What are the links between alcohol and diabetes, and is it safe for a diabetic to consume alcohol? Heavy consumption of alcohol can contribute to the development of type II diabetes because alcohol is a sugar and causes stress on the body’s ability to maintain blood sugar homeostasis. Very moderate drinking is generally OK for diabetics as long as they do not drink on an empty stomach, but it is best avoided in all diets and especially diabetics.
Alcohol is a simple sugar that is quickly broken down and can cause a quick spike in blood sugar and then a subsequent hypoglycemic condition when the pancreas responds by releasing insulin in to the blood stream. When you drink alcohol, you are taxing the internal organs that regulate blood sugar, and over time this will exacerbate your diabetes.
If you have diabetes it is highly recommended that you avoid alcohol altogether. While your body may tolerate it, there is no reason expose yourself to the risks that it poses to the stability of your blood sugar. There are no health benefits to alcohol, and if you have diabetes, you obviously need to be extra vigilant with your diet.
Diabetics should not take undue risks with their diet, and that includes drinking alcohol. Many type 2 diabetes cases can be reversed over time with proper diet and exercise management. Usually it was years of dietary neglect that contributed to the rise of diabetes mellitus in the first place, so be vigilant.
Another reason diabetics should avoid alcohol because alcohol is very high in calories, almost having as much calories as fat molecules. These calories are also empty calories, providing no nutritional value, so alcohol consumption quite often leads to weight gain. And being overweight is one of the singular most often linked maladies to diabetes.
Alcohol is not broken down in the stomach. It is absorbed directly in to the blood stream in the stomach and then is processed by the liver. When we consume alcohol, our liver is taxed with with the duty of processing this toxin out of our bodies, instead of one of its main functions which is to help regulate blood sugar.
If your blood sugar is relatively stable, a diabetic will probably be OK with drinking one or two alcoholic drinks on a full stomach occasionally. But any more than that and you are most likely going to affect your diabetes in a negative way. If you have diabetes, it is best to be safe and try to avoid alcohol altogether if you can. As mentioned, there are no health benefits to alcohol, only potential dangers.
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