The Truth about Alcohol Consumption and Diabetes


Information on alcohol consumption and diabetes(diabetes mellitus) would be of great help for everyone. It would be of benefit to those who are diabetes-free, pre-diabetics and diabetics. Diabetics must be extra careful with alcohol consumption. The combination of their health condition with alcohol can be quite tricky.

Alex Sennuga

If a diabetic does not take alcohol at all, it is best to keep off it. None of the recommended diabetes menus contain alcohol consumption anyway. But if your diabetes is control then this article would be of tremendous help. We will look into these points:

  1. Negative and positive impacts of alcohol
  2. Type of drinks to take
  3. Consumption limit and when to drink

Impacts of Alcohol (Diabetes alcohol side effects)

Effect on pancreas and liver

Excessive consumption of alcohol, or alcohol abuse, can impact pancreas. The pancreas is the hormone responsible for the secretion of insulin(1, 2) in the body. When this impact happens, it leads to the incidence of diabetes. The liver is also retarded from its basic work of transport of sugar to the bloodstream.

Effect on diabetic neuropathy(nerve damage)

One of the bad effects of alcohol abuse is the nerve damage to the diabetic who cannot control his/her diabetes. Indeed, it is advisable that this group of diabetics with nerve damage to completely keep off alcohol use.

Effect on blood pressure

Excessive drinking leads to high blood pressure, which on its own is one of the causes of diabetes. Diabetics who are unable to control their drinking should then be careful. Failure to do so means they are on the way to worsen their diabetic conditions.

Effect on proper diabetes management

Any diabetic in the uncontrolled habit of alcohol abuse will sooner or later lose his/her memory. This is known as alcohol blackout.  Memory loss can affect the proper management of the disease. An example is forgetting to use medical prescriptions at the right time.

Alcohol Consumption Limits and When to drink

The whole thing about alcohol consumption and diabetes is drinking in moderation. We have recommendations about what to set as goals for diabetics who wish to enjoy drinking. According to Mayo Clinic, one drink a day should be safe for all women regardless of their age. This drinking level is also recommended for men older than 65 years. For men up to and below the age of 65, at most two drinks a day is recommended.

Studies have shown that drinking on an empty stomach or after physical exercise without food may not raise blood sugar. But they show that there is a high probability that the blood sugar can drop below the normal level. For this reason, the American Diabetes Association advise that alcohol intake should not be on an empty stomach.

What kind of drink to take?

Studies on the safest and most protective types of alcohol point only to low-calorie light liquor like beers and wine. This is also recommended by the American Diabetes Association. But, hard liquor like spirits is not recommended as they produce no beneficial effects to diabetics. One study even showed that they pose a threat of diabetes affliction to women.

Concluding, diabetics who can control their medical condition can drink if they choose to – but in moderation. They cannot engage in alcohol abuse and should avoid hard liquor.




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