Can I Drink Alcohol If I Have Type 2 Diabetes?

These are usually mixed drinks that have high-carbohydrate mixers. Try using calorie-free drink mixers like diet soda, club soda, diet tonic water, or water. Some people who take oral diabetes medicines should talk with their provider to see if it is safe to drink alcohol.

hypoglycemia and alcohol

Those on the opposite ends of the spectrum—people that drink heavily and those that don’t—have a greater risk. If you or a loved one are struggling with alcohol abuse we are here to help.ContactThe Recovery Village to learn more about our treatment programs and how we can help restore your health in recovery. Medical News Today has strict sourcing guidelines and draws only from peer-reviewed studies, academic research institutions, and medical journals and associations. We link primary sources — including studies, scientific references, and statistics — within each article and also list them in the resources section at the bottom of our articles.

It is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. Alcohol should be consumed with food, either at a meal or with a snack. This table lists popular alcoholic beverages and gives the average serving size, carbohydrate content, and number of calories. Don’t use dangerous equipment, or engage in activities that require coordination, concentration, or alertness. Don’t take a hot bath, hot tub or sauna because the heat combined with the alcohol may cause your blood pressure to drop too much.


Alcohol has a lot of calories, which can lead to weight gain. If you have any questions about the relation between hypoglycemia and alcohol, please leave them in the comment box below. We will now proceed to explore the relation between alcohol and hypoglycemia. The greatest risk occurs when children are left alone. Students Against Destructive Decisions —are involved with educating the public about the deadly combination of drinking and driving and advocating for harsher laws for offenders.

  • Here’s a handy pocket guide that we created to help you manage drinking with diabetes.
  • Over the long term, light-to-moderate alcohol consumption appears to have a mild protective effect on some aspects of metabolic health, specifically diabetes risk.
  • This is another reason why a person with diabetes needs to be very mindful of how much alcohol you consume.
  • If you are managing your diabetes with diet and exercise alone, drinking alcohol can stil increase your risk of low blood sugars.
  • Your liver releases glucose into the blood stream as needed to help keep blood sugar at normal levels.

Examination revealed a well-nourished, hemodynamically stable (temperature 37°C, pulse 113, blood pressure 152/98, oxygen saturation 95% room air), non-toxic, unresponsive female. She withdrew all extremities to painful stimuli, and had no clonus and no meningismus. She had no signs of traumatic injuries; her pupils were reactive, and her cardiopulmonary and gastrointestinal examinations were normal. The blood glucose concentration, as determined by fingerstick, was 32 mg/dl. A 55-year-old female presented to the ED after being found unresponsive in bed by friends in the morning.

It is a residual effect of chronic heavy drinking, which spikes insulin levels and leads to episodes of low blood sugar. Hypoglycemia is not something you should treat lightly, as it can cause serious problems like seizures, loss of consciousness and brain damage. On the road to recovery from alcoholism, the symptoms of hypoglycemia can make it difficult to successfully outlast withdrawal and detoxification. Correct alcohol withdrawal nutrition can ease the symptoms of hypoglycemia, help combat depression and facilitate full-body healing.

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This is possible because alcohol is made up of molecules that are so small they can be taken up by the thousands of tiny blood vessels that line the stomach and the small intestine. If there is food in the stomach, the pyloric valve—which separates the stomach from the small intestine—will be shut so that the food can be digested before moving to the small intestine. If there is no food in the stomach, the pyloric valve is open and the alcohol can go straight into the small intestine.

hypoglycemia and alcohol

Maintaining a moderate weight helps lower the risk of type 2 diabetes and other health complications such as heart disease and stroke. In addition to an increased likelihood of hypoglycemia, alcohol also raises the risk of diabetes complications such as eye problems, vision loss, heart disease, and strokes. Some alcoholic drinks are especially high in carbs and sugar, even if you drink them straight. People who drink red wine may derive another benefit. According to the American Heart Association, red wine contains antioxidants, which are compounds in certain foods that help prevent cell damage.

Here’s what you need to know about drinking and how to do it safely. The relationship betweenalcohol and blood sugaris complex. It would seem counterintuitive at first to think that alcohol causes hypoglycemia. The reason is that alcohol contains a lot of sugar, so it eco sober house price would seem like it would cause a spike in blood sugar, rather than a decline. Hypoglycemia is when a person has an extremely low level of glucose in their blood. Hypoglycemia commonly occurs in people who have diabetes and can be a side effect of many diabetes drugs.

This organ stabilizes glucose levels by storing carbohydrates and releasing them into the bloodstream between meals and overnight. It’s also the body’s detoxification center, breaking down toxins like alcohol so the kidneys can easily flush them away. Alcoholism and excessive alcohol intake can cause problems in the functionality of most parts of your body. For example, you may not only have liver problems, but you could have kidney or adrenal gland problems because of excessive alcohol use. Hypoglycemia can also develop as the result of these issues.

