Diabetes and Alcohol Use | How Can it Affect You?

Alcohol Can Contribute To…


Alcohol can contribute to your health in an endless number of ways. People may have the conception that alcohol is safe. However this is far from the truth. Alcohol can worsen many diseases and damage your health. There are many conditions and diseases that alcohol can contribute to such as: Gout, Hypertension, Cardiovascular Diseases, Mental Disorders and most importantly for this article, diabetes.


Once alcohol is ingested, it travels to your stomach and eventually gets metabolized by your liver. You may not know this but alcohol contains just as many calories as a whole meal! Your body treats all calories the same, so when the alcohol reaches your stomach and gets absorbed, your body thinks you just ate a whole meal. When you consume these calories from alcohol, your body will react how it does to any other time you eat a meal, or any food. .

Your blood glucose levels are going to rise because of  the alcohol ingested. Some liquors and beers may even contain higher amounts of carbohydrates, or sugars than some snacks. You have to be extremely cautious with diabetes and alcohol use because every time you drink your blood glucose levels are going to rise, which increases risks of a cardiovascular event.


Diabetics who drink alcohol must be aware of the effects that alcohol can contribute to this condition. It is recommended that anyone who has diabetes and drinks alcohol should limit alcohol consumption to 1-2 drinks per day at a maximum. A drink is considered to be 12 oz. of beer, 8 oz of wine and 1oz of 80 proof liquor. The best option would be to not drink any alcohol, but if you must do so in moderation. Occasional drinks are absolutely fine if you limit yourself to 1-2 drinks while your blood glucose is already well controlled.


Here are some of the effects that are possible regarding diabetics who drink alcohol:

  • Alcohol can increase your blood glucose levels, however at very high amounts it can actually decrease those blood sugar levels – sometimes in the dangerous zone of hypoglycemia
  • Alcohol stimulates appetite
  • Some beers, wines and champagne contains high amounts of carbohydrates
  • Alcohol may increase blood pressure
  • Alcohol can cause increased heart rate
  • Alcohol causes flushing and nausea


It is in your best interest for people with diabetes to avoid alcohol. Remember, one glass is ok, but beyond that you are risking your health.