Close this search box.

Alcohol And Diabetes How Does Alcohol Affect People With Diabetes?

If you have symptoms of high or low blood sugar and you think you might pass out, call 911 or your local emergency number. People should also avoid strenuous activities on the same day they consume alcohol. An increase in activity raises insulin sensitivity and increases the risk of hypoglycemia.

  • This results in extremely low blood glucose levels that can lead to loss of consciousness.
  • This causes some people to mistake serious symptoms for drunkenness.
  • Therefore, to avoid alcohol-related hypoglycemia and its consequences, diabetics should consume alcohol only with or shortly after meals.
  • Severe hypoglycemia can lead to serious problems, including seizures or unconsciousness, that require emergency care.

People who drink on a regular basis will naturally develop a higher tolerance to alcohol. This does not mean they will not suffer from blackouts, just that their alcohol levels will be a lot higher when the blackout occurs. Those with alcoholism and diabetes need to know the warning signs. Genetic factors contribute to people with diabetes, but a person’s risk increases when alcoholism is added to the mix. If you or a loved one are seeking help for alcoholism or addiction and also have diabetes, please know help is available at La Hacienda.

Risks of Drinking Alcohol with Diabetes

Thus, whereas type 1 diabetes is characterized by a complete lack of insulin production, type 2 is characterized by reduced insulin production plus insulin resistance. The reasons underlying defective insulin secretion and insulin resistance, which are still under investigation, are complex and beyond the scope of this article (for a review, see DeFronzo 1997). It is important to drink plenty of water or non-alcoholic beverages and avoid heavy alcohol consumption. Stay hydrated to help prevent your blood sugar levels from dropping too low. A diabetic person should always imbibe alcoholic drinks in moderation; there’s no way to predict the body’s reaction to the sudden intake of sugar.

What are 3 signs of a diabetic emergency?

  • hunger.
  • clammy skin.
  • profuse sweating.
  • drowsiness or confusion.
  • weakness or feeling faint.
  • sudden loss of responsiveness.

Before consuming any alcohol, always make sure that your diabetes is in good control and your blood sugar is being properly managed. Make sure that you have spoken with your doctor, and you fully understand the risks of drinking alcohol with diabetes. Avoid consuming alcohol as a response to stress, as diabetes is already impacted by cortisol and anxiety. People with diabetes need to pay particular attention to their alcohol consumption because of its effects on blood sugar levels.

Drunkorexia is risky behavior.

The hormone insulin, which is produced in the pancreas, is an important regulator of blood sugar levels. In people with diabetes, the pancreas does not produce sufficient insulin (type 1 diabetes) or the body does not respond appropriately to the insulin (type 2 diabetes). Alcohol consumption by diabetics can worsen blood sugar control in those patients. For example, long-term alcohol use in well-nourished diabetics can result in excessive blood sugar levels.

The symptoms of low blood sugar (hypoglycemia) are usually similar to the side effects of alcohol, making it difficult to differentiate the two. Low blood sugar and alcohol can both cause symptoms like blurred vision, slurred speech, sedation, and impaired coordination. There is some evidence that shows that moderate drinking can actually provide you with cardiovascular benefits.