But if you have diabetes, your blood sugar levels are above normal and would need to be managed. You may have heard that certain types of alcohol can affect your blood sugar levels. The main function of your liver is to store glycogen, which is the stored form of glucose, so that you will have a source of glucose when you haven’t eaten. When you drink alcohol, your liver has to work to remove it from your blood instead of working to regulate blood sugar, or blood glucose. For this reason, you should never drink alcohol when your blood glucose is already low. If you’re having frequent trouble managing your blood sugar levels, you should consider if it’s safe for you to drink alcohol.


Your social life doesn’t need to stop when you have Type 1 diabetes, and neither does your love of beer. That’s right, if you feel the urge to drink up, go right ahead, just consider our advice fo… Ask your doctor how you can drink while staying safe. Talk about any medication that you are on, and if you are taking insulin, talk eco sober house price about how you should modify your dosages while drinking; they may want to lower your basal insulin. For more information on how alcohol impacts people with Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes, see this article from Tandem Diabetes. The patient was given 30 ml of D50W, awoke immediately, jovial and smiling, and was observed for 1 h.

While getting 500 ml of D5W, he ate some food, remained normoglycemic, and then was discharged. Glucagon shots may not work in cases of hypoglycemia that are due to alcohol. If you drink, people with you will be aware of your condition. They will be able to respond properly if you need help.

Your healthcare provider can best determine what’s right for you. But if you do drink, know that not all alcoholic beverages are created equal when it comes to diabetes. Certain types of alcoholic beverages may be more detrimental for people with diabetes, including heavy craft beers due to the number of carbs and sugar that are in alcohol. It is rapidly absorbed by the stomach and small intestine then enters the bloodstream once it is consumed. Normally, the liver breaks down one standard alcoholic drink per hour.

Check with your doctor to make sure alcohol doesn’t interfere with your medications or complicate any of your medical conditions. Talk to your provider about how much alcohol is safe for you. 1.5-ounce or 45-mL shot of liquor (80 proof, or 40% alcohol content).

As you may well know, living with type 2 diabetes often means cutting out or cutting back on foods and beverages that can affect sugar levels in the blood. But alcohol doesn’t necessarily have to be one of them. Alcohol impairs your liver’s ability to produce glucose, so be sure to know your blood glucose number before you drink an alcoholic beverage.

The Importance of Friends in Recovery

To understand this, it is necessary to review the basic pathophysiology of glucose utilization . In the postprandial state, insulin levels peak at about 1 h and then steadily fall over the next several hours. Simultaneously during this decline, there is decreased uptake of glucose by the liver, muscle, and adipose tissue. Insulin is no longer suppressing glycogenolysis, gluconeogenesis, and lipolysis. For the first h of fasting, hepatic glycogenolysis provides most of the glucose from glycogen stores. After that, lipolysis and protein breakdown provide fatty acid for energy, and glycerol and amino acids for gluconeogenesis.

  • It also provides guidelines for how to safely include alcohol in a type 2 diabetes diet .
  • L-Glutamine is also a great supplement for hypoglycemics.
  • Unlike Twizzlers, fresh meats and eggs and cheeses contain good saturated fats that will help you restore feel-good chemicals in your brain.
  • If you pass out, those around you may just think you are intoxicated.
  • Don’t let alcohol or related hypoglycemia permanently damage your health.

It’s thought that drinking alcohol decreases the liver’s ability to make new glucose via gluconeogenesis, which can lead to lower circulating glucose levels. To counter this decrease, alcohol stimulates the breakdown and release of stored glucose. This balance between impaired gluconeogenesis and increased glycogenolysis means that alcohol shouldn’t significantly affect glucose levels for normal, healthy individuals eating a standard diet. Combining already low blood sugar levels with alcohol-impaired liver function will put you at risk for dangerously low blood sugar levels, known as hypoglycemia.

Alcohol and Risk of Low Blood Sugar

Excessive alcohol consumption can reduce the overall effectiveness of insulin. Many people who have been diagnosed with alcoholic liver disease also have either glucose intolerance or diabetes. Due to the effects alcohol can have on raising and lowering blood sugar, people with diabetes or other blood sugar issues must be careful when consuming alcohol. Even for individuals with diabetes, they could be on different medications so their body may react differently to alcohol.

Drink only when and if your blood glucose is under control. 12 ounces or 360 milliliters of beer (5% alcohol content). If you are using carbohydrate counting to adjust insulin doses, don’t count the alcohol as grams of carbohydrate. The acetate produced from breakdown of ethanol leaves the liver for its metabolism in extra hepatic tissues such as skeletal muscle. The acetate is spontaneously broken down to CO2 and H2O.

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