Alcohol And Risk Of Low Blood Sugar
If you are managing your diabetes with diet and exercise alone, drinking alcohol can stil increase your risk of low blood sugars. And if you take insulin or types of diabetes pills that stimulate insulin production, drinking alcohol can lead to even more serious low blood sugar reactions.
Normally, the liver releases glucose to maintain blood sugar levels. But when you drink alcohol, the liver is busy breaking the alcohol down, so it does a poor job of releasing glucose into the bloodstream. This can lead to a drop in blood sugar levels if you are drinking alcohol on an empty stomach.
Each alcoholic beverage takes about 1-1 ½ hours to finish processing in the liver. For that entire time, the risk of low blood sugar exists. So, if you have 2 drinks, you double that time to 2 to 3 hours that you are at risk for low blood sugar. The more alcohol consumed, the bigger the risk for serious low blood sugar.
The solution? Never drink alcohol on an empty stomach. ALWAYS consume alcohol with a meal or snack that contains carbohydrates. Never skip meals or substitute alcohol for a meal.
Follow these safety tips too:
Low Carb Vodka Drinks
If you’re looking for low carb vodka drinks you’ve come to the right place! Includes a bonus recipe for a Low Carb Strawberry-Basil Lemon Drop!
Disclosure: I was provided with this book from the author free of charge in exchange for my fair and honest review. Please see my disclosure policy. This post also contains affiliate links for your convenience.
Vodka is a zero carb alcohol, like most clean spirits. If you’re concerned about which types of alcohol work on your way of eating, please read my article Can You Drink Alcohol On A Low Carb Diet? The short answer, by the way, is yes but only certain types AND you have to know your limit. If one low carb mojito will get you reaching for a slice of high carb pizza, you’d better stay away.
However, if you want to treat yourself, your best bet is to stick with vodka, gin, brandy, tequila, whiskey, or rum. Which is why I was super excited to receive a copy of Keto Happy Hour, written by Kyndra D. Holley. Kyndra is the author behind the amazing blog Peace, Love and Low Carb.
The book is gorgeous, and makes me wants to try every recipe which is possibly dangerous, because there are over 50 of them! It was hard to decide which cocktail to try first until the Strawberry Basil Lemon Drop caught my eye! I had *all* the ingredients already, with the exception of the low carb simple syrup ! It was SO good you’ve got to try it!
Is It Safe To Drink Alcohol
Check with your doctor to make sure alcohol doesnt interfere with your medications or complicate any of your medical conditions. Drinking alcohol can lead to serious low blood sugar reactions, especially if you take insulin or types of diabetes pills that stimulate the release of insulin from the pancreas. Alcohol can also affect other medical conditions you may have, like diabetic nerve damage, diabetic eye disease, and high blood triglycerides. Get guidelines for alcohol use from your medical provider.
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What Happens When A Diabetic Drinks Vodka
Alcohol can reduce blood sugar levels in some people, but it can also cause them to rise. Regular alcohol consumption for an extended period of time has been shown to increase insulin resistance. As a result, people with type 2 diabetes, which are defined as elevated glucose levels, may find it more difficult to manage their blood sugar.
Does Alcohol Lower Blood Sugar
While alcohol does cause a spike in blood sugar, it often also leads to a drop in sugar after this initial spike. Alcohol changes how the pancreas functions and leads to an increase in insulin while inhibiting the livers normal ability to release sugar. This pair of effects leads to an overall drop in blood sugar.
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Effects Of Vodka On Diabetes
Can Alcohol Cause Diabetes
There is debate on whether light to moderate amounts of alcohol use can increase the risk of diabetes. However, in general alcohol use is known to increase the risk of type 2 diabetes. There are several ways that alcohol may do this, including:
- Damaging your pancreas where insulin is made
- Increasing your weight, a known risk factor for diabetes
- Impairing the liver, which helps regulate blood sugar levels
The safest way to avoid any of the potential risks of alcohol and diabetes is to avoid using alcohol altogether.
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What Is A Unit Of Alcohol
As alcoholic drinks come in different strengths and sizes, units are a good way to tell how strong your drink is.
One unit of alcohol is 10 ml or 8 g of pure alcohol. One unit is equal to the following:
- One single pub measure of spirits
- One half-pint of normal-strength lager, beer or cider
- One small glass of wine
- One glass of liqueur, sherry or other fortified wine
In recent years, the alcohol content of some drinks has increased, with many wines and beers now stronger than they once were. So remember that a drink may be stronger than you think. Remember too that many measures, particularly home measures, are larger than standard sizes.
A more accurate way of calculating units is by the percentage of alcohol by volume . This is the percentage of alcohol in one litre of the drink.
- A wine of 14% ABV has 14 units in a litre.
- If you drink 125 ml you have had 1.75 units.
- If you drink 250 ml you have had 3.5 units.
