People with diabetes can still drink alcohol in moderation, but they should know how alcohol affects their blood sugar because drinking alcohol can make some of the complications of diabetes worse. The skinny on how diabetes and alcohol mix we are going to give you below can help you prevent any serious blood sugar reactions.
The ways alcohol affects blood sugar
Some kinds of alcohol comprises the component which raises your blood sugar – carbohydrates, but most people tend to forget that important thing. Beer contains about a serving carbohydrates ( 13g ) per 12 oz and is the highest in carbohydrates. Wine is a step behind, containing about a gram of carbohydrates per ounce. Spirits usally don’t contain any carbohydrates, but people often consume them with carb-laden mixers, such as juice or soda. No matter what your choice is, make sure that these alcohol-related carbohydrates are factored into your overall meal plan or insulin requirement. If you don’t do that, depending on the amount of alcohol you drink, a spike in glucose levels may appear.
Gaining weight is a related issue of drinking alcohol. Remember that alcohol contributes additional calories that can quickly add up, especially when these calories are not factored in your overall meal plan. So, if you’re a person with diabetes and also struggles to lose weight, try to avoid acohol as much as possible.
Lower blood sugar due to alcohol
You can be surprised that alcohol can also lower your blood sugar levels. The alcohol that you consume is metabolizes in the liver, which is also the place where you store some of your body’s glucose. In other words, the main function of your live is to store glycogen, the stored form of glucose, so that you will have a source of glucose when you haven’t eaten. And your liver will act to release the glucose for energy into your system when you need it. When you drink alcohol, your liver works to remove it from your blood instead of working to regulate blood sugar, or blood glucose. Alcohol can result in low blood sugar ( hypoglycemia ) for up to 12 hours after you drink because it interferes with the liver’s release of glucose. What it means is that taking insulin or oral medications to help lower blood sugar could cause blood sugar to go seriously low. For this reason, you should never drink alcohol when you blood sugar is already low.
So,the effect of short-term of consuming alcohol can be an increasing in blood sugar levels. But it can be more serious with the longer-term one because its effect might be a drop in blood sugar.
Here are some tips for you, people with diabetes, could still drink alcohol and control your blood sugar.
With these tips, you can achieve that balance and avoid both extreme reactions resulting from alcohol consumption.
- Always remember to check your blood sugar before drink alcohol to manage your blood sugarin a proactive manner.
- Know the amount of carbohydrates in one drink is very important for you to balance your blood sugar. Especially when you drink mixers, fruit juice or regular soda, which significantly increase the number of carbohydrates in your blood. In order to lower the carbohydrate count, you can substitute soda water, no-calorie soda, or artificially sweetened juices.
- Control how many carbohydrates in the alcohol you consume into your overall food and berverage intake and from that calculate your needed insulin requirements.
- Always drink in moderation. This means that if you are a man, do not drink more than two drinks of alcohol in a one-day period, or one drink if you are a woman. By definition, one drink is a 12-ounce beer, 8-ounce glass of malt liquor, 5 ounces of wine, or 1.5 ounces of hard liquor.
- Drink alcohol only with food and don’t consume alcohol on an empty stomach. To avoid low blood sugar and balance your blood sugar levels, you should eat a carb-containing meal like a snack that contains carbohydrates before or while you drink.
- About 12 hours after drinking alcohol, you should check your blood sugar periodically to make sure that your glucose levels remain in a normal range.
- At the end of the night you drink, stop off for a kebab or chips, or have some snack to help avoid getting a hypo