Chat with us, powered by LiveChat

Can Diabetics Drink Alcohol?

Can Diabetics Drink Alcohol?

can diabetics drink alcohol

Alcohol can be dangerous for anyone, but can people with diabetes drink alcohol? The answer is complicated.

In moderation, a person with diabetes can have an occasional alcoholic beverage. However, there are many risks associated with drinking alcohol, so it is crucial to weigh the pros and cons before deciding.

What is diabetes, and what should I look for as a diabetic?

Diabetes is a disease in which the body’s use of glucose or sugar is altered. The body’s primary energy source is glucose, which comes from food. Insulin is a hormone that helps cells absorb glucose from the circulation and convert it into energy. Some people with diabetes do not make enough insulin or have trouble responding to it.

Diabetes can be broken down into Type 1 or Type 2.

  • Type 1 diabetes is an autoimmune disease in which the body is incapable of making insulin. Persons with Type 1 diabetes require insulin injections or other types of administration every day. People with Type 1 diabetes must regularly check their blood sugar levels using urine or blood samples.
  • Type 2 diabetes can be controlled through diet and exercise, with or without medication, but can also require insulin injections in the long run. Those who have Type 2 diabetes may not have to take regular blood samples but can still suffer from complications caused by high sugar levels in the body.

Diabetes and Alcoholism: What’s the Connection?

There is a significant relationship between diabetes and alcoholism. Around 60-70% of alcoholics also have diabetes.


This might be because people with diabetes are often looking for ways to cope with their condition, and drinking can be one way to do this.

Alcohol can also interfere with the way diabetes is treated and can cause blood sugar levels to spike.


People with diabetes can drink responsibly, but it’s essential to do so in moderation and keep track of how much you’re drinking to avoid health issues that can arise from alcohol consumption.

Risks of alcohol consumption for diabetics

There are many risks associated with drinking too much alcohol. Some can be very severe and even life-threatening if not appropriately addressed. Although everyone’s tolerance is different based on their health and body composition, alcohol can negatively impact blood sugar levels for people with diabetes.

When drinking alcohol, the liver is responsible for metabolizing it. This process can interfere with how the liver typically processes glucose, leading to a spike in blood sugar levels. In people who already have high blood sugar levels, this can be dangerous and can cause serious health complications.

Alcohol can also cause dehydration, potentially harmful to persons with diabetes. When dehydrated, the body’s blood sugar control mechanism is impaired, putting them at risk of developing out of balance quickly.

Additionally, alcohol can have adverse effects on diabetes medication. If you take insulin or other drugs, it can be dangerous to drink alcohol. Since the liver is processing both the medication and the alcohol, there may not be enough insulin in your body, or its effects can become more robust than desired. Taking medicines for other health issues such as high blood pressure could worsen if mixed with alcohol consumption.

Some of the risks associated with drinking alcohol include

  • increased blood sugar levels,
  • weight gain,
  • dehydration,
  • And an increased risk of developing liver disease.
  • Alcohol can also interfere with diabetes medications and make it challenging to maintain blood sugar control.

How does the Diabetic Body metabolize alcohol?

When you drink, the liver turns alcohol into a chemical called acetaldehyde. It can also metabolize other chemicals from other foods and medications.

In people with diabetes, the body can’t process acetaldehyde very well because of an enzyme deficiency. This can lead to high acetaldehyde levels in the bloodstream, damaging the liver, heart, and other organs.

The bottom line is that alcohol can severely impact blood sugar levels for diabetes, and it’s essential to be aware of the risks before deciding whether or not to drink. It’s usually best to discuss your medical history with your doctor regarding what is safe for you.

Is drinking ever okay for people with diabetes?

Although it can be dangerous, drinking is not always off-limits for diabetes.

If you suffer from Type 1 or Type 2 diabetes and can control your blood sugar levels through diet and exercise, occasional alcohol consumption may not pose a severe health risk. It is essential to remember that everyone’s body is different and can process alcohol differently so that tolerance can vary from person to person.

If you have type two diabetes that requires daily medication but can maintain a healthy diet without exercise, it can be okay to drink occasionally. In this case, though, you should still monitor your blood sugar levels afterward to make sure they have not become too high.

What kind of alcohol should people with diabetes drink?

A question is burning in your brain right now. You know you shouldn’t have too much sugar or carbs, but what about that Grain Alcohol lurking under the radar- can it be safe for someone with diabetes to consume at all? Yes, those with diabetes can drink alcohol.

There are two types:

  • Metabolized 

People with diabetes can consume metabolized alcohol without fear of immediate intoxication or other health risks. It is metabolized (broken down) in the stomach and small intestine, converting all that sugar into energy-rich carbon dioxide and water.

  • Unmetabolized (or U) 

However, ingesting unmetabolized alcohol can create havoc – as ethanol is not easily broken down and can cause diabetics to get highly drunk (and sometimes dangerously so) after only a few drinks.

The distinction between these two phrases may be difficult to understand, especially when discussing alcoholic beverages with a 50% ethanol concentration (which would make them legal anyhow). But there exists enough scientific data behind each type that helps dictate their use as an alcoholic beverage alternative.

Although it can be dangerous for those with diabetes to consume too much alcohol, whether metabolized or not, drinking in moderation can help the liver stay healthy and robust. It can also benefit people with diabetes (and non-diabetics alike) since it can help regulate blood sugar levels.

