Alcohol is everywhere – at family gatherings, festivals, social outings, business dinners, and of course parties. You may choose to indulge or abstain as per your choice but if you are a diabetic, you need to understand the effects of drinking alcohol on diabetes and its complications, before making a choice. So, if you are diabetic and wondering, which drink to go for and how many, read on!
Historically, consumption of alcohol by the diabetic patient has been controversial. Recent studies have found out that insulin resistance “is minimal in individuals with regular mild to moderate alcohol consumption and increases in both heavy drinkers and subjects without any alcohol consumption.” What this implies is that moderate alcohol intake, if taken with a meal or snack is safe and has little or no effect on your postprandial glycemic control. However, heavy or continuous alcohol intake is associated with many health risks such as glucose intolerance, hypertension, cirrhosis of the liver and increased prevalence of diabetes-associated complications such as retinopathy and nerve damages.
Although moderate drinking is difficult to define, it usually implies an average intake of 4-5 drinks per week. However, obviously, one drink each day and 5 drinks taken together on a Saturday evening are bound to have different consequences on your health. Alcohol moves quite quickly into the blood without being broken down (metabolized) in your stomach and within five minutes of having a drink, there’s enough alcohol in your blood. However, it’s only after thirty to ninety minutes after having a drink that the alcohol in your bloodstream reaches its peak and starts making you dizzy and causing possible complications.