You should also make sure that whoever you’re with knows you have diabetes, and knows how to help with a hypo if you need them to. Your risk of having a hypo doesn’t go away after you stop drinking – it increases, and can last up to 24 hours. But the size of the glass and type of alcohol affects the number of units, so it’s best to check the guidelines at Alcohol Change UK. There are several risk factors for type 2 diabetes, these include your family history, age and ethnic background. The same goes for cream liqueurs such as Bailey’s Irish Cream and Kahlua.
Both the depletion of glycogen and diminished gluconeogenesis lead to lower blood sugar levels. Because insulin restrains glucagon secretion, lower insulin secretion allows increased glucagon secretion, setting the stage for the development of ketoacidosis. Vomiting can lead to dehydration and a reduced blood volume, which, in turn, increases the levels of certain stress hormones in the blood called catecholamines. Catecholamines further decrease insulin production and increase glucagon production.
Although anyone can become dehydrated, certain groups of people are at higher risk. These include:
Always consult with a healthcare provider about any changes to diet or lifestyle so they can help monitor the body’s response. People with diabetes should be honest and realistic with their healthcare provider about what they enjoy drinking and
how much alcohol they typically consume. Information from a healthcare provider will provide the best advice on how to drink alcohol safely. In contrast, T2DM (non-insulin dependent diabetes) continue to produce insulin in the early phase of the disease; however, the body resists insulin’s effect.
If you or someone you know has diabetes and is abusing alcohol, it is important to seek professional help as soon as possible. Calculate the cost of drinking below or visit our Cost of Drinking Calculator for more information. However, with larger amounts of alcohol, serious hypoglycaemia can occur. You can talk to your healthcare team about how you’re feeling, they’ll be able to give you more advice and support about what might help. Or you might prefer to talk to someone close to you, like a friend or family member. If you drink a lot or on an empty stomach, you’re even more likely to have a hypo.
Diabetes drugs may help curb alcohol dependence
If you struggle to keep your diabetes stabilized, you may want to avoid alcoholic drinks or speak with your healthcare provider first. Consuming alcohol can worsen diabetes complications, such as retinopathy (damage to blood vessels in the retina), neuropathy (nerve damage), and nephropathy (kidney damage). Drinking alcohol when you take glucose-lowering medications (insulin) or certain oral medications can increase the risk of low blood sugar. Regarding alcohol and diabetes, blood-sugar-reducing medications, such as insulin, increase the risk of low blood sugar, and alcohol increases the risk. Symptoms of low blood sugar include shakiness and confusion and must be treated immediately. It makes sense, then, that drinking could play a role in preventing and treating type 2 diabetes.
By Barbie Cervoni, RD
Barbie Cervoni MS, RD, CDCES, CDN, is a New York-based registered dietitian and certified diabetes care and education specialist. If yours is low, follow your physician’s recommendations, such as consuming some carbs to counteract the drop. You can reduce the carb and sugar content of a drink to a minimum by having it straight or mixing it with club soda, plain seltzer, diet soda, or a squeeze of fresh can diabetics get drunk lemon or lime. If your glucose drops to less than 70 milligrams per deciliter (mg/dL), you’ll need to down 15 grams of fast-acting carbohydrates. This could be three or four glucose tablets, 4 ounces of juice (a small juice box), or five pieces of hard candy (and not chocolate). According to the American Heart Association, red wine contains antioxidants, which are compounds in certain foods that help prevent cell damage.