Can I Drink Alcohol With Diabetes?

Diabetes in many people is associated with the Spartan way of life, deprived of elementary human "joys" - a sweet and fatty food, a glass of alcohol on a holiday. How does such a view correspond to reality, and is there a need to strictly control your eating behavior?

Opinions of doctors in this matter differ. Most argue that the body's reaction to alcohol in diabetes is unpredictable:

  • With a sharp drop in the indicators of the meter, which is often the case with drinks, hypoglycemia may develop.
  • Alcohol inhibits glucose uptake, increasing the load on the liver.
  • A drunk diabetic can fall asleep and miss the warning signals of the body.
  • Alcohol dulls the mind: you can in a hurry to take the wrong dose of medication.
  • In diabetics with concomitant pathologies of the kidneys, liver, and vessels, there may well be an exacerbation of chronic diseases.
  • Alcoholic foods increase blood pressure, adversely affect the heart.
  • Spirits - a high-calorie product, increase appetite and provoke overeating with subsequent growth of glucose in the plasma. On the background of alcohol carbohydrates are poorly digested.
  • Alcohol contributes to the development of obesity in diabetics: the liver processes it into acetate, a source of energy similar to fats.

There is an opinion that diabetics do not have absolute contraindications to alcohol, it is only important to follow certain rules for its administration.

Sweet Disease and Alcohol

To try all meals at a festive meal, generously drinking a tasting with alcohol, the diabetic is unlikely to be able to. Certain restrictions still exist. If alcohol is low-calorie and does not contain sugar and its analogues in the recipe, it does not particularly affect the level of glucose. This is what is feared with diabetes.

Still, the systematic use of alcoholic products is dangerous for a diabetic, as it can be the cause of death. Understanding the mechanism of ethanol influence on the liver and pancreas of the patient will help the diabetic to form a competent attitude towards alcohol.

How does alcohol behave in the circulatory system? Ethanol from the bloodstream enters the liver, where the enzymes oxidize it and it decomposes. Excessive doses of alcohol block the synthesis of glycogen in the liver, it is dangerous diabetic crisis - hypoglycemia.

The greater the dose of alcohol enters the bloodstream, the longer the delay in the shortage of sugars. A crisis can come at any time and not always there will be someone who can provide first aid.

The most dangerous alcohol on an empty stomach or after hard work, training, because the resources of glycogen and so go.

You should forever abandon dessert varieties of wines, liqueurs, some beers and alcoholic beverages with sugar and substitutes that worsen glycemia.

Ethyl alcohol will enhance the action of sugar-reducing medicines and develops a wolfish appetite when you no longer think about diet. There are no sex differences in diabetes, as there are no differences in the consequences of the abuse of strong drinks. In women, alcohol dependence develops faster and it is more difficult to treat, and therefore the dose of alcohol should be much less than the male.

The maximum for the female body is a glass of dry red wine or 25 g of vodka. When first used, it is important to monitor changes in glucose every half hour.

Should diabetics be addicted to alcohol, look at the video

What diabetes is more dangerous than alcohol

Diabetes occurs with disorders due to genetic causes, viral infection or failure of the immune and endocrine systems. Unbalanced nutrition, stress, hormonal disorders, problems with the pancreas, the result of the use of certain medications provoke a "sweet" disease. Diabetes can be insulin-dependent and insulin-independent.

For any of its varieties are possible:

  1. Heart failure;
  2. Atherosclerotic vascular changes;
  3. Inflammation of the genitourinary system;
  4. Skin problems;
  5. Changes in the nervous system;
  6. Weakening of the immune system;
  7. Liver obesity;
  8. Impaired vision and condition of teeth and joints.

Symptoms of hypoglycemia are similar to intoxication: the diabetic looks sleepy, loses coordination, is not well versed in the situation. He needs an emergency injection of glucose solution. Such persons with them should always have medical records with recommendations.

Type 1 diabetics

Today type 1 diabetes is an incurable disease that requires lifelong replacement therapy. Adjust the sugar injections of insulin. Insulin-dependent patients need a low-carb diet.

