Alcohol and diabetes type 2 have a more worrisome relation than you think. If you are diabetic and you consume alcohol, then it will result in blood sugar elevation as alcohol is packed with calories. If you really can’t make it without alcohol, then drink it very occasionally and particularly when you are sure about your diabetes and blood sugar levels being under control. In case you are sticking with a strict diet plan to control your calorie intake, you must know that consumption of 1 alcoholic drink is equivalent to 2 fat exchanges. It’s better to consult your doctor and check if alcohol is safe to drink for you.
Can You Drink Alcohol If You Have Type 2 Diabetes?
When your body desperately craves for alcohol and you can’t help draining a drink or two, ask yourself the following 3 questions:
- Do you know how to manage the blood sugar levels in case they become too high or too low?
- Are you suffering from other illnesses that may aggravate with alcohol consumption?
- Is your diabetes under control?
In case your diabetes isn’t really under ideally controlled circumstances or you are having other illnesses that may directly influence organs like heart and liver along with the nerves, or if you blood sugar isn’t controlled either, then drinking alcohol may bring somepotential serious side effects. Even if you have diabetesunder control, drinking regularly may put you at risk. A study suggests that the more you drink, the less likely you are to stick with self-care habits.
Effects of Alcohol on Type 2 Diabetes
1. Good Effects
Alcohol and diabetes type 2 can together at times produce a beneficial effect. Researchers at Harvard School of Public Health conducted a study, according to which women who are diagnosed with type 2 diabetes and drink a little quantity of alcohol occasionally are at minimal risk of developing heart diseases than the ones who totally avoid alcohol. Another study showed that diabetic males who drink small amounts of alcohol are at lower risk of developing heart diseases as compared to males who avoid drinking alcohol at all.
2. Bad Effects
Combination of alcohol and diabetes type 2 at times brings about negative effects on the diabetic patients, such as:
- In moderate quantity, it increases the blood sugar whereas in excessive amount it may result in a serious drop in blood sugar level.
- Sweet wine and beer are filled with carbohydrates that tend to elevate blood sugar.
- Alcohol makes you hungry all the time, resulting in overeating which may consequently affect the blood sugar.
- It also alters the judgment power, making you choose all the bad foods.
- It shows interference with the effects produced by insulin or oral anti-diabetic medicines.
- Alcohol tends to elevate the levels of triglyceride. And it also elevates blood pressure.
- Unlimited alcohol consumption could result in slurred speech, nausea, vomiting, increased heart rate and flushing.
Safety Tips on Drinking Alcohol with Type 2 Diabetes
Generally it’s recommended for diabetic patients to consume alcohol just like anybody else: for men, not more than 2 drinks a day; for women, not more than one drink a day. Just for the correct measurements, note that a single serving of drink comprises of 5 ounces of wine, 12 ounces of beer or 1.5 ounces of hard liquor like vodka, tequila, gin and scotch.
Here are some precautions to minimize the risk of declined blood sugar levels upon consumption of alcohol:
- Take glucometer along with youfor monitoring of blood sugar regularly. This way you keep yourself well updated about the incline or decline in your blood sugar levels.
- Make sure your friends and family know the symptoms of low blood sugar well enough along with how to manage them.
- Wear some identification like a medical alert bracelet, so the medical authorities may know you are diabetic in case of serious emergencies. This will help them identify you easily and provide you with immediate assistance.
- Always carry some instant source of carbohydrates, for example, glucose tablets, just in case of emergency when your blood sugar drops significantly. While going on a long journey, this will come in very handy.
- Monitor your blood sugar before and after exercise. Because exercising with alcohol running in your system may result in even more significant decline in blood sugar levels, as most of the exercises tend to decrease the blood sugar.
- Munch in some carbohydrate snacks to keep yourself out of trouble.