Even such a serious disease as diabetes does not mean that a person should deprive himself of the small joys of life – a good friendly company, a cheerful feast, a glass of wine or a shot glass of something and stronger. But in this case, he should have a clear idea of how not to harm his health and avoid negative consequences.
The impact of alcohol on the body of a patient with diabetes
A disease such as diabetes mellitus increases the potential danger of alcoholic beverages, since taking them can trigger hypoglycemia, which is caused by a sharp decrease in the level of glucose in the blood. The likelihood of this is increased if alcohol is taken on an empty stomach or with a small amount of food, and it is also important how well the snack is chosen. This is due to the fact that the effect of alcohol simultaneously enhances the effect of drugs used in diabetes mellitus – insulin and glucose-lowering drugs, and inhibits the process of glucose regeneration in the liver. Severe hypoglycemia can develop in those cases when alcohol enters the body, just having suffered heavy exercise.
In all these situations, it is important not even what was drunk, but in what quantity ethyl alcohol, which is contained in all alcoholic beverages, entered the body. In cases of excessive consumption of alcohol, the patient may develop the so-called “delayed alcoholic hypoglycemia”, when the level of glucose in the blood rises first, and then, after a few hours, also drops sharply. For the onset of such a dangerous condition, it is enough for a patient to drink 200 g of spirits or 1 liter of dry grape wine. The risk is aggravated by the fact that delayed hypoglycemia can occur during a good sleep, due to intoxication.
Rules for the use of alcoholic beverages with diabetes
In the event that this disease is diagnosed in you, you should stop the uncontrolled use of alcohol and try to minimize it. In those cases where you really want to have fun, you can drink a glass or two while eating, consisting of foods with a medium and low glycemic index. These foods must be rich in slowly absorbed carbohydrates so that the concentration of glucose in the blood does not increase dramatically, and moreover, such “slow” carbohydrates slow down the absorption of alcohol in the body.
When it is expected that after a while you will consume alcohol, it is necessary to reduce the standard dose of insulin, as well as stop taking glucose-lowering drugs. Strictly limit the intake of alcohol permissible doses, if it is strong drinks containing 40-45% ethyl alcohol, the amount consumed during the day should not exceed 50-60 grams, you can also afford a couple of glasses of good dry wine without much harm to health.
In any case, alcohol intake and the state of the body after it must be controlled. After the feast, be sure to check the level of glucose in the blood and discard insulin preparations and those that lower its level. If, nevertheless, the threat of the hypoglycemic state exists, take in liquid form highly absorbable carbohydrates: sucrose, glucose or fructose, and note that in this case the administration of glucagon will not have any effect.
Even when you want to relax, we must not forget that alcohol has a destructive effect even on the body of a healthy person. Your disease increases the sensitivity to alcohol and increases its negative impact on the internal organs and nervous system, provoking the emergence and development of many comorbidities.
When alcohol is completely prohibited in diabetes
All of the above applies to a person who has only been diagnosed with diabetes. But in those cases when there are some associated diseases, you will have to completely forget about alcohol. For example, its abuse could have already provoked the development of chronic pancreatitis, in which the production of food enzymes and insulin is impaired, which can cause the onset of secondary diabetes mellitus. Alcohol is contraindicated in chronic hepatitis or liver cirrhosis, regardless of the reasons they were caused. Contraindications include chronic kidney disease, including diabetic nephropathy in the presence of renal failure.
Alcohol along with diabetes mellitus can cause neuropathic states and destruction of the peripheral nervous system, therefore diabetic neuropathy is also a contraindication, along with gout, which is a concomitant disease. A complete ban on alcohol is necessary in cases of lipid metabolism and increased tendency to dangerous hypoglycemic states.