First Time User? Sign Up Now
First Time User? Enroll now.
Home > Fitness & Health > Health Library > Diabetes and Alcohol
When you have diabetes, you need to be careful with alcohol. If you take medicine for diabetes, drinking alcohol may cause low blood sugar.
Too much alcohol can also affect your ability to know when your blood sugar is low and to treat it. Drinking alcohol can make you feel lightheaded at first and drowsy as you drink more, both of which may be similar to the symptoms of low blood sugar. Some people confuse low blood sugar with drunkenness, so be sure to wear a medical alert tag and tell people you have diabetes.
Drinking alcohol over many years can cause damage to your liver, called cirrhosis. If this happens, your body may lose its natural response to protect itself from low blood sugar.
If you are controlling your diabetes and don't have other health problems, it may be okay to have a drink once in a while. Learning how alcohol affects your body can help you make the right choices.
Work with your doctor or other diabetes expert to find what is best for you. Make sure you know whether it is safe to drink if you are taking medicine for diabetes.
If you do drink:
Current as of:
December 20, 2019
Author: Healthwise StaffMedical Review: E. Gregory Thompson MD - Internal MedicineAdam Husney MD - Family MedicineKathleen Romito MD - Family MedicineRhonda O'Brien MS, RD, CDE - Certified Diabetes EducatorColleen O'Connor PhD, RD - Registered Dietitian
Current as of: December 20, 2019
Author: Healthwise Staff
Medical Review:E. Gregory Thompson MD - Internal Medicine & Adam Husney MD - Family Medicine & Kathleen Romito MD - Family Medicine & Rhonda O'Brien MS, RD, CDE - Certified Diabetes Educator & Colleen O'Connor PhD, RD - Registered Dietitian
To learn more about Healthwise, visit Healthwise.org.
© 1995-2020 Healthwise, Incorporated. Healthwise, Healthwise for every health decision, and the Healthwise logo are trademarks of Healthwise, Incorporated.
Feeling under the weather?
Use our interactive symptom checker to evaluate your symptoms and determine appropriate action or treatment.
Our interactive Decision Points guide you through making key health decisions by combining medical information with your personal information.
You'll find Decision Points to help you answer questions about:
Get started learning more about your health!
Our Interactive Tools can help you make smart decisions for a healthier life. You'll find personal calculators and tools for health and fitness, lifestyle checkups, and pregnancy.