Alcohol is a high-calorie product, and therefore it should not be introduced into the daily diet of a diabetic.

With frequent use of alcohol in type 1 diabetes, numbness of the hands, neuropathy, and other signs of impending hypoglycemia appear.

Ethanol slows down the absorption of carbohydrates and the body does not receive the energy it needs. Short insulin, which, when diabetes type 1 prick before eating, is not used for its intended purpose. With its excess cells actually starve.
Much depends on the type of alcohol: half a liter of light beer on natural yeast or a glass of wine once a week for men are allowed by some nutritionists. Dose of cognac or vodka - up to 50g. Women need to reduce this rate by half.

So is it worth drinking alcohol with diabetes? Unambiguous prohibition is not subject to the rules:

  • Do not drink alcohol on an empty stomach;
  • The recommended rate is easier to digest after a snack, taking into account the total caloric and glycemic index;
  • After ingestion of alcoholic products, it is necessary to monitor the glucometer indicators, since spirits temporarily inhibit glycogen synthesis in the liver and thereby reduce the concentration of glucose in the plasma;
  • The usual dose of insulin needs to be adjusted by about half, since ethanol enhances insulin's capabilities;
  • If you do not follow these recommendations, you can earn a hypoglycemic coma;
  • Before going to bed, you need to check the sugar again: if the figures are lower than usual, you should eat candy, drink half a cup of sweet juice to restore balance;
  • Before taking the intoxicating drinks, you need to eat a dish that contains carbohydrates with a low glycemic index (barley or buckwheat porridge, vinaigrette). Such training prevents drops of sugars and diabetic crisis.

Not every patient with type 1 diabetes mellitus can accurately calculate the insulin dose, taking into account the caloric content of alcohol consumed, so you should not risk your health without special need.

Type 2 diabetics

A feature of this type is the low sensitivity of cells to insulin. It can be in the body in sufficient quantity or even in excess, but the fat capsule protects the cell from its effects.

To support the body in a state of compensation it is necessary:

  1. Low-carb diet with a predominance of protein foods and raw vegetables;
  2. Control and weight loss (as a rule, the second type of diabetes develops with obesity);
  3. Taking Metformin and other drugs that reduce the performance of sugar;
  4. Regular blood test with a glucometer.

In type 2 diabetes, it is better to exclude alcohol from the diet altogether: it kills the pancreas, inhibiting the synthesis of insulin hormone, and disrupts metabolism. Not everyone understands the danger of even a few glasses of alcohol in such a situation.

In addition to a sharp drop in sugars, other restrictions are added:

  1. All beverages containing alcohol and sugar (even low alcohol) are completely excluded.
  2. When changes in carbohydrate metabolism are already irreversible, alcoholic beverages of any kind are completely excluded.
  3. If you drink wine (dry red wine with type 2 diabetes is allowed) and other "harmless" drinks, the doses of sugar-lowering drugs should be adjusted to eliminate the risk of a diabetic crisis.

The consequences of a generous feast

The most dangerous consequence, the beginning of the development of which cannot be foreseen neither before drinking, nor even after it, is a sharp drop in the level of sugars in the blood plasma. This can happen in a dream, when a drunk diabetic does not control his health at all.

The problem also lies in the fact that a drunk diabetic can miss the developing signs of hypoglycemia, since they are very similar to the symptoms of usual intoxication:

  • Cardiopalmus;
  • Confused consciousness;
  • Increased sweating;
  • Bouts of nausea;
  • Coordination disorders;
  • Hand shake;
  • Headache;
  • Incoherent speech;
  • Half asleep.

Even quite adequate relatives, who are nearby, will not be able to correctly recognize the danger and provide the help needed for hypoglycemia. In severe form, the victim falls into a coma, which is dangerous for its irreversible changes in cardiac and brain activity.

Diabetes and alcohol consequences can be unpredictable, since the effect of ethanol persists in the body for two more days, so be vigilant!

Which drink is preferable?

If you ignore the invitation to the feast is not possible, you must choose drinks that can bring minimal harm. Can I drink vodka with diabetes?

