Alcohol and diabetes don't mix

First of all, it must be said that a patient suffering from diabetes does not have to abstain from alcohol as a matter of principle. But unfortunately it is also the case that alcohol can cause great damage, especially in diabetics, and it is therefore very advisable to consume alcohol sparingly. Nevertheless, it must be said very clearly that the times are over when there was still a very strict ban and the patient lost quality of life as a result. Up until a few years ago, very strict diets were recommended, which of course had to be adhered to, in which it was specified exactly what and when to eat, today everything looks a little different. Sugar had to be completely dispensed with and here too a lot has changed today. Despite all of this, this shouldn't mean that diabetics no longer have to pay attention to their diet. Dealing with alcohol in particular is still seen as critical.

The alcohol

Basically, it can be said that alcohol is an integral part of our food culture. There's also absolutely nothing wrong with treating yourself to a glass every now and then, as long as you enjoy it in moderation. And it may even lower the risk of serious heart disease. But there is a risk, because alcohol can attack various organs in the body, alcohol contains a cell toxin. Especially with diabetics it is the case that the organs are often already damaged by diabetes and this can unfortunately have fatal consequences. In addition, drinking alcohol can lead to hypoglycaemia.

In addition, there may be other consequences:

  • hypoglycaemia
  • overeating
  • Damage to the nervous system
  • impotence
  • heart diseases
  • Problems with the pancreas
  • liver damage

Diabetics can drink alcohol

Up until a few years ago, diabetics were strictly forbidden to drink alcohol, but today things are different. However, this should be clarified with the doctor treating you. When drinking wine, it is advisable to drink dry wine. However, the consumption of alcohol should always be kept within limits. Too much alcohol has an unfavorable effect on the metabolism and also on blood sugar regulation.

Alcohol hypoglycaemia

The liver releases the sugar and it is released from the storage into the blood. Drinking alcohol will cause this natural process to come to a standstill and the blood sugar level will drop accordingly. This process is already impaired at a blood alcohol level of 0.45 per mille. So meaning the more alcohol is drunk, the more impairments it will cause. If blood sugar-lowering medication is now taken, the blood sugar level will drop even further, which can result in hypoglycaemia. However, hypoglycaemia will not occur immediately after drinking alcohol, but about four to six hours after consuming alcoholic beverages. If the blood sugar level drops too far, the patient can be in a life-threatening situation.

The silent danger in alcohol

  • Beer contains around 20g of alcohol, 15g of carbohydrates and 200 calories
  • Wheat beer contains about 16 g alcohol, 2 g carbohydrates and 125 calories
  • Sweet wine contains about 8 grams of alcohol, 2 to 3 grams of carbohydrates and 70 calories
  • Sparkling wine contains about 10 g alcohol, 1 g carbohydrates and 75 calories
  • Liqueur contains (depending on the variety) about 3 to 6 g alcohol, 3 to 7 g carbohydrates and 50 to 75 calories
  • Schnapps contains about 6 g of alcohol, almost no carbohydrates and 45 calories

Other dangers of alcohol consumption by diabetics

• Overeating: Because alcohol always contains a lot of calories, it can quickly lead to overeating. This often leads to obesity, which in turn means that the body's need for insulin will clearly increase. • Damage to nerves: alcohol and diabetes are responsible for nerve damage. These come gradually, but occur. Damage usually occurs on the feet and this leads to the dreaded diabetic foot syndrome. • Impotent: Because diabetes and alcohol can damage nerves, people with diabetes who drink excessively can also suffer from sexual dysfunction. • The heart: Drinking too much alcohol can have serious consequences for the heart. The heart muscle can be damaged and this can trigger the dreaded coronary heart disease, especially in diabetics. Which means the heart can be permanently damaged. • The liver: Excessive consumption of alcohol and diabetes can damage the liver because it can become fatty. The liver loses its function. All of this can lead to cirrhosis of the liver. If additional medication has to be taken, it can no longer be properly broken down and excreted by the liver. All of this can then lead to serious complications.

Diabetic and he alcohol

Diabetics don't have a strict ban on alcohol, but everything with common sense. No more than 15 grams of alcohol should be drunk per day in order to avoid health consequences. It is important to ensure that these requirements are met. If alcohol is drunk, care should be taken to ensure that more carbohydrates are consumed when eating, this can prevent hypoglycaemia. In addition, you should pay attention to a balance, exercise is highly recommended here. If alcohol is drunk, additional insulin should not be injected to compensate.

Viet Trinh

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