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June 20, 2001

Meal Planning, Food and Diet

Question from :

I have had type 1 diabetes since I was 13, and I was told that all alcohol can shoot your blood glucose level through the roof. One of your answers said that vodka had no carb contents. So, If I were to drink anything, should I take insulin before or after or at all? Should I eat before I drink? What is the safest beverage to drink?


From: DTeam Staff

Alcohol is broken down by your liver. So when you drink alcohol without eating food, the liver is working on breaking down the alcohol and cannot provide extra stored glucose should you need it to prevent a low blood sugar. Low blood sugars after alcohol are more likely to happen if you drink alcohol on an empty stomach. When you drink alcohol, your blood sugar may go up because of what is mixed with it — fruit juice, colas, etc. Remember, before drinking alcohol, talk with your diabetes team about drinking alcohol with the medicines you may take. In general, drink alcohol only with a meal or snack, drink alcohol only when your blood sugar is in good control, and check your blood sugar before and two to four hours after drinking.