Drinking with Diabetes: Dangers and Guidelines
As we all know, diabetes involves following a careful diet plan, and that might mean having to cut back on some of your favorite indulgences.
Wine and other alcoholic beverages are just a few of the treats that diabetics should enjoy sparingly – something that is often overlooked during a Q&A with the doctor.
Dangers of Drinking Alcohol with Diabetes
Because the body processes alcohol in the same way it processes fats, drinking can cause your blood sugar to rise. However, excess alcohol can actually have the reverse effect, causing your blood sugar to drop to dangerously low levels. Additionally, some insulin or other medications can be negatively affected by alcohol.
But don’t throw out the bottles just yet; if you are very careful with your alcohol intake, you should be OK having a drink on a special occasion.
Alcohol Consumption Guidelines for Diabetics
Medical professionals encourage diabetics to follow these consumption guidelines:
- Do not drink more than two alcoholic beverages within 24 hours. (One alcoholic drink = 5-ounce glass of wine, 1.5-ounce "shot" of liquor or 12-ounce beer).
- If you are following a calorie-controlled meal plan, one drink of alcohol should be counted as two fat exchanges.
- Drink alcohol only with food.
- Drink slowly.
- Avoid "sugary" mixed drinks, sweet wines and cordials.
- Mix liquor with water or diet soft drinks.
Most of us enjoy a drink every now and then, and your diabetes shouldn’t deprive you – so long as you handle your alcohol intake carefully and responsibly.