If you have diabetes, drinking alcohol can have a serious effect on your blood sugar levels. Alcoholic beverages are not recommended for people with diabetes, but if they do decide to consume it, they should only do so when their diabetes and blood sugar levels are well controlled.
If you follow a diet plan controlled with a precise calorie intake, one alcoholic beverage should count as two. It is a good idea to consult your doctor to see if drinking alcohol is safe for you.
People with diabetes are accustomed to monitoring their food choices and counting portions and calories. However, they often neglect some critical areas of their disease and allow themselves to abuse alcohol.
People often think that drinking beer will not have a negative effect on the disease.
Can even one beer change the blood sugar levels?
The short answer is - Yes, due to the effect of alcohol and because of the mechanism by which alcohol acts and in particular beer on blood sugar.
Alcohol blocks the enzymes that produce glucose in the liver and the blood sugar levels begin to drop. This can be very dangerous for people taking insulin, because combining insulin with beer can cause a hypoglycaemic episode.
Being in the company of friends is even more dangerous because it's easier to lose control of the number of drinks you drink until your blood sugar drops too low.
However, you do not need to give up drinking completely. Here are four tips on how to drink beer responsibly - in moderation and without going overboard with it.
Eat while drinking - drinking beer with food, preferably carbohydrate, helps to slow down the level of alcohol absorption and offers some protection against the rise or fall of sugar levels.
It is good to eat more food in the morning, because most likely your blood sugar levels will continue to remain low. Adjust the amount of insulin you take accordingly.
Be moderate - if you still want to enjoy a beer, follow the same rule that applies to food moderation. It is better to consume low-calorie beer. The maximum amount of alcohol units you should take is 2 units for women and 3 units for men - 1 unit is equal to 330 ml of light beer.
If you plan to have a drink with friends, make sure they are aware of your condition and what to do in case you start to feel unwell.