Diabetes and Alcohol
With your doctor's permission, you may enjoy alcohol in moderation. Moderation is defined as no more than one drink per day for women; no more than two drinks per day for men. One drink is equal to 5 oz. of wine, 12 oz. of beer, or 1½ oz. of distilled spirits.
Here are some guidelines for drinking alcohol if you have diabetes:
- Check with your doctor before drinking any alcoholic beverages. Discuss the safety and possible side effects of mixing alcohol and your medicines.
- Never drink on an empty stomach. Drink alcohol with food to avoid low blood sugar reactions.
- Do not drink alcohol before, during or after exercise.
- Wear diabetes identification if drinking away from home in case of a low blood sugar reaction or any other emergency.
- Avoid alcohol if you have pancreatitis, high triglycerides, significant nerve damage or a history of alcohol abuse. Limit use if you are overweight.
- Do not drink alcohol if you are pregnant. It increases the risk of birth defects.