Can Alcohol Cause Diabetes? Blood Sugar After Drinking Alcohol.

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Can Alcohol Cause Diabetes? Blood Sugar After Drinking Alcohol.

Can alcohol cause diabetes

What should you know about alcohol and type 2 diabetes?

Alcohol and type 2 diabetes have a complicated relationship. When people with this illness consume alcohol, they put themselves at risk. However, this does not rule out the possibility of patients with type 2 diabetes consuming alcohol. The dangers vary depending on how much and what kind of alcohol is consumed, so does alcohol cause Diabetes?

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Diabetes is a relatively frequent condition. In 2018, 34.2 million persons in the United States had diabetes, according to the National Diabetes Statistics Report 2020. Diabetes affects a higher percentage of the population as people get older, reaching 26.8% in those 65 and older.

Moderate alcohol use does not increase the risk of type 2 diabetes, but severe drinking does.

Overall, drinking alcohol causes less predictable blood sugar levels, which can be dangerous.

Continue reading to learn more about the effects of alcohol on people with diabetes, including the different types of alcohol and how alcohol can cause hypoglycemia, or low blood sugar levels.

Is drinking linked to diabetes?

Diabetes is not caused by alcohol. According to the American Diabetes Association (ADA), both heavy and zero consumption raise the risk of diabetes. According to the American Diabetes Association, a drink or two can help with insulin sensitivity and sugar management.

A meta-analysis published in 2015 looked at 38 cohort studies to see if alcohol is a risk factor for diabetes. Moderate intake proved to protect women and Asian populations against the disease, while severe consumption increased the risk in almost all groups.

Because even modest alcohol intake can harm several elements of one’s health, the disadvantages appear to outnumber the benefits. More research in this area is required.

Is it possible for diabetics to consume alcohol?

The American Diabetes Association does not prohibit people with diabetes from drinking alcohol, but they also do not recommend it. If someone with diabetes wants to drink alcohol, the American Diabetes Association recommends keeping it moderate. This equals one drink per day for women and up to two drinks per day for men.

However, the ADA emphasises that just because someone has diabetes does not imply they should start drinking.

Some of the negative consequences of alcohol on diabetes are listed below:

It makes blood sugar regulation more difficult: drinking more than three drinks per day elevates blood sugar levels.
Blood sugar levels become less predictable as a result: Alcohol use causes blood sugar levels to fluctuate due to its effects on the body and interactions with medications and other factors.
It encourages weight gain: Alcohol’s calories can mount up, leading to weight gain, which is a risk factor for diabetes.
It raises the risk of complications from diabetes: The amount of alcohol consumed increases. Heart disease, high blood pressure, nerve damage, and visual difficulties are all repercussions of the disorder.
Metformin consumption carries the following risk: Excessive alcohol consumption while taking the diabetes medication metformin can increase the risk of lactic acidosis, an uncommon but deadly disease.

Among the signs and symptoms are:

Weakness in the heart rate
Breathing problems

Some diabetics are advised to avoid alcohol for reasons unrelated to their blood sugar levels. Individuals with diabetes may have other diseases that alcohol may impair, according to the Department of Veterans Affairs (DVA). Furthermore, several non-diabetic drugs interact poorly with alcohol.

Because alcohol is very addictive, and research has linked heavy intake to a variety of negative health impacts, it is the healthiest option for anyone.

The final conclusion is that anyone with diabetes who wants to drink alcohol should consult with their doctor beforehand.

Various types of alcohol:

The following information can assist someone in sticking to the one-drink-per-day restriction for women and two-drink-per-day limit for men.

One normal drink has the following ingredients:

5 oz (ounces) wine
a 12-ounce beer
1.5 oz. 80-proof liquor like rum, gin, or vodka
malt liquor, 8 ounces

Individuals should be aware that some typical alcoholic beverages include more than one standard ‘serving’ of a drink when calculating how much alcohol they can consume while staying within the prescribed standards. For instance:

A margarita serves two people.
A martini serves 1.4 people.
A 9-ounce pina colada serves two people.
A Long Island iced tea serves four people.
A 40-ounce bottle of normal beer provides more than three servings.
A 40-ounce bottle of malt liquor makes 5 serves.
1.5 servings of bourbon and water in a 6-ounce glass

Sweetened liquor, as well as alcohol blended with sodas or punch, should be avoided.

Hypoglycemia and alcohol

For someone with diabetes, the most serious problem with alcohol is the possibility of hypoglycemia, or low blood sugar. When blood sugar levels fall below 70 mg/dL, hypoglycemia occurs.

Some diabetes treatments, as well as alcohol, can lower blood sugar levels. Hypoglycemia can result if these drops happen at the same time.

The liver stores carbs and releases them into the blood between meals and overnight to keep blood sugar stable. The liver is also in charge of breaking down alcohol so that the kidneys can eliminate it.

The issue is that the liver cannot do both activities simultaneously. The liver begins to break down alcohol when it is consumed. When it’s doing this, it doesn’t release stored carbs to keep blood sugar levels stable, which means blood sugar levels can dip dangerously low.

When combined with other factors like drinking alcohol, exercise can raise the risk of hypoglycemia. Doctors highly advise diabetic patients to engage in regular physical activity since it lowers blood sugar levels. Hypoglycemia can be caused by exercising, drinking alcohol, or taking blood sugar-lowering medicine.

Hypoglycemia causes the following symptoms:

sleepiness slurred speech confusion walking difficulty

Because of the risk of hypoglycemia, diabetics should avoid drinking alcohol if their blood sugar is already low. If a person prefers to drink, they should eat at the same time every day and include carbohydrates in their meal, such as fruits, vegetables, or grains.

They should also keep a closer eye on their blood sugar levels so they can react quickly if it drops too low.

Other type 2 diabetes risk factors

The following are risk factors for acquiring type 2 diabetes, according to the CDC:

having diabetes during pregnancy or having given birth to a baby weighing more than 9 pounds being of Hispanic, Latino American, African American, Asian American, American Indian, or Alaska Native descent being overweight physically active less than 3 times per week having a brother, sister, or parent with the disease having diabetes during pregnancy or having given birth to a baby weighing more than 9 pounds.


Alcohol and type 2 diabetes are not usually a good match. While moderate alcohol use decreases blood sugar levels, excessive drinking has been linked to diabetes and other health problems.

The ADA neither prohibits nor recommends that persons consume alcohol. Females with diabetes should limit their consumption to one drink per day, while males should limit their consumption to two drinks per day, according to the group.

If someone chooses to drink alcohol, they should do it with food and monitor their blood sugar levels.

Most essential, if people want to drink moderately, they should first talk to their doctor about it.

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