There is a complex relationship between Alcohol and diabetes. In 1955 Harvard University research suggested in the British Medical Journal that "moderate consumption of alcohol leads to a reduced risk of developing diabetes".However, this is not the final conclusion, and studies have continued to understand the affect of consumption of beverages containing alcohol on people with diabetes. While studies by the American Diabetes Association have found that occasional drinks (not more than 2 drinks a day) by persons with or without diabetes may be ok, it stresses "the importance of individuals and physicians working together to make decisions regarding consumption, whether or not the patient has diabetes." On the other hand, "a Japanese study looking alcohol and the risk of diabetes, compared men with different body masses, and discovered a bit of a paradox. Those lean men had a higher risk of developing Type 2 diabetes if they were heavy drinkers. Heavier men, in contrast, had a greater risk of developing Type 2 diabetes if they were moderate drinkers."
- Persons with diabetes who are using insulin may face delayed hypoglycemia (low blood glucose) around 14 hours after consumption of alcohol.
- There is a risk of morning hypoglycemia for persons affected with type 1 diabetes if alcohol is consumed 2 to 3 hours after evening meal of the previous evening.
- Any alcohol consumption by persons with diabetes require prior consultation and discussion with healthcare personnel.
Several other risks are also associated with consumption of alcohol which may get further accentuated if one also has diabetes. For instance, consumption of alcohol by people with diabetes may face increase in blood pressure; difficulty in weight loss, if one is trying to do so; inflammation of pancreas; damage to liver; worsening of eye disease; etc. Consumption of alcohol is especially contraindicated for persons with diabetes in many cases including the following:
- During pregnancy or if one is planning to get pregnant; and during breastfeeding;
- Before driving or using any machinery requiring serious attention;
- Some medications should not be used with alcohol unless cleared by the health care personnel;
Liver is an important organ of the body. It performs many functions including storage of glucose in releasing the same in the bloodstream as required by the body. In case of excessive consumption of alcohol, the functioning of the liver is impaired and its ability to release glucose effectively into the blood stream in impaired. Alcohol also adversely affects many other organs of the body.
In the table below, the carbohydrates and calorie contents  of some alcoholic beverages are presented by way of general indication:
|Beer regular||360 ML||140||10|
|Beer light||360 ML||100||50|
|Beer non-alcoholic||360 ML||50-75||11-15|
|Beer low carb||360 ML||90-97||2.5|
|Spirits/Hard liquor||450 ML||98||0|
|Liqueurs & cordials||45 ML||163-190||17-21|
|Wine: regular||150 ML||102-108||1-2.5|
|Wine dessert||150 ML||231-243||17-21|
|Cooler regular||360 ML||310||48|
|Cooler light||360 ML||210||26|
- Alcohol - a page from the site of the American Diabetes Association
- Alcohol & Diabetes - a booklet from the Canadian Diabetes Association
- Alcohol and your health: Weighing the pros and cons - a page from the Mayo Clinic