Cheers! Holiday Alcohol

Does that can affect your glucose levels?

The holiday season is in full surprises! Delicious food choices, cookies, sweets and plenty of tempting alcoholic drinks. Alcohol is part of our social events and part of our culture. Being diagnosed with diabetes requires you to think twice before joining the holiday cheer. Our recommendation is to avoid alcohol.

Alcohol will raise your blood glucose levels. The liver, an essential organ in regulating your glucose levels will get “busy” processing this alcohol and detoxify the blood.  When alcohol is in excesses (about two drinks or more), it will end up circulating in your bloodstream affecting your brain, heart, sugar levels and other tissues resulting in you becoming increasingly intoxicated.

Do you want to think how strong your drink is? The amount of alcohol is more crucial than a volume of liquid you drink. In the United States, a “standard” drink is any drink that contains about 0.6 fluid ounces or 14 grams of “pure” alcohol.

Below is the approximate number of standard drinks in different sized containers of:

Source: http://rethinkingdrinking.niaaa.nih.gov/WhatCountsDrink/HowManyDrinksAreInCommonContainers.asp

If you drink cocktails, you need to know that the alcohol levels are higher than you know.

If you are taking medications, you want to be even more cautious. Medication interacts with alcohol and may lead to elevation of your glucose levels. Drink on a full stomach. The food you eat will be digested while slowing down the effect on your sugar levels. If you are taking insulin or sulfonylureas and meglitinides (Prandin), which lower blood glucose you want to make sure if drinking you do it always with food.

Drinking alcohol can cause hypoglycemia. This condition is a when your blood glucose is too low. Signs include hunger, nervousness, shakiness, perspiration, dizziness or light-headedness, sleepiness, and confusion. Be aware of these symptoms and treat it immediately.

The insulin production can occur shortly after drinking and last up to 24 hours after drinking. If you are going to drink alcohol, check your blood glucose before you drink while you drink and for up to 24 hours. You should also check your blood glucose before you go to bed to make sure it is at a safe level.

What can you do?

  • Drink no more than two drinks/serving of drinks over 8 hours, if man
  • Drink no more than one drink/serving of drinks over 8 hours, if woman
  • Avoid “sugary” mixed beverages, sweet wines, or cordials.
  • Drink it slowly
  • Mix liquor with water
  • Do not skip meal and replace it with an alcohol drink
  • Drink alcohol only with food