Alcohol and Diabetes

Facts About Alcohol:

Alcohol is part of life in New Orleans. Some of us should never drink. If you have a problem with alcohol or have been told by your doctor not to drink then no amount of alcohol is really safe. For most people with diabetes some alcohol is okay. Generally speaking 1 to 2 drinks per day, depending on your sex, body mass index and blood sugar control.

The Effects:

Heavy alcohol use has negative effects on blood sugar and may interact with drugs you need to take. Some ways that alcohol can affect your health include:

  • Excess alcohol can cause low blood sugar.
  • Beer and wine contain carbohydrates (sugars) and add to your calorie intake.
  • Daiquiris, fruity cocktails and other frozen drinks can have as much sugar as a candy bar.
  • Alcohol can stimulate your appetite, causing you to overeat.
  • Alcohol may increase your blood pressure over time.
  • Alcohol may increase you triglycerides after just one drink.
  • Binge drinking may cover up your body’s alarms for low blood sugar leaving you at risk for dangerously low blood sugar reactions. (This is known to happen with Absinthe, but is possible with any type of alcohol when binging.)

What is ONE Drink?

14oz Light Beer
12oz Regular Beer
12oz Hard Cider
12oz Irish Coffee
10oz Double Bock Beer
8oz Eggnog
5oz Wine (red or white)
5oz Mulled Wine
4oz Champagne or Sparkling Wine
2.5oz Sake
2.5oz Sherry or Port
1.5oz Spirits or Liquor
1 Jell-O® Shot

Calories & Sugars in Alcohol

Selected Wines and Beer Calories Sugars (grams)
White Wines 100 per 5 oz 2 per 5 oz
Red Wines 100 per 5 oz 4 per 5 oz
Abita Light Beer 118 per 12 oz 2 per 12 oz
Abita Amber 128 per 12 oz 2 per 12 oz
Busch Light 95 per 12 oz 3 per 12 oz
Miller Lite 96 per 12 oz 3 per 12 oz
Coors Light 102 per 12 oz 5 per 12 oz
Corona Light 109 per 12 oz 5 per 12 oz
Bud Ice Light 110 per 12 oz 7 per 12 oz
Bud Light 95 per 12 oz 7 per 12 oz
Michelob Light 113 per 12 oz 7 per 12 oz
Miller Genuine Draft Lite 110 per 12 oz 7 per 12 oz
Bud Ice 148 per 12 oz 9 per 12 oz
Sam Adams Light 124 per 12 oz 10 per 12 oz
Guinness Draught 125 per 12 oz 10 per 12 oz
Busch 133 per 12 oz 10 per 12 oz
Budweiser 143 per 12 oz 11 per 12 oz
Coors Extra Gold 147 per 12 oz 11 per 12 oz
Abita Satsuma Wit Beek 115 per 12 oz 11 per 12 oz
Abita Strawberry Harvest 128 per 12 oz 11 per 12 oz
Abita Purple Haze 145 per 12 oz 11 per 12 oz
Miller High Life 156 per 12 oz 11 per 12 oz
Coors Original 148 per 12 oz 11 per 12 oz
Michelob Hefeweizen 152 per 12 oz 12 per 12 oz
Sam Adams Pale Ale 145 per 12 oz 12 per 12 oz
Busch Ice 173 per 12 oz 13 per 12 oz
Sam Adams IPA 190 per 12 oz 13 per 12 oz
Abita Jackamo IPA 190 per 12 oz 13 per 12 oz
Miller Genuine Draft 143 per 12 oz 13 per 12 oz
Michelob 155 per 12 oz 13 per 12 oz
Guinness Foreign Extra Stout 176 per 12 oz 14 per 12 oz
Michelob Amber Bock 166 per 12 oz 15 per 12 oz
Abita Restoration Pale Ale 167 per 12 oz 15 per 12 oz
Abita Turbodog Ale 168 per 12 oz 15 per 12 oz
Michelob Black & Tan 168 per 12 oz 16 per 12 oz
Abita Mardi Gras Bock 187 per 12 oz 16 per 12 oz
Michelob Honey Lager 175 per 12 oz 17 per 12 oz
Sam Adams Boston Ale 160 per 12 oz 18 per 12 oz
Sam Adams Boston Lager 175 per 12 oz 18 per 12 oz
Sam Adams Cream Stout 195 per 12 oz 24 per 12 oz

* 15 grams of Carbohydrate = 1 slice of bread
Bumgardner D. How many calories in BEER? Beer Calories, Beer Alcohol, Beer Carb Content. Domestic Beers from Large Breweries. http://www.beer100.com/beercalories.htm (September 2012).


Alcohol with Drugs

  • Metformin + Steroids + Alcohol = A rare (9 cases reported per 100,000 patient years) but serious, possibly life threatening reaction particularly if the person already has poor kidney function.
  • Glyburide, Glipizide, Glimepiride or Insulin + Alcohol = More and usually worse low blood sugar reactions.
  • Acetaminophen (Tylenol) + Alcohol = Increased risk for liver toxicity.
  • Benzodiazepines, like Xanax, Valium and Librium = Increased sedation, increased risk of car accidents, increased risk of falling down and breaking bones, and poor decision making.
  • Anti-depressants, + Alcohol = Increased sedation, increased risk of car accidents, increased risk of falling down and breaking bones, worsening depression.
  • Anti-Seizure Medicines + Alcohol = Increased sedation, increased risk of car accidents, increased risk of falling down and breaking bones, and more seizures.
  • Buproprion (Wellbutrin® or Zyban®) + Alcohol = Higher risk of seizure and lowers your tolerance to alcohol.
  • Metronidazole (Flagyl®) + Alcohol = Very serious reaction including nausea, vomiting, headaches, abdominal cramps and possibly sudden death.
  • Verapamil + Alcohol = Lowers you tolerance to alcohol.
  • Nitroglycerin + alcohol = Low blood pressure to the point of danger.
  • Warfarin + Alcohol = Unpredictable variations in the dose you need leading to higher risks of both bleeding or blood clots.

There are many more drugs that don’t mix well with alcohol, please ask the staff at the Clinic or your pharmacists before mixing alcohol with drugs you need to take.



Signs of Low Blood Sugar

  • Sudden Tiredness
  • Rapid Heart Beat
  • Intense Hunger
  • Cold Sweats
  • Anxiety, Shakiness
  • Tingling Sensations
  • Irritability, Angry Outbursts
  • Confusion or Behaviors That Mimic Drunkenness
  • Loss of consciousness
  • Seizures

 

Treatment of Low Blood Sugar

Ingest about 15-20g of carbohydrates

  • 4 oz of juice or full sugar soda
  • 8 oz skim milk
  • 3-6 glucose tablets

Check for improvement in 15-20 minutes and repeat if no relief then seek medical assistance.