Alcohol and Diabetes

By DOMINIQUE - 72688 Latest Reply 2012-03-17 11:53:25 -0500
Started 2009-10-11 13:45:06 -0500

I would like to know more about alcohol and the effect it has on diabetics…my boyfriend says that drinking Scotch lowers his blood sugar and that other types of alcohol are bad for him.

29 replies

Skyview 2011-10-18 06:38:40 -0500 Report

Further, I like to share what I do. I can not live without drinks. I need to take one or two tots daily. I take only brandy, any damn brandy that is available. Beer, whiskies, vodka, rum - all are strict NO NO. Last one more dangerous than others. Wine equally bad and perhaps worse. So quit it too. God is great if you must drink then He has left something for you i.e. Bbrandy. Cmn' enjoy it. Be happy. Live like a lion as long as you are there. Cheers !!

Skyview 2011-10-18 06:34:04 -0500 Report

None of you seems to be aware of the fact that all malt alcohols are bad for BS. Bcos malt contains heavy dose of sugar/glucose. So hereafter quit all whiskies, liquors, vodkas - as they contain malt or check the label before pouring in glass. 2ndly, it is better to go in for any brandy if you like to drink as it contains no malt. Don't exceed 2 drinks at a time. Take your time to gulp in may be at least 40 - 50 minutes if not more. Best way to delay the next gulp is to keep munching something like peanuts, popcorn or some such thing but not french fries or chips.

Uncle Lew
Uncle Lew 2011-10-17 17:25:52 -0500 Report

I don't drink too moften but when I do drink I drinK Miller Lite by the pints. Usually 3 to 4 pints and if I'm feeling good I'll have 5, 6, 7 or even 8 pints.I am careful to monitor my BG and find that not even 8 pints will affect it radically. This is not an endorsnment to drink but just what happens to me.

cgp93 2011-10-16 12:42:19 -0500 Report

I have had type 1 for more than 50 years and do enjoy alcohol in moderation. as said prev. carb count and/or low blood sugar can be issues! my advice would BE VERY CAREFUL until you know how your system will handle the alcohol!!! also useless calories don't help the middle section(ha-ha)

Anonymous 2011-10-15 16:51:49 -0500 Report

Well folks. I don't tend to interact much on line, but I go by my major counting of carbs, and drinks have minimal carb content. Wines (dry, like I drink) have minimal 2 or 3, lite beers vary but have like 4 or 5. I have got a pump so I can provide the dose with oral intake.
My diabetes though is very responsive to feeling sad or stressed.

I can eat the very same lunch (which I do pretty much every day), and my BS can go crazy if I am really stressed.

I give a SQ dose if I feel I need to despite having my pump on.

I try to work out every day, and have to take it off when I go to the gym, and eat a granola bar without giving any insulin.

I usually don't do computers much, but here I typed like crazy.

Happy Sweetest Day. I hope you have something special to do!

My cat and I will hang out at home like usual!

Type1Lou 2011-10-15 14:43:03 -0500 Report

I've never been much of a drinker but loved my glass of dry red wine before dinner. I've stopped drinking wine because I couldn't predict how it would affect my BG, frequently causing some scary lows resulting in trips to the ER after the glucagon shot. It's easier now to just avoid it…but I do miss it.

otis43s 2011-10-15 13:36:36 -0500 Report

Stupid statement on beer. That the bad thing on line. Too many that are not knowledgeable arite things. I drink 2 Michelob Ultra beers per day (with my doctors blessings) for a TOTAL of 5.6 carbs and 190 calories. So much for the so called experts

berrykins0 2011-10-15 13:29:04 -0500 Report

i don't drink myself it makes my blood sugar drop plus i have high bp not good for that eighter can make that drop too. none for me.take i take metform for diabetes. and bp med for my high bp.

Anonymous 2011-10-15 10:42:55 -0500 Report

hi,,i limit myself to one third of a bottle of beer when i have it..i put it in a fancy glass and drink it thru a skinny straw…really great and just enough…

smoaf 2011-10-15 08:24:24 -0500 Report

Well for myself, can deal just fine in moderation. But once I didn't take care and ended up drinking too much. Had four beers in about two hours. I felt fine when leaving to go home. Next thing I know, im being woken up by taps on my window from a police officer. It wasn't until the medics got there and treated me that I realized my car was kind of in the median, on a major highway, facing the wrong direction on the opposite side of the highway. I was lucky that the officer recognized what was going on and called the medics. Even luckier not to have killed someone else. Im a big guy so four beers in couple hours wasn't much for me in terms of being intoxicated. But it was before I really knew how much alcohol affected my bs. So whatever you decide to do, be sure to give yourself plenty of time for the delayed effects to manifest before you continue with your next beverage.

