Alcohol and Diabetes

Alcohol is everywhere – when the family gathers, at cookouts, after the softball game, at parties. “What will you have?” someone asks. If you have diabetes, what do you say?

It all depends. Start by asking yourself three basic questions:


  1. Is my diabetes under control?
  2. Does my health care provider agree that I am free from health problems that alcohol can make worse-for example, diabetic nerve damage or high blood pressure?
  3. Do I know how alcohol can affect me and my diabetes?

If you said “yes” to all three, it’s OK to have an occasional drink. But what does occasional mean? The American Diabetes Association suggests that you have no more than two drinks a day if you are a man and no more than one drink a day if you are a woman. This recommendation is the same for people without diabetes.


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