Instead of a sweet alcoholic cocktail or champagne, it is better to drink some vodka, observing all the precautions:

  • Vodka should be of high quality, without additives, harmful to the body of a diabetic;
  • Do not exceed the dosage - 50-70g;
  • Pre-need to eat well with their diet;
  • After the feast, check the sugars and take measures to normalize the indications;
  • Adjust the rate of the next on a medication schedule.

If there is a choice, it is always better to drink a glass of dry red wine (250g), as strong drinks block the synthesis of hormone-purifiers that facilitate the absorption of alcohol by the liver. Red wine contains polyphenols, which are valuable for health, and normalize the readings of the blood glucose meter. What wine can you drink with diabetes? The therapeutic effect is manifested when the concentration of sugar in wine is not more than 5%.

Many men consider beer to be the most harmless alcoholic product. The drink is rather high-calorie, as there are a lot of carbohydrates in its composition (think of such a concept as “beer belly”). The classic recipe for German beer is water, malt, hops, yeast. With diabetes, brewer's yeast is beneficial: it normalizes the metabolism, restores liver function.. Such a result is not beer, but yeast. In the recipe of modern types of beer they may not be.

Is it possible to have a beer with diabetes? In recommended doses:

  1. Quality beer - 350 ml.
  2. Dry wine - 150 ml.
  3. Strong drinks - 50 ml.

To determine the caloric content, it is necessary to take into account the concentration of alcohol in the product, since 1 g contains 7 kcal (compare: 1 g of fat - 9 kcal!). From here and problems with excess weight.

The dose of alcohol that can trigger hypoglycemia:

  1. Strong drinks - 50-100 ml.
  2. Wine and its derivatives - 150-200 ml.
  3. Beer - 350 ml.

Should I mix different types of alcohol? It is desirable that the drinks were from the same type of raw materials and low calorie. To orient in the caloric content of alcoholic beverages will help the table.

Drink name

Carbohydrate amount

Calorie content




Light (11% dry in-in)542
Light (20% dry in-in)875
Dark (13% dry in-in)648
Dark (20% dry in-in)974

Strong alcohol


When participating in events with a hearty meal that cannot be abandoned, diabetic patients should consult with their endocrinologist about strong drinks. Usually, with normal well-being and good sugar compensation, the doctor does not prohibit a little vodka or wine, while observing all the precautions.

The moderate consumption of high-quality alcoholic beverages even reduces the risk of death in the cores with non-insulin-dependent diabetes. A categorical ban can get patients with hypertension, ischemia, neuropathy, pyelonephritis and other diseases associated with diabetes.

Do all diabetics have alcohol

Alcohol with diabetes do not combine:

  • With a tendency to hypoglycemia;
  • If among the associated diseases gout;
  • In nephropathy, ethanol affects the peripheral nerves;
  • When high triglycerides are triggered by alcohol;
  • In diseases of the gastrointestinal tract and heart failure;
  • Ethanol in pancreatitis leads to type 2 diabetes;
  • If there are complications in the form of hepatitis or cirrhosis;
  • In the treatment of Metformin - the most popular remedy for type 2 diabetes. Side effects include lactic acidosis;
  • Pregnant and athletes.

Snacking with diabetes preferably 5 times, at regular intervals. Each meal is a different product. Insidious late hypoglycemia, when a diabetic crisis occurs several hours after ethanol is ingested. Because of the sharp fall in glycogen in the liver, saving the victim is difficult. Glycogen does not transform from the liver back to glucose.

In case of emergency deficiency, the liver is unable to replenish its reserves within two days after drinking alcohol! Such an event may well occur after a single reception of intoxicating beverages on an empty stomach.

Diabetics, especially those of the second type, who acquired this diagnosis relatively recently, find it difficult to limit oneself in the diet, which was taught in childhood. But the diagnosis corrects the habits, and to avoid complications, they must be taken into account.

Drinking alcohol is not such a vital necessity, although traditionally it is a symbol of the holiday. To continue the holiday, it is better to choose a full life without alcohol, otherwise, after a rich intake of "fire water" you can finish it in intensive care.

Video - Alcohol in diabetes

Watch the video: Diabetes. Alcohol. (September 2019).