Alcohol and Diabetes: Understanding the Risks and Benefits

Maybe their doctors cautioned them that drinking and diabetes don’t mix. Perhaps some have health conditions that are incompatible with alcohol. People with diabetes can carry glucose tabs in case of an emergency, and they should check their blood sugar levels regularly. They should also remember that some diabetes medications may not work if they consume too much alcohol. Although alcohol does have an effect on blood sugar levels, with a few precautions and careful management, people with diabetes can also enjoy a drink.

  • Take a look at the numbers and you’ll find that only moderate drinkers have less cardiovascular disease.
  • People with diabetes should be sure to pay attention to any potential warnings.
  • In addition, insulin inhibits the production of more sugar molecules (i.e., gluconeogenesis) in the liver.
  • However, the carb content may rise significantly if you mix vodka with tonic water — which has 32 grams of carbs per 12-ounce can — or a sugar-containing soda (27).
  • Each alcoholic beverage takes between 1 and 1.5 hours to finish processing in the liver.
  • For instance, a standard 5-ounce (150-mL) glass of white wine also provides 3.8 grams of carbs (22).

Type 2 diabetes is the most common type of diabetes, accounting for 90 to 95 percent of cases of diabetes within the United States. Unlike type 1 diabetes, which is unpredictable and most often develops very early in life, type 2 diabetes can develop through a mix of personal and lifestyle factors. Alcohol slows down activity in the brain and throughout the body and can cause numerous effects from a feeling of relaxation to drowsiness and decreased coordination. Some sources (including Diabetes UK ) advise strict carbohydrate management, perhaps even chips or pizza, if a large amount of alcohol has been consumed.

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ALWAYS consume alcohol with a meal or snack that contains carbohydrates. “You need to know if your medications or any diabetes-related conditions you have could be seriously affected by alcohol consumption,” emphasizes Harris. It is a good idea to check with your doctor to see if drinking alcohol is safe for you. Too much drinking, on the other hand (more than three drinks daily), can lead to higher blood glucose and A1C. In an average person, the liver breaks down roughly one standard alcoholic drink per hour. Any alcohol that the liver does not break down is removed by the lungs, kidneys, and skin through urine and sweat.

diabetes and drinking alcohol

Roughly a third of these participants represented the control group, a third were taking either a semaglutide injection or tablet, and a third were using tirzepatide. In social media posts on the community network Reddit, users reported reduced cravings for alcohol when taking drugs intended to treat Type 2 diabetes and obesity. Inpatient alcohol rehab programs often offer medical detox services as well as integrated treatment services for substance use and medical conditions. By entering a rehab program, specialists can help develop a treatment plan that meets you or your loved one’s needs for addiction recovery. While feeling a bit dizzy or drowsy after drinking does not always signal harm for a non-diabetic, for diabetics this can signal larger problems.

Study population

Ketoacidosis, which occurs primarily in diabetics, is a condition characterized by excessive levels of certain acids called ketone bodies (e.g., acetone, acetoacetate, and β-hydroxybutyrate) in the blood. Elevated levels of those compounds can cause nausea, vomiting, impaired mental functioning, coma, and even death. Ketoacidosis is caused by complete or near-complete lack of insulin and by excessive glucagon levels. Among their many functions, insulin and glucagon regulate the conversion of fat molecules (i.e., fatty acids) into larger molecules (i.e., triglycerides), which are stored in the fat tissue. In the absence of insulin, the triglycerides are broken down into free fatty acids, which are secreted into the bloodstream and delivered to the liver. The liver normally re-incorporates free fatty acids into triglycerides, which are then packaged and secreted as part of a group of particles called very low-density lipoproteins (VLDL).

Among the keywords included in the search were Mounjaro, Wegovy, Ozempic, and Trulicity. After cleaning the resulting data -; such as eliminating comments with fewer than 100 characters -; the set was narrowed to 33,609 posts from 14,595 unique users. The study was unique in using Reddit to analyze the reported experience of thousands of users. You can receive 24/7 text support right away and at your convenience. There is no obligation to enter treatment and you can opt out at any time. Drinking can cause a person to become less aware of how they’re feeling in their body as well as their surroundings.

Diabetes drugs may help curb alcohol dependence

Alcohol is absorbed directly into the bloodstream from the stomach or the small intestine, carried through the body, and delivered to the liver. That’s true for all drinkers — but it’s especially true if you have diabetes. Informed consent was obtained from all individual participants included in the study. LG, EF, GCh, and CD contributed to conception and design of the study. LG, EF, GCh, and CD contributed to drafting a significant portion of the manuscript. In this interview, Wen Hwa Lee, CEO, and Chief Scientist at Action Against Age-Related Macular Degeneration (AAAMD), offers an enlightening perspective on merging AI with ophthalmology to forge new paths in healthcare and drug discovery.

diabetes and drinking alcohol

These agents act to lower the patient’s blood sugar levels by decreasing insulin resistance rather than by increasing insulin secretion. Accordingly, these medications help control blood sugar levels without causing hypoglycemia. While many people can diabetics get drunk with diabetes can drink alcohol in moderation, it’s important to understand the possible risks of alcohol use and what you can do to lower them. You should also talk with your health care provider to see if it is safe for you to drink.

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