1. Get the Diabetes Forum App for your phone - available on iOS and Android.
    Dismiss Notice
  2. Guest, we'd love to know what you think about the forum! Take the Diabetes Forum Survey 2017 »
    Dismiss Notice
  3. Guest, Royal Holloway, University of London are conducting a study to understand how people with diabetes create and share knowledge online. Get involved here »
    Dismiss Notice
Dismiss Notice
Find support, ask questions and share your experiences. Join the community »

Metformin and alcohol

Discussion in 'Diabetes Medication and Drugs' started by sharonsw, Oct 9, 2011.

  1. Mazzer

    Mazzer Type 2 · Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    282
    Likes Received:
    534
    Trophy Points:
    133
    I do enjoy my Gin and slimline Tonic, can't drink as much as I did before diagnosis as I tend to get tipsy quicker lol.
     
  2. CollieBoy

    CollieBoy Type 2 · Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    2,986
    Likes Received:
    5,599
    Trophy Points:
    178
    As I understand it Met increases the chances of Lactic Acidosis This increases with alcohol so either don't drink and take Met or keep an eye out for Lactic Acidosis.
    Also alcohol can lessen your self control and hence reduce your effectiveness in controlling your D.
     
  3. semiphonic

    semiphonic Type 2 · Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    908
    Likes Received:
    1,556
    Trophy Points:
    158
    I just found this on patient.co.uk -

    "*The reputation of the biguanide metformin for causing lactic acidosis may be overstated, and largely based on experience with its more toxic predecessor phenformin. It can cause lactic acidosis in overdose, or if continued in severely ill diabetics who become dehydrated, but seems to be well tolerated on the whole, with many of the current cautions for conditions such as heart failure probably being overzealous and denying a safe and useful therapy to many patients.[5] A Cochrane systematic review found no evidence of an association with lactic acidosis or hyperlactataemia in study-based use.[6]"

    I don't have any issues with drinking alcohol, although I do find I get drunk quicker than I used to, so I choose to be a bit more careful with my intake. Also I don't seem to get hangovers anymore which obviously is a bonus!
     
  4. swissone

    swissone Type 2 · Newbie

    Messages:
    4
    Likes Received:
    7
    Trophy Points:
    23
    Well, I've been on Metformin for 1 1/2 years now (1500 per day). My specialist is very happy with my levels and also happy that I do not drink. She is adamant that control is much more complicated when you have to take alcohol into consideration. It is the sugar it contains which is the problem of course, spiking and then bottoming out.
    I did not stop drinking because of diabètes. That was a decision made because I did not want to be dépendent any more.
    You will work it out - though do remember that you are the person who decides and not the guy behind the counter.....
    All the best
     
  5. jim1951

    jim1951 Type 2 · Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    480
    Likes Received:
    334
    Trophy Points:
    103
    When I picked up my first lot of Metformin from the chemist the pharmacist asked if he could do a review of all my medication. I asked him about the alcohol angle and he said no problem as long as you are within the limit guidelines.
    I guess it depends when you actually drink versus when you take the medication. I am only on metformin in the morning but do not drink alcohol in the morning, not yet anyway!
    If I was on a second dose just before bedtime i.e., midnight, I hope it would still be okay as I only drink with my evening meal.

    jim
     
  6. superwilliam

    superwilliam Type 2 · Member

    Messages:
    11
    Likes Received:
    18
    Trophy Points:
    43
    Interesting to read all the comments about alcohol. My husband who has type 2, has been given a meter and told to record his readings for two weeks. They are going to decide if he will have to go on to insulin. For the last three tests over a week he has been 17.2 - 19. He drinks quite a bit of cider. He also is not concerned about his diet, is over weight and does no exercise at all. Comments please. Also a heavy smoker
     
  7. Molly56

    Molly56 Don't have diabetes · Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    3,634
    Likes Received:
    9,392
    Trophy Points:
    198
    @superwilliam .....looks a very similar scenario to my own, the only difference being that my partner does not smoke.

    When I have managed to get my partner to test (he doesn't think it necessary based on advice given many years ago) his bs levels have been in the high teens / low twenties.....the other traits re cider / diet / weight / no exercise also look so familiar we could be talking about the same person.

    Would be interested to hear how you got on re going onto insulin as I think that may also be the next step for us
     
  8. Alan S

    Alan S Type 2 · Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    192
    Likes Received:
    110
    Trophy Points:
    83
    The alcohol may be the least of his problems, provided he isn't alcoholic. I've highlighted the important issues.

