How can someone with diabetes drink alcohol more safely?

How can someone with diabetes drink alcohol more safely?

Drinking alcohol, especially if not done in moderation, can have serious health consequences. If, in addition, we have a previous health problem, the risk is multiplied. This occurs, for example, with people with diabetes, for whom consuming alcoholic beverages can become dangerous for several reasons: caloric intake, because it can intervene in medication and because it increases the risk of hypoglycemia.

However, with some preventive measures and always taking it moderately, risks can be reduced.

How does alcohol interfere with diabetes

Alcohol consumption should be moderate in all people. In fact, the best health is that we do not drink any alcohol. However, taking it moderately is important to minimize the risks, something that is essential in people with diabetes, since it directly interferes with blood glucose levels and can be dangerous for various reasons.

•Increases the risk of hypoglycemia. Alcohol is metabolized in the liver. When we drink alcohol, the liver has to process it and, for this, it stops releasing glucose. This can cause blood glucose levels to drop drastically with the consequent risk of hypoglycemia, especially if the person with diabetes injects insulin.

•It can interfere with medication, and make it have more or less effect, whether it is insulin or oral medication.

•Alcohol is high in calories, so regular consumption contributes to weight gain and obesity, which have a direct impact on the risk of diabetes. Also, calories from alcohol are stored in the liver as fat, and liver fat makes liver cells more resistant to insulin.

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•There are drinks, such as beer, that are rich in carbohydrates and their consumption can contribute to raising blood glucose levels.

How to drink alcohol more safely

It can be checked in a few minutes if there is hyper or hypoglycemia with the help of a glucometer

The safest amount of alcohol for people with diabetes is zero, but if you do decide to drink alcohol, it’s best to do so with a few precautions in mind.

•Never drink alcohol if diabetes is unbalanced or uncontrolled.

• Do not exceed one drink per day in the case of women and two in the case of men.

• Preferably consume dry alcoholic beverages, such as red wine, dry champagne… and low alcohol content. If you drink alcohol with more graduation, it is advisable to mix it with sugary drinks to avoid hypoglycemia.

•Never drink alcohol on an empty stomach, preferably accompany it with carbohydrates and drink alcohol in small sips.

•Especially people with type 1 diabetes, it is recommended that they monitor their diabetes more often if they are going to consume alcohol. Before taking it and up to 24-36 hours later and especially before going to sleep.

•Warn the people you are drinking with about your diabetes, so they can act in an emergency. People with diabetes should never drink alone.

• Do not fall asleep until late after having been drinking the night before, because as the Diabetes Foundation warns, it increases the risk of hypoglycemia.

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