Can you drink beer if you have diabetes?

Can i drink alcohol with diabetics?

Here you have one of the great diabetes controversies. Many doctors say absolutely no to beer. Not a drop. Others say it's all right in moderation.

Actually, an excellent case can be made for a diabetic not to drink at all. Even alcoholic beverages that don't contain carbohydrate, such as free beer,gin, vodka, bourbon, scotch, and dry wines, do contain calories. If you have a weight problem, the additional calories of the drink will augment this problem. If you say, "OK, I'll figure the calories of the drink in my diet and cut out something else," then that something else you cut out will have food value that alcohol lacks and your body will be deprived of the nutrition it needs.
Then, too, drinking can get you in deep trouble, especially if you're on insulin. Let's take a hypothetical situation. It's the end of the day. Work is over. You're tired. You decide you'll have a pick me up drink before going home. You do. Then maybe you have another. Your judgment is suspended and your mind is a little fuzzy. You forget it's time for you to eat. In fact, it's past time. The beer unaccompanied by food further lowers your blood sugar and it also impairs the liver's ability to release emergency glucose.

You leave the bar and start walking several blocks to where your car is parked. Hypoglycemia comes over you. You stagger, stumble, and finally fall. You lose consciousness. Somebody calls the police to come pick up the drunk. The police arrive and, smelling alcohol on your breath, haul you off to the drunk tank to sober up Very bad trouble.

Besides the dire possibilities of this scenario, there is the additional possibility that the alcohol may throw off your medication or alter the effect of your insulin. Oral drugs combined with alcohol sometimes cause nausea, sweating and dizziness. And an out of control diabetic shouldn't drink a drop.

Heavy drinking can result in long range problems for a diabetic. The March-April 1980 issue of Diabetes Care reported a study by David McCullogh and others of over 500 diabetic men. The heavy drinkers in the group had a much higher incidence of painful diabetic neuropathy than the others did.


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