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Does Beer Cause High Glucose Levels?

author image Amy Long Carrera
Amy Long Carrera is a registered dietitian in Los Angeles who has been writing since 2007 for such publications as The Insider, On the Other Side and Arthritis Today. She is a certified nutrition support clinician and her writing employs current research to provide evidence-based nutrition information. Carrera holds a master of science degree in nutrition from California State University, Northridge.
Does Beer Cause High Glucose Levels?
Glasses filled with different types of beer. Photo Credit: Comstock/Stockbyte/Getty Images

If you have diabetes and are thinking of cracking open a cold beer, think twice. Moderate alcohol consumption doesn't significantly impact overall blood sugar control, according to the American Diabetes Association. That beer, however, may lower your blood glucose level right after you drink it and into the next day.

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Alcohol and Your Blood Sugar

Beer and other types of alcohol have a tendency to lower your blood sugar shortly after consumption and for up to 24 hours afterward, according to the ADA. Low blood sugar, or hypoglycemia, may cause confusion, dizziness, blurred vision, rapid heartbeat and weakness. These symptoms are similar to what you may feel if you have drunk too much alcohol.

Tips for Safe Sips

Practice moderate drinking, which according to the ADA, is one drink a day for women and two a day for men. Check your blood sugar before imbibing, and avoid alcohol if your level is low. Avoid drinking on an empty stomach, which increases your risk for hypoglycemia. Wear diabetes identification at all times. This will prevent others from mistaking your low blood sugar symptoms for a drunken stupor.

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