Alcohol is a source of calories, much like fat in the diet, so it can cause weight gain. It is not converted into glucose, but it can affect blood glucose levels.
If you take insulin or a sulfonylurea, having more than one or two alcoholic drinks is risky behavior! It can cause severe hypoglycemia, especially if you haven't eaten.
Alcohol lowers blood glucose and can put you at risk for hypoglycemia. This happens because alcohol prevents the liver from releasing glucose. The symptoms of hypoglycemia and drunkenness can be similar.
If you are taking medicines, check with your health care provider about alcohol. If he or she says that you can drink alcohol, you can include it in your food plan as long as you follow these safe guidelines:
Examples of one drink with minimal carbohydrates are:
Examples of drinks with higher amounts of carbohydrates are:
Limit alcohol when you are trying to lose weight.
Wear a medical identification bracelet that says you have diabetes.
Do not overeat, it can cause hyperglycemia.
Do not drink alcohol if you are pregnant.
The following chart shows serving sizes for different types of alcoholic beverages. It also lists the number of calories and grams of carbohydrate per serving of each beverage.
Allina Health's Patient Education Department, Basic Skills for Living with Diabetes, sixth edition
Allina Health's Patient Education Department experts
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