If you want to "toast" in the New Year, it's probably OK to have a drink. Although alcohol can lead to hypoglycemia in some people with type 1 diabetes, the ADA notes that when alcohol is used in moderation and with food, it doesn't affect blood glucose in people whose diabetes is well controlled.
Still, there have been reports of hypoglycemia the morning following an evening drink. British researchers investigated this "delayed hypoglycemia" phenomenon among men with type 1 diabetes. Their subjects had regular insulin injections and a standard meal in the evening, and a basal insulin infusion at 11 p.m. They drank either dry white wine or mineral water over a 90-minute period after 9 p.m.
The researchers found no differences in evening or overnight blood glucose levels. In the morning, fasting and postprandial blood glucose levels were significantly lower after drinking the wine; five of the six subjects needed treatment for hypoglycemia around 10 a.m. No hypoglycemia occurred in those who drank water.
You're probably well aware of how your own body reacts to an alcoholic beverage. Enjoy the holidays - but keep track of your intake and make adjustments as needed. Remember, one drink is a 12-oz beer, 5 oz of wine, or 1-1/2 oz of spirits. ADA suggests you count a drink as fat calories or two fat exchanges.
Lifestyle - Diet
- ADA Position Statement. Nutrition Recommendations and Principles for People with Diabetes Mellitus. Diabetes Care 12(Suppl 1), Jan. 2000.
- Turner BC, Jenkins E, Karr D, et al. The effect of evening alcohol consumption on next-morning glucose control in type 1 diabetes. Diabetes Care, Nov. 2001;24:1888-1893. (Abs.)