Blue Moon
Blue Moon 2009-10-17 11:23:59 -0500 Report

It really depends on the person when it comes to alcohol. I use to drink wine, with dinner, but had to give it up because it would cause my blood sugar to drop and I would be sooo sleepy.

kdroberts 2009-10-11 20:37:48 -0500 Report

It depends on the alcohol and the person.

I have no problem with drinking alcohol but I've had to test and see what works. Alcohol in general causes your liver to kind of be dumb so if your blood sugar goes low and yoru liver is supposed to kick out sugar, it wont and you will go very low. Another aspect is carbs. Most alcoholic drinks contain carbs. The last aspect is mental function. Alcohol can make you forget stuff like take medication. You may forget to take your meds or insulin or you may forget you took them and take them again. Either way you can get into trouble. Scotch doesn't have carbs so it can lower blood sugar but it's not really a good idea to use it primarily to lower blood sugar.

Sheri S
Sheri S 2009-10-11 20:09:53 -0500 Report

all hard liquor such as Scotch, Whiskey, Vodka etc have zero carbs…1 oz of hard liquor has approx 80-100 calories depending on proof…please tell your loved one alcohol can be extremely dangerous when used by diabetics…it's like playing with an extremely dangerous explosive and wondering how high you can drop it from before it explodes!…Alcohol and diabetes don't mix

kdroberts 2009-10-17 06:58:24 -0500 Report

I'm curious, why is alcohol so dangerous and why doesn't it mix with diabetes?

Sheri S
Sheri S 2009-10-18 09:23:52 -0500 Report

Below is an article on dLife regardng alcohol. I'm sure there are many articles available on this subject. Keep in mind that alcohol use is only an option for a WELL-CONTROLLED diabetic without complications. In my opinion if you are consuming alocohol daily and are diabetic you probably do not meet this criteria. Obviously a personal choice…I guess you need to ask yourself if the risk is worth one to two drinks a day?!

Diabetes And Alcohol
You've counted carbs, cut out candy, and even conquered the exchange system to get a dietary handle on your diabetes, but you'll be darned if you're going to give up what may seem like one of the few pleasures you have left—drinking. Whether it be green beer at the bar on St. Patrick's day, a champagne toast at your daughter's wedding, or a glass of wine at dinner with friends, alcohol may be the hardest "food" for people with diabetes to manage because social drinking is such a pervasive part of our society.

So is drinking acceptable if you have diabetes? The answer is yes, in moderation, providing that you take the proper precautions. The American Diabetes Association (ADA) asserts that alcohol can be incorporated into a diet plan, provided that blood sugar control is already well established and other conditions that aren't compatible with alcohol consumption (such as pregnancy or certain diabetic complications) don't exist.

How It Works…
When you drink, your liver decreases its ability to release glucose so that it can instead clean the alcohol from your blood. Because glucose production is shut down, hypoglycemia (low blood sugar) becomes a risk for people with diabetes, particularly if you drink on an empty stomach or shortly after taking insulin or glucose-lowering oral medications. And because it takes two hours for just one ounce of alcohol to metabolize and leave your system, the risk continues long after you've emptied your glass.

A Two-Drink Maximum
For individuals with well-controlled diabetes, alcohol intake should follow the same guidelines the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) has established for the general population. This means a maximum of two drinks per day for men and one drink daily for women. (A higher alcohol intake is allowed for most men because women have a lower body water content then men and also metabolize alcohol more slowly.) In addition, due to physiological changes such as loss of lean body mass that occur as the body ages, the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism recommends that anyone over age 65 should not consume more than one alcoholic drink daily.

One drink is defined as:
12 ounces of regular beer (150 calories)
5 ounces of wine (100 calories)
1.5 ounces of 80-proof distilled spirits (100 calories)

[One drink equals 2 fat exchanges; regular beer is an additional 1 starch exchange.]

Alcohol has no nutritional value.

Sheri S
Sheri S 2009-10-18 14:07:29 -0500 Report

I guess if you drink enough and go to bed and your bs is already low you may not wake up to see another day…

kdroberts 2009-10-18 14:27:18 -0500 Report

Unlikely, if that happened it would be because of too much insulin or too big a dose of an oral medication that forced the low.

hbkunkel 2009-10-11 14:54:34 -0500 Report

some of my meds tell me not to drink anything because it reacts with the meds. So check all meds before you even consider drinking. I gave it up and would rather eat mhy carbs than drink them.