Yes, but don’t worry, you can still enjoy an adult beverage if you have diabetes. Feel better hearing this? Great!
Now that you understand we are not here to take anything away from you, please continue to read and learn how to drink safely with diabetes.
Your Liver...A Quick Review
Your liver both stores and produces glucose to aid in blood glucose regulation.
When alcohol is introduced, your liver identifies this “toxin” and refocuses its work to clear the body of this “toxin.” As a result, it stops releasing glucose. Without this glucose, blood sugars will eventually drop.
If you take insulin, or insulin secreting medication such as glyburide or glipizide, you are at increased risk for hypoglycemia shortly after drinking and for up to 12-24hrs! Remember, your insulin is still working despite having lower levels of circulating glucose.
Liquor vs Mixed Drinks
It is important to understand that pure alcohol does not raise blood glucose. What raises blood glucose is the mixer! So please be careful when choosing your drink. You will notice a large difference in your blood glucose when drinking a vodka with diet tonic vs a Bloody Mary. It’s the additional ingredients that will raise your blood glucose, not the liquor!
Tip #1: Avoid drinking on an empty stomach or when your blood sugar is already low
Tip #2: Know your alcohol (see examples below)
Tip #3: Have alcohol with food. Consuming food with fat, protein and carbohydrate will extend the glucose rise from carbohydrates
Carbohydrates in 3-4oz Glass of Wine*
Carbohydrates in a 12oz Bottle of Beer*
Carbohydrates in Spirits and Mixed Drinks*
*Always confirm exact serving sized and carbohydrate amounts by referencing nutrition labels or other trusted resources such as CalorieKing.