Dos And Donts For Diabetics
- If youre a man, dont drink more than two drinks in one day. If youre a woman, dont drink more than one drink.
- Alcohol should only be consumed in moderation with food.
- Slowly drink your beverage.
- Drink sugary mixed beverages, sweet wines, and cordials in moderation.
- Combine liquor with water, club soda, or diet soft drinks to make a cocktail.
- Always check your blood sugar level which will help in finding that you have diabetes or not.
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Alcohol Prevents Your Liver From Doing Its Job
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 havent 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.
How Can Diabetics Safely Drink Alcohol
Mixed drinks and cocktails are certainly out of the option for diabetics because of their high sugar content and relatively high-calorie count. Instead, here are some safety tips to essay when drinking:
- Do not drink on an empty stomach
- Do not replace food with alcohol in a meal plan
- Try a light beer or other alcohol substitutes
- Sip drinks slowly
- Choose calorie-free mixers such as diet soda or tonic water
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When You Can’t Drink Vodka
All patients diagnosed with diabetes mellitus are advised by doctors to give up vodka and other strong drinks because of the high risks. If the patient still wants to relax a little, he should follow the recommendations for dosage and consumption of alcoholic beverages. But even under these conditions, there are categories of patients who cannot drink alcohol even in minimal quantities. Absolute contraindications include:
- a history of alcohol dependence
- angina pectoris and other complications from the cardiovascular system
- “Diabetic foot”
- acute pancreatitis.
Abstaining from alcohol is recommended for women with any type of diabetes, especially if they are expecting a baby. According to statistics, it is women who are more exposed to alcohol than men, so they need to be especially careful.
Rules For The Use Of Vodka For Diabetes
Before risking your own health and drinking vodka, you should consult your doctor, since in some cases the patient may have absolute individual contraindications. If the attending physician decides that a slight deviation from the rules is possible, it is important to follow certain recommendations that will help make the feast safe and avoid serious consequences .
- Vodka is a product that does not contain carbohydrates, so there must be a snack with a high content of these substances on the table. These include baked goods, potato dishes, pasta and spaghetti, rice and cereals.
- It is not recommended to eat sweets, but it is necessary to keep a critical set with you. When an attack occurs, these products should be at hand, since the count will go literally for seconds.
- It’s a good idea to put a meter in your clothing pocket to monitor your glucose levels. It is imperative to measure the sugar level 2-2,5 hours after drinking alcohol, since an attack of hypoglycemia can occur several hours after ethanol enters the body.
In no case should you drink vodka and other alcohol alone. There must be people nearby who can provide the necessary assistance in case of an emergency. It is desirable that at least one person from the company be sober, since the speed of medical care is crucial in the future prognosis.
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Condition Kitchen: Type 2 Diabetes
When it comes to successfully managing type 2 diabetes, what you drink is just as important as what you eat. In fact, you may be surprised by how much a single drink can affect your blood sugar.
Drinks with carbohydrates will affect your blood sugar more readily than zero-carb, zero-sugar drinks like water. Anything thats liquid that has carbohydrates will digest faster than something you would have to chew, says Lori Zanini, RD, CDCES, whos based in Los Angeles. The result: a quick spike in blood sugar.
If you enjoy swigging bottled drinks, you may be at a loss for how to stay hydrated. Fortunately, theres a variety of refreshing, flavorful beverages you can enjoy, says Katherine Basbaum, RD, a clinical dietitian in the cardiology and cardiac rehabilitation departments at the University of Virginia Health System in Charlottesville.
Before you take your next sip, here are the top drinking dos and donts for people with diabetes.
Is Vodka Ok For A Diabetic To Drink
If you consume alcohol in moderation, your blood sugar levels may rise and then fall dangerously low. You may consume gin, rum, vodka, or whiskey in moderation, but your blood sugar levels may rise and then fall dangerously low. Hard liquor contains 0 grams of carbohydrates when consumed on its own, but consuming it can result in dangerously low blood sugar levels. You should limit your consumption to one glass or less at a time, or avoid swallowing them while consuming sugary beverages.
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Can I Drink Alcohol If I Have Diabetes
Most people with diabetes can drink alcohol without difficulty. We follow the same set of rules as everyone else: one drink per day for women and two drinks per day for men. However, you must understand the effects of alcohol on blood sugar levels. Sugary beverages can increase your blood sugar levels.
The Effect Of Alcohol On Blood Glucose
Alcohol can both increase and decrease blood glucose levels. If you have a drink that contains carbohydrate, such as real ale, cider, alcopops, a liqueur or a dessert wine, it is likely that you will initially notice an increase in your blood glucose level.
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If, however, you have a drink that does not contain carbohydrates, such as a gin and diet tonic, a vodka and diet Coke or a glass of red wine, you may not see any change in your blood glucose level.
