How does alcohol affect diabetes?


Quick Answer

Alcohol has a negative effect on diabetes by making blood sugars rise, WebMD explains. Excessive amounts of alcohol can cause blood sugar to drop dramatically, making it difficult to moderate blood sugar levels.

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Full Answer

Alcohol is high in calories as well carbohydrates, factors in high blood sugar levels, WebMD notes. Because beer and wine are especially rich in carbohydrates, diabetics should consume them in moderation to prevent high blood sugar levels. Alcohol also triggers the appetite and impairs judgment, leading to poor food choices poor in nutrients and rich in carbohydrates. It can also have negative effects on insulin or other medications that diabetics take. Furthermore, alcohol can increase heart rates, blood pressure and triglyceride levels.

When a diabetic chooses to drink alcohol, he needs to take certain precautions to mitigate effects on blood sugar, suggests WebMD. Alcohol needs to be consumed in moderation with no more than one drink a day for a woman and two drinks a day for a man. Alcohol needs to be consumed slowly with food. A diabetic needs to avoid sweet drinks as much as possible, including cordials, mixed drinks and sweet wines. Whenever possible, he needs to mix or water down the soda with diet drinks, water or club soda.

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