Ultimately, only you, in consultation with your doctor can determine if you should drink alcohol or not. Nevertheless, there are some interesting conclusions that researchers have come up with regarding type 2 diabetes and alcohol.
Can drinking alcohol cause diabetes? Unlikely, unless you spend most of your day drinking. Neither will drinking alcohol lead to pre diabetes or borderline diabetes. Even so, alcohol consumption is something that you should keep track of if you have diabetes.
Alcohol is so prevalent in our society that it’s no wonder that many diabetics wonder if it’s ok for them to drink alcohol. Alcohol can temporarily stop your liver from producing glucose. In addition, it can also block hormones that increase your glucose levels. The result is that your blood glucose level can be lowered to the point where you are experiencing hypoglycemia. If you eat before or while drinking, however, the food can act as a counterbalance by raising your blood glucose levels. While good advice anytime, it’s all the more reason why diabetics especially should not drink without eating.
Type 2 Diabetes, Alcohol, and Resveratrol
In today’s world, however, research is always going on. And the most recent and tantalizing research involving diabetes and alcohol is a 2007 research study in China that seems to conclude that red wine may possibly counter the insulin resistance effects of type 2 diabetes. The magic ingredient in red wine that has everyone excited is the antioxidant resveratrol. In a controlled study using mice, it was found that resveratrol extract curbed insulin resistance in mice. Don’t get too excited, though, as you would probably need to drink 3 or more liters of red wine to match the equivalent amount of resveratrol that was given to the mice. Nevertheless, the ongoing studies seem to be pointing towards exciting developments in the world of diabetes.
Before you begin to drink alcohol, however, there are a few other things that diabetics should keep in mind. Most important, make sure that you are not experiencing other medical complications from diabetes. If you are pregnant, whether you have diabetes or not, you should not be drinking alcohol. If you have weight issues, you should also watch and restrict your alcohol intake, especially since many alcohols are empty calories and have zero nutritional benefits. Also, while true that drinking alcohol can lead to hypoglycemia, keep in mind that many drinks, especially “fruity” drinks, have a high sugar content. For a diabetic, this high concentration of sugar could play havoc with your sugar levels and end up impacting you as much as the alcohol itself.
Always eat a small meal or have a snack before consuming alcohol. This will give your liver time to produce some glucose before it has to deal with the alcohol. If you take oral medication to control your glucose you should not drink for at least two hours after you take it.
Don’t drink to excess. The daily guidelines for diabetes and alcohol are the same guidelines which are recommended for otherwise healthy individuals. For a man who has a lean body mass no more than two drinks a day is recommended. Women tend to metabolize alcohol more slowly than men so they should only drink one drink and then wait several hours before having a second one.