People with diabetes should be particularly cautious when it comes to drinking alcohol because alcohol can make some of the complications of diabetes worse. Alcohol impacts the sugar regulating function of the liver and can also interact with some medications in diabetics.
Here are some other ways that alcohol can affect diabetes:
- While moderate amounts of alcohol may cause blood sugar to rise, excess alcohol can actually decrease your blood sugar level -- sometimes causing it to drop into dangerous levels, especially for people with type 1 diabetes.
- Beer and sweet wine contain carbohydrates and may raise blood sugar.
- Alcohol stimulates your appetite, which can cause you to overeat and may affect your blood sugar control.
- Alcoholic drinks often have a lot of calories, making it more difficult to lose excess weight.
- Alcohol may also affect your judgment or willpower, causing you to make poor food choices.
- Alcohol can interfere with the positive effects of oral diabetes medicines or insulin.
- Alcohol may increase triglyceride levels.
- Alcohol may increase blood pressure.
- Alcohol can cause flushing, nausea, increased heart rate, and slurred speech.
Your healthcare provider will tell you how much alcohol is safe for you to drink. Depending on your health condition, that may mean no alcohol at all.