Alcohol in diabetes mellitus type 1 and 2: effect on the body

, medical expert
Last reviewed: 11.04.2020

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Nobody knows when alcohol has appeared, but it has firmly entered our life. Many people badly imagine the celebration of various events without alcoholic drinks and just resort to it to relax, cheer up, chat with friends. Ethyl alcohol is widely used in medicine as an external antiseptic, in the preparation of extracts, tinctures, solvents for medicines, as part of anesthetic agents. The infrequent moderate consumption of a quality drink does not cause any particular harm to the body and does not cause habituation to it. But its active substance ethanol is a by-product of glucose metabolism, so the question arises whether it is possible to drink alcohol in type 1 and type 2 diabetes mellitus.

The effect of alcohol on the body in diabetes

In the assessments of doctors there are no definitive prohibitions on alcohol for diabetics, but they insist on certain rules of its consumption. The thing is that alcohol reduces the production of glucose and its intake into the blood, and also enhances the action of insulin and other hypoglycemic agents. This effect can lead to an uncontrolled and sharp drop in sugar - hypoglycemia. In addition, strong drinks cloud the mind and you can either skip the injection or pill, or break the necessary dose. Alcohol increases the load on the liver, increases blood pressure. And he is high-calorie, provokes an appetite and overeating, which is undesirable with the disturbed metabolism. Therefore, there are tips that need to be adhered to:

  • before taking alcohol to eat foods in which a lot of fiber and complex carbohydrates to slow the process of absorption of ethanol;
  • limit the recommended amount;
  • do not finish alcohol heavy physical work, classes in the gym, rest in the sauna;
  • To control sugar and adjust the dose of insulin taking into account the effect of the drink;
  • with the first symptoms of hypoglycemia, expressed in excessive sweating, weakness, trembling limbs, confusion, drink sweet water.

What kind of alcoholic drinks can I drink with diabetes?

In the grocery stores hundreds of names of alcoholic beverages, which of them can be consumed with diabetes? Let's consider their separate kinds from numerous assortment:

  • beer - alcohol in it does not allow you to enter the list of recommended, but it has a positive aspect - the use of yeast in the manufacture. Yeast has a beneficial effect on the body due to the large number of proteins (52%), fatty acids, vitamins, important trace elements in their composition. With their help, the metabolism, hemopoiesis processes are normalized, the liver functions better. They are used in many countries of Europe for the treatment and prevention of diabetes. Despite this, the frequency of beer consumption should not exceed two times a week in a dose of 300ml. There are also non-alcoholic varieties designed specifically for diabetics, they can be drunk indefinitely, only taking into account carbohydrates;
  • white dry wine - among the large variety of them, it contains the least sugar (0.3%), while in a fixed 8-13%, dessert - 25-30%. The main requirement to it is naturalness, high quality. Studies have shown that the use of dry wine within reasonable limits restores the sensitivity of cells to insulin, unless the sugar in the formula does not exceed 3%. The maximum single volume for women is 150ml, for men - 200ml three times a week after meals;
  • Vodka - of all the strong drinks in it, sugar is the least. Getting inside, it even lowers the blood glucose level, but it does not happen right away, but after a while. This is a dangerous moment, because a person takes medications for this, an additional reduction can lead to a sharp drop in glucose and end with a coma. If you consider this effect of alcohol and eat a carbohydrate meal, then once a week you can drink 50-100 g of vodka. Doctors warn that it is unacceptable to constantly maintain the sugar level with its help, because this will lead to alcoholism, which is fraught with serious consequences for health.

What can not drink with diabetes?

There are types of alcohol that diabetics should forget about. First of all, we are talking about fortified, dessert wines, sweet liqueurs. Among sparkling wines, sweet champagne should also be eliminated, and dry, semi-dry, brut is preferred.


Diabetes mellitus, as a rule, often has concomitant diseases: inflammation of the pancreas, pathology of the kidneys, heart. Contraindications to alcohol use are related to the presence of:

  • pancreatitis;
  • hepatic pathologies;
  • renal failure, diabetic kidney tissue damage;
  • diabetic neuropathy;
  • gout;
  • frequent hypoglycemic conditions;

trusted-source[1], [2], [3], [4], [5], [6], [7]

Possible risks

The fact that alcohol lowers glucose can do a disservice to diabetics. For each person, he acts in his own way, depending on food, the degree of fatigue, and the characteristics of the digestive system. After what time the decrease in sugar can not be predicted, the diabetic will still take medications while eating to prevent sudden jumps of glucose. Due to the heavy dose of alcohol, he can simply not control his condition. The consequences of taking alcohol can develop in such directions: hyperglycemia (high sugar), hypoglycemic coma (negatively affects the activity of the brain), other pathologies caused by the progression of diabetes. Diabetes mellitus and alcoholism are incompatible, the latter will do its worst thing - continue to destroy the pancreas and lead to death.

trusted-source[8], [9], [10], [11], [12], [13], [14], [15]

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