September 5, 2001
Meal Planning, Food and Diet
Question from Canberra, Australia:
I have type 1 diabetes, and I love dry white and dry red wine, generally drink two to three glasses per day, but at least once a week, this jumps to three or four glasses. Are the long term effects of alcohol going to be more serious than for someone who doesn’t have diabetes?
There are some additional issues to consider. First, it sounds like you drink in moderation. The effects on the liver are probably similar to people without diabetes who drink similar amounts. The exception to this may be a condition known as nonalcoholic fatty liver disease [also called NASH, an acronym for non-alcoholic steatohepatitis] which occurs more commonly in patients with type 2 diabetes. However, the pharmacologic effect of the alcohol to lower your blood sugar four to five hours later requires you take safeguards to prevent severe nocturnal hypoglycemia. You can do this by eating something before bed to ensure the sugar will not get too low.