RE:[IP] Alcohol and diabetes info...long
>Are people listening? This the 3rd post, besides mine, I've seen about
something I'd call the alcohol phenomenon! Which happens when you have a lot
to drink. Bg can have a big, unexplainable drop.<
This isn't unexplainable at all:
Effects of alcohol on BG depends on the amount of alcohol ingested and its
relationship to food ingested. Alcohol is absorbed in the stomach and small
intestine, and because the body considers it to be a toxic substance, the
liver will metabolize it before other food nutrients are metabolized. It
does not need insulin to be metabolized. It is not converted to glucose, and
excessive amounts can be potentially converted to fat.
Alcohol blocks the process that creates glucose from its stored form,
glycogen. The majority of glycogen is stored in the liver. Alcohol also
interferes with the counter-regulation that would occur with a low BG,
meaning you might have a low BG with none of your usual reaction warning
symptoms. Effects might last from 8 to 12 hours after the last drink was
consumed. In other words, alcohol consumption can decrease or diminish
awareness of hypoglycemia symptoms by interfering with glucose production by
When ingested in moderation, with food, BG levels are not affected. (YMMV)
Sweet wines, liqueurs, and mixed drinks made with fruit juice, or regular
soda may require that carbohydrate content be included with the meal totals,
but this should be done with great caution due to the potential hypoglycemic
Ingest with food.
Limit intake to no more than one drink for women and 2 for men (adults, of
One drink is defined as 12 oz. beer, 5 oz. wine, or 1 1/2 oz. of distilled
Choose dry wines, light beers, and non-caloric mixers.
Consider eating a snack (protein and fat) before going to sleep, or consider
using a temporary basal rate reduction during your sleep time.
Test and retest BG, as YMMV.
American Association of Diabetes Educators; ADA, Intensive Diabetes
Management, 2nd Ed. Additional references can be located in Diabetes Care (an
ADA publication), Journal of the American Medical Association, and
Hope this is useful information.
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