Although individuals with type one or two diabetes can consume alcohol in moderation, people who require medication and cannot manage their sugar intake through diet alone should not do so. It’s also crucial to note that various alcoholic beverages can have varying effects on the body. Because people with diabetes cannot break down carbohydrates and sugar, it may be preferable to avoid drinks containing a lot of carbohydrates, such as beer and wine (which include a lot of sugar).

The difference in light, medium, and full-bodied beer?

People with diabetes can consume light beer since it contains less carbohydrate (and calories) than regular beer.

Carbohydrates can’t always be broken down, though – even if you’re drinking light beers. The darker the alcohol, the more unprocessed sugars can exist inside of it- which can cause blood sugar levels to spike.

For those with diabetes, it might be best to avoid all types of beer and stick to vodka or whiskey instead. Wine can also be high in sugar- so for people trying to regulate their blood sugar levels, it’s best to avoid this type of alcohol.

Brandy is a good choice because it doesn’t contain any unmetabolized sugars. But can people with diabetes drink alcohol-containing unmetabolized (or U) types of alcohol? The answer is no.

Suppose you can’t stop drinking despite having diabetes. In that case, it might be time for some intervention and expert assistance or support groups with other people dealing with similar issues to assist you in figuring out how to quit drinking and maintain a healthy lifestyle.

Why do some people say that people with diabetes can’t drink while others say they need to be careful with their intake?

This discrepancy is because people with diabetes can’t always process alcohol the same way as people without diabetes.

There are several distinct types of alcohol, each with its own set of pros and drawbacks for persons with diabetes.

Some people might drink light beers without any problems, while others might not drink any alcohol without spiking blood sugar.

People with diabetes must be in many forms of alcohol and drink in moderation, depending on their body’s response, since high blood sugar levels can cause dangerous consequences.

There is no one-size-fits-all answer regarding whether or not people with diabetes can drink alcohol.

Each person’s body will react differently to different types of alcohol, so people with diabetes need to be conscious of how their body reacts and drink responsibly.

Can I eat carbs when drinking alcohol, or will it worsen for me?

When drinking alcohol, you can eat carbs, but it’s essential to be mindful of how many you’re consuming.

Carbohydrates over what is required for your body to function properly can cause blood sugar levels to rise and disrupt how alcohol is processed.

Can people with diabetes drink alcohol in moderation without worrying about their health?

The answer is yes- but it’s essential to be mindful of the types of alcohol you’re drinking and how they affect your blood sugar levels. Vodka or whiskey can be consumed without any problems, but you might want to avoid beer or wine.

Is there any advantage to drinking alcohol if you have diabetes?

There is no clear answer when it comes to this question. Some people say that drinking in moderation can have some health benefits, while others maintain that it’s best for people with diabetes to avoid alcohol altogether.

However, what is clear is that people with diabetes need to be careful about how much they drink and what types of alcohol they’re consuming.

For Diabetes, Here’s What You Should Know About Alcohol Consumption and What You Should Avoid

  • DO drink in moderation if you can’t seem to stop drinking despite having diabetes.
  • DO stick to vodka or whiskey if you want an alcoholic drink.
  • DO be aware of how different types of alcohol will affect your blood sugar levels.
  • DON’T drink alcohol if it makes your blood sugar levels spike.
  • DON’T eat too many carbs when drinking alcohol, as this can make it harder for your body to process the alcohol.
  • DON’T drink and drive. Make sure you have a designated driver or take public transportation.

How Much Alcohol Can Diabetic Drinks?

There is no hard and fast answer to this question as it will vary from person to person.

Here’s what a single standard drink looks like:

  • A standard 12-ounce bottle of beer (5% alcohol) contains about six fluid ounces (180 mL).
  • On average, he consumes approximately 12 ounces (350 mL) of wine every day, and only 4% are heavy drinkers.
  • 1.1 fluid ounces (30 mL) of 70 proof distilled spirits with 10% neutral shade added (40% alcohol) is considered one standard drink.
  • One can of regular (non-light) beer has about 153 calories and 14 grams of carbohydrate, almost all from alcohol.
  • One glass of wine is usually around 150 calories or 19g carbs for five-ounce serving size (148 mL).
  • Just over half that amount if you’re drinking red wine.
  • A mixed drink can contain 80 to more than 400 calories, depending on the ingredients and size of the serving container.

Remember that these are just averages, and you should speak with your doctor about what is safe for you to drink.

When it comes to alcohol consumption, diabetes can be a bit of a tricky topic. On the one hand, doctors generally advise people with diabetes to avoid alcohol altogether to prevent any potential spikes in blood sugar levels.

On the other hand, some people with diabetes find that they can drink alcohol responsibly without any problems.

It’s essential to know how your body reacts to different types of alcoholic drinks and to speak with your doctor about what you can safely consume. It’s also important to drink responsibly, even if it means having a designated driver or taking public transportation home after one too many glasses of wine.


So, can people with diabetes drink alcohol? The answer is yes, but people with diabetes need to know how their bodies react to different types of alcohol and drink responsibly. If you can’t seem to resist the temptation to have a drink, try sticking to light beers or wines. Moderation is vital- enjoy yourself, but don’t let drinking get in the way of managing your diabetes! Remember that alcohol can affect blood sugar levels, so it’s always best to check with your doctor or nutritionist about how much is okay for you to drink.

Start your journey to wellness

We are here to help, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.