Living with diabetes is often about knowledge and learning to indulge in moderation. According to the American Diabetes Association, research shows that there are actually some health benefits for diabetics who occasionally enjoy alcoholic beverages, such as a reduced risk for heart disease.
As with anything, be sure to check with your doctor before partaking. If you have been living with diabetes your entire life, you probably have a handle on what is just enough versus what is too much, but if you are living with a recent diagnosis, consult your doctor before choosing to drink. As a rule of thumb, diabetic women should have no more than one alcoholic drink per day, and diabetic men should have no more than two drinks per day. One drink is equal to 12 ounces of beer, a 5-ounce glass of wine or 1.5 ounces of liquor.
No one, but especially diabetics, should ever drink on an empty stomach. For diabetics, avoid drinking when your blood glucose is low. This is especially important for anyone on insulin and pills like sulfonylureas or meglitinides, which work to lower blood glucose.
If you are going to a bar or club, be sure you have some sort of documentation or someone with you who knows you are a diabetic. Sip your drink slowly to make it last longer so you are not tempted to keep up with the rest of your group. Be sure to stay hydrated during a night out, and if possible, choose light options like light beer, a wine spritzer or mixed drinks that are low in sugar and calories.
Legal Stuff: We should remind everyone that our blog entries are for your information only and are not intended as medical advice. If you’re going to drink, do it legally and responsibly; don’t be stupid =).