Effects of alcohol use on diabetics

Whiskey can adversely effect the condition of diabetics but by following certain precautions, they may able to have a drink every now and then.

Vatsal Anand
Written by: Vatsal AnandUpdated at: Jul 08, 2015 15:03 IST
Effects of alcohol use on diabetics

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Needless to say, alcohol is never healthy and more so if you have diabetes. The effect of alcohol is seldom positive but diabetics who want to enjoy a drink should not be very disappointed. Whiskey has only alcohol content and does not contain sugar; its intake needs to be moderated if not avoided altogether. If you cannot do without alcohol indulgence, you should learn about relation between complications of diabetes and whiskey.


effects of whiskey


Effect of whiskey on diabetes

Diabetics can suffer from hypoglycaemia as well as hyperglycaemia. If alcohol is consumed without sugar, it can lead to severe low blood sugar. When the blood sugar level goes below normal, the usual reaction of your liver is production of glucose in order to prevent its deficiency. But, alcohol disrupts this very process. The load on liver in digesting alcohol is so great that it is unable to produce glucose.

When alcohol is detoxified in liver, it produces a by product chemical known as NADH which gets stored in there. This NADH restricts the normal production of glucose and increases the chances of hypoglycaemia. It is important to note for diabetics looking to drink that even with moderate alcohol consumption, a hypoglycaemic condition becomes likely. As there is no sugar in most varieties of whiskey, it increases the chances of hypoglycaemia.


Who needs to avoid whiskey?

The American Diabetes Association warns diabetics against consuming alcohol if they suffer from these conditions:

  • Damage of nerves in arms and legs.
  • High blood pressure.
  • Diabetic eye.
  • Abnormally high level of triglycerides.

The important thing to not in this is that even having a light drink can damage the nerves. In diabetics suffering from nerve damage, having alcohol can cause numbness, tingling sensation, burning sensation and pain.

Those with diabetic eye condition should stay away from alcohol as even three drinks in a day is deemed to be heavy drinking for them. It can even worsen the high blood pressure level. Even the level of triglycerides can go above the normal range with very light drinking. As little as two drinks in a week can aggravate the condition of diabetics. So, diabetics with high triglycerides should not consume alcohol at all.


Read more articles on Diabetes.