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What Is The Best Alcohol To Drink With Diabetes
According to research, drinking wine may aid in the bodys ability to use insulin more efficiently, making you less likely to develop type 2 diabetes in the first place. Furthermore, it may be beneficial for the heart. Moderation is essential because excessive alcohol consumption can result in hypoglycemia.
List Of Alcoholic Drinks For People With Diabetes
Moderation is key in drinking alcohol whether you have diabetes or not. In general, diabetes does bring with it additional challenges, and the American Diabetes Association recommends women should have no more than one alcoholic beverage per day, and men should consume no more than two. One drink equals 12 ounces of beer, 5 ounces of wine, or 1 1/2 ounces spirits. The following cocktails limit carbohydrates naturally, so they can be part of a diabetic diet.
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What Other Dangers Does Alcohol Pose For People With Diabetes
Drinking alcohol in high quantities regularly can cause an increase in blood pressure. Furthermore, alcoholic drinks contain calories, and therefore can lead to weight gain. Drinking alcohol can exacerbate neuropathy by increasing pain and numbness.
Low carbohydrate and low-alcohol drinks may be better than standard alcohol, but the dangers still need to be considered. Often alcohol is mixed with fizzy, sugary drinks that can impact on blood sugars.
Perfect Alcoholic Drinks For Diabetics
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Can diabetics drink alcohol?, you might ask. The answer is a whopping YES! You dont have to totally give up alcoholic drinks. You can still have it on occasion. If youre wondering what is the best alcoholic drink for a diabetic, read on!
1. Dry Martini
You can create your own dry martini at home. You just need vodka and dry vermouth. For the garnish, you can have lemons, baby onions, and olives. This is a perfect drink if youre looking to control your blood sugar. However, if youre out in a bar, dont forget to ask the bartender about the sugar content.
2. Bloody Mary
If youre looking for a healthy alternative, a glass of Bloody Mary wont let you down. Just following the standard recipe is ideal. Make sure that you use fresh tomatoes. When you do, you wont have to worry about the sugar content. You can also squeeze it yourself. You can even add pepper and fresh celery to your Bloody Mary.
3. Dry White and Red Wines
If wine is part of your lifestyle, you probably wouldnt want to let go of it. Dessert, sweet, and off-dry wines are a no-no for you. These wines contain high amounts of sugar. However, you can still opt for dry white wine or dry red wine. Although this is perfect for people with diabetes, it is important to drink moderately.
4. Light Beer
5. Vodka and Club Soda
6. Diet Gin and Tonic
7. Hot Toddy
Drinking Dos and Donts for Diabetics
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Potential Health Benefits Of Vodka
Some studies indicate that drinking alcohol in moderation may be good for your health. The loose definition of âmoderate drinkingâ has been a source of some confusion. Moderate drinking consists of an average of one drink per day for women and up to two for men. One drink is considered 12 ounces of beer, 5 ounces of wine, or 1.5 ounces of distilled spirits at 80 proof. Light to moderate alcohol use may reduce your risk for the following conditions:
Loss of Pregnancy or Birth Disorders
Alcohol consumed during pregnancy passes through the umbilical cord to the baby, which increases the risk of miscarriage or stillbirth. In addition, drinking while pregnant may result in fetal alcohol syndrome disorders . Children with FASDs show a range of physical, behavioral, and cognitive symptoms.
Some medications have negative interactions with alcohol. Alcohol may make certain medications ineffective or toxic. The combination also may cause nausea, drowsiness, or lack of coordination. It even may put you at risk for respiratory problems, internal bleeding, or heart problems.
Pay attention to medication labels and the instructions given by your doctor or pharmacist. If concerned about a medicationâs potential interaction with alcohol, donât be afraid to ask.
The Effect Of Alcohol On The Patient’s Body
Disruption of metabolic processes, which is characteristic of diabetes of any type, leads to a delayed elimination of toxins from the body. In such patients, intoxication occurs faster, which is difficult to treat and can cause severe poisoning. In some cases, the death of the patient may occur, but this happens most often with prolonged use of large doses of alcohol. If the patient is forced to take pills to maintain or lower blood sugar levels, the situation is aggravated as the liver is doubly stressed.
But experts associate the main danger with another property of alcoholic beverages . Almost all of them have sugar-lowering properties, since they block the production of glycogen – the main energy resource that is the fuel for all cells and tissues of the body.
A sharp drop in blood glucose can lead to a hypoglycemic crisis and even hypoglycemic coma!
These conditions are deadly for the patient, therefore, doctors categorically prohibit the use of alcoholic beverages with diabetes mellitus.
Do not forget about the effect of vodka on the nervous system. Intoxication in chronic diseases of the endocrine system occurs several times faster, so the patient may not notice the characteristic signs of hypoglycemia – a condition in which the blood glucose level drops to 3,3 mmol / l . These symptoms include:
- violation of coordination in space
- rarely – confusion of speech and consciousness.
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