Can People with Diabetes Drink Brandy?
Brandy is a type of distilled alcoholic beverage made from wine or fermented fruit juice. It has a rich flavor and aroma and is often consumed as a digestif or after-dinner drink. Brandy is also used in cooking and baking, as well as in cocktails and mixed drinks.
Brandy contains alcohol, which can affect your blood sugar levels and diabetes management. Alcohol can also interact with some diabetes medications and increase the risk of certain complications. So, can people with diabetes drink brandy? The answer is yes, but with some precautions. This article will explain how brandy affects diabetes and how to drink it safely.
How Brandy Affects Diabetes
Brandy contains alcohol, which is a source of calories and carbs. One ounce (28 ml) of brandy has about 64 calories and 0 grams of carbs. However, the carbs in alcohol are not the same as the carbs in food. Alcohol is metabolized differently by the body and can have various effects on blood sugar levels.
Alcohol can lower blood sugar levels by inhibiting the production of glucose by the liver. This can cause hypoglycemia or low blood sugar, especially if you drink on an empty stomach or take insulin or other diabetes medications that lower blood sugar levels. Hypoglycemia can cause symptoms such as shakiness, dizziness, sweating, confusion, and fainting. It can also lead to coma or death if not treated promptly.
Alcohol can also raise blood sugar levels by stimulating the appetite and increasing food intake. This can cause hyperglycemia or high blood sugar, especially if you drink too much or eat high-carb foods along with alcohol. Hyperglycemia can cause symptoms such as thirst, frequent urination, fatigue, blurred vision, and headaches. It can also damage your organs and nerves over time.
Alcohol can also affect your diabetes management by interfering with some diabetes medications and insulin. Alcohol can enhance or reduce the effects of some drugs, causing unpredictable blood sugar fluctuations. Alcohol can also increase the risk of side effects such as nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, liver damage, and lactic acidosis.
Alcohol can also affect your diabetes management by increasing the risk of certain complications such as dehydration, weight gain, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, heart disease, nerve damage, kidney damage, eye damage, and foot problems.
How to Drink Brandy Safely
If you have diabetes and want to drink brandy, you should follow some tips to drink it safely:
- Check with your doctor. They can advise you on whether you can drink alcohol safely and how much you can drink based on your health condition and medication regimen.
- Limit your intake. The American Diabetes Association (ADA) recommends that people with diabetes limit their alcohol intake to no more than one drink per day for women and two drinks per day for men. One drink is equivalent to 355 ml of beer, 148 ml of wine, or 44 ml of distilled spirits such as brandy.
- Drink slowly and moderately. Drinking too much or too fast can cause rapid changes in blood sugar levels and impair your judgment and coordination. You should sip your drink slowly and avoid binge drinking or drinking more than two drinks in one hour.
- Drink with food. Drinking on an empty stomach can increase the risk of hypoglycemia by slowing down the absorption of alcohol into the bloodstream. You should eat a balanced meal or snack that contains carbs, protein, and fat before or while drinking alcohol. This can help prevent blood sugar spikes and crashes and provide energy and nutrients.
- Drink water. Drinking water along with alcohol can help prevent dehydration and dilute the alcohol concentration in your blood. You should drink at least one glass of water for every alcoholic drink you consume.
- Monitor your blood sugar levels. You should check your blood sugar levels before and after drinking alcohol to see how it affects you. You should also keep track of your carb intake and adjust your medication or insulin doses accordingly.
- Carry a glucose source. You should always carry a glucose source such as glucose tablets, candy, juice, or soda in case of hypoglycemia. You should also wear a medical alert bracelet or necklace that identifies you as having diabetes.
- Avoid drinking alone or driving after drinking. You should always drink with someone who knows you have diabetes and can help you in case of an emergency. You should also avoid driving or operating machinery after drinking alcohol, as it can impair your reaction time and judgment.
Benefits of Drinking Brandy
Brandy is not only a tasty drink but also a source of antioxidants and flavonoids. These are substances that can protect your cells from damage caused by free radicals and inflammation. Free radicals and inflammation are linked to diabetes complications such as nerve damage, kidney damage, eye damage, and heart disease.
Brandy also contains small amounts of vitamins and minerals such as vitamin B12 and potassium. These nutrients can support your immune system, nerve function, and blood pressure regulation.
Brandy can also provide some psychological benefits such as relaxation, stress relief, and mood enhancement. However, these benefits are only temporary and can be outweighed by the negative effects of alcohol on your health and well-being.
Brandy is a type of distilled alcoholic beverage that can affect your blood sugar levels and diabetes management. Alcohol can lower or raise your blood sugar levels depending on various factors such as the amount you drink, the food you eat, and the medication you take. Alcohol can also interfere with some diabetes medications and increase the risk of certain complications such as dehydration, weight gain, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, heart disease, nerve damage, kidney damage, eye damage, and foot problems.
If you have diabetes and want to drink brandy, you should check with your doctor first. You should also limit your intake to no more than one drink per day for women and two drinks per day for men. You should drink slowly and moderately with food and water. You should monitor your blood sugar levels before and after drinking alcohol. You should carry a glucose source and avoid drinking alone or driving after drinking.
Brandy contains antioxidants and flavonoids that can protect your cells from damage and reduce the risk of chronic diseases. It also contains vitamins and minerals that can support your health. It can also provide some psychological benefits such as relaxation, stress relief, and mood enhancement. However, these benefits are not worth the risks of alcohol consumption for people with diabetes.
Dr. Karuturi Subrahmanyam, MD, FRCP (London), FACP (USA)
Internal Medicine Specialist
Phone : 85000 23456