male adult, do not exceed 2 glasses. If you’re female, do not exceed 1 glass.
• Try not to use mixers that are sweet. Avoid the sweet sodas or energy drinks that are so often used to make cocktails.
• Never drink alcohol on an empty stomach and have some form of identification on you that states you have diabetes.
• Do not drink more than once a week
Moderation is key. Consuming alcohol is not safe for people with diabetes. However, if you wish to have a glass or two, do try and be safe and have someone with you. Don’t drink alone at home. Always exercise good sense and caution.