Use of alcohol should be discussed with your doctor. If you have
type 1 diabetes, you are at even a greater risk for developing
seriously low blood sugar. The liver is responsible for sending out
glucose when our sugars are low. The alcohol distracts the liver
from sending out the glucose since it is then busy dealing with the
It is very difficult to keep the sugar levels on track when
there is alcohol in the Diabetic system. Alcohol usually makes the
sugar levels unpredictable. If a Type 1 consumes too much alcohol
it could cause his/her sugar levels to drop dangerously low, even
-acceptable in moderation for most people
-not a nutrient and does not fit into a food group
-a drug that can cause blood sugar levels to increase or decrease
-high in calories (between 100 to 150 calories per drink)
Moderation is the key. (No more than one drink a day for women and
two drinks a day for men.)
One drink is:
-5 oz. (120 mL) of dry wine
-1.5 oz. distilled alcohol (rye, rum, vodka, etc.)
-12 oz. beer (contains a moderate amount of carbohydrate)
-Discuss alcohol use with your doctor. Alcohol may interfere with
medications that you take.
-Check blood sugars before having a drink.
-Drink alcohol only when your blood sugar levels are well controlled.
-Limit drinks with higher sugar content like liqueurs, sweet wines,
coolers, sweet sherries and sweet mixed drinks.
-Limit sweet mixes such as fruit juices, clamato juice, regular tonic
water and regular soft drinks (pop). Diet pop is recommended.
-If you take medication for your diabetes, alcohol can cause very low
blood sugar if taken on an empty stomach. It is important to drink
alcohol with food. Always carry a quick-acting sugar with you.
-Drink in the company of someone who knows you have diabetes and
can recognize and treat a low blood sugar reaction.
-The symptoms of low blood sugar can look like those of being drunk.
If you have very low blood sugar and also have alcohol on your breath, others may think you are merely drunk and may not give you the immediate medical help you need.
-Wear identification stating you have diabetes (for example, a medical
-Check your blood sugar level before going to bed if you have had a drink containing alcohol.
-Have a snack before you go to bed if you've had alcohol. Preferrably something with protein like meat or cheese with crackers.