While it’s true that you can drink alcohol in moderation, even if you are diabetic, there are a few things you should know. These are five things you need to know about diabetes and alcohol.
1. Test Before You Start
Before you put that alcoholic beverage to your lips, you should test your blood sugar levels. Alcohol affects everyone differently. That goes doubly so for diabetics.
Since alcohol can change the way your liver produces glucose, know your levels before you start. This way you can prevent serious complications before you are too impaired to do anything about it.
2. Put Something Solid in Your Stomach
And, you already know you should never drink on an empty stomach. This is particularly true for diabetics. And for the same reasons as non-diabetics. The food in your stomach can slow the rate of absorption into your bloodstream. So, snack first before picking up that bottle of beer.
3. Alcohol’s Relationship to Diabetes Medication
If you are diabetic, chances are that you are also on medication. If so, you should remember that alcohol can interact with your diabetic medication in profoundly dangerous ways.
Since imbibing can cause your blood sugar levels to fluctuate high or low, some diabetic medications are also designed to lower your glucose levels. This means you could potentially give your body a double-dose of lowering effects and put your body into hypoglycemia.
4. Alcohol and Your Liver
When you drink alcohol, your liver has to work overtime removing it from your blood instead of focusing on its main job, which is regulating your blood sugar. If you drink when your glucose levels are already low, you are beginning on a glucose deficit which your liver won’t have time to replace.
5. Hypoglycemia and Alcohol
Finally, you don’t need diabetic medication interaction to cause hypoglycemia in your body. You can do that on your own when your body drops in blood sugar levels after drinking. Monitor your glucose levels up to 12 hours after drinking. Eat a snack if your blood sugar dips too low.
While you don’t have to cut out alcohol if you are diabetic, make smart choices. Know the relationship between diabetes and alcohol, and plan accordingly.