    He needs to have a darn good look at his menu to reduce those blood glucose levels.
     
  9. mpe

    mpe · Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    301
    Likes Received:
    251
    Trophy Points:
    83
    Alcohol does not contain sugar in the first place. It always concerns me when HCPs don't appear to understand basic biology (or chemistry).
    In practice, with the exception of beers and where sugar is specifically added, alcoholic beverages tend to be low in sugar.
     
  10. Anie

    Anie Type 2 · Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    306
    Likes Received:
    208
    Trophy Points:
    83
    I drink at weekends and take metformin with no problem. There are certain medicines that you can't drink with, but in think that the metformin one says don't take if you drink lots of alcohol. Only you can decide what you want to do.

    Personally I feel I have given up enough 'pleasurable' foods now I'm diabetic I'm not giving up alcohol too!!!
     
  11. Molly56

    Molly56 Don't have diabetes · Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    3,634
    Likes Received:
    9,392
    Trophy Points:
    198
    I raised the issue of alcohol and gliclazide (on maximum dose) in another thread as I was concerned that my partners choice of cider was not helping with his bs levels (he is also on the maximum dose of metformin).......thread on diabetes discussions "Partner with Type 2 diabetes -advice required on increase in gliclazide".....and had a few useful replies.

    I was given a link to a website, http://greatist.com/health/beer-or-cider-healthier.which gave the following information about the sugar content of beers and ciders

    Sugar Content
    The amount of sugar per bottle is a major difference between beer and hard cider. Beer is sugar-free, and sugar is typically only added in small quantities by brewers to balance sourness. Cider, however, can be quite high in sugar. Of the most popular brands of hard cider stateside there is a wide range of sugar content — ranging from Crispin’s 15g (three teaspoons) of sugar per serving, to Angry Orchard-Crisp Apple’s 23 grams of sugar (7 teaspoons of sugar). The varying sugar content of hard cider is a result of the fermentation process: Sweeter ciders are slowly fermented and repeatedly racked (moved to new containers) to strain the yeast that feeds on the cider’s natural sugars. Dryer ciders (meaning they contain less sugar) allow the yeast to consume the majority of cider’s natural sugars and result in a less sweet drink with a higher alcohol content (now we’re talkin’). Comparatively, the calories found in a bottle of beer or hard cider remain pretty similar, but ciders are typically higher in carbohydrates due to the higher levels of sugar. Few varieties have "lite" options, so on average ciders will be slightly higher in calories and carbohydrates.

    Don't know if this helps answer the question or not (or how accurate the above information is) but it is obviously something to think about.


     
  12. jim1951

    jim1951 Type 2 · Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    480
    Likes Received:
    334
    Trophy Points:
    103
    I'll drink to that:)

    jim
     
  13. Alan S

    Alan S Type 2 · Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    192
    Likes Received:
    110
    Trophy Points:
    83
    Beer may be sugar-free, but it is definitely not carb-free. The average pint is between 10 and 22 gms carb.

    I have found several good low carb beers in Australia. if you like an occasional beer, look for your local low carb varieties or drink as a snack between meals.
     
  14. Werbstrode

    Werbstrode Type 2 · Newbie

    Messages:
    1
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    41
    Adnams of Southwold have succedded in brewing a very passable bitter with only 2.7% Alcohol (1.35 units /500ml)
    It is called Sole Star. So far I have only found it in 500ml bottles and only in a few outlets.
    It makes cutting your alcohol intake that bit easier.
     
  15. semiphonic

    semiphonic Type 2 · Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    908
    Likes Received:
    1,556
    Trophy Points:
    158
    Can't quite see where the OP asked about carbs....the original question was about Metformin and alcohol....not everything on this forum is about carbs.....
     
  16. PatsyB

    PatsyB Type 2 · Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    2,153
    Likes Received:
    11,409
    Trophy Points:
    178
    I was told DO not take metformin and drink.... to stop takingt the metformin the night before I intend to drink so unsure what effects taking the mets and drinking will cause personally i prefer food over drink but have some wine at special occasions
     
  17. jim1951

    jim1951 Type 2 · Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    480
    Likes Received:
    334
    Trophy Points:
    103
    When I asked my GP he said drinking in moderation was okay, but in my particular case I only take Metformin in the morning and only drink in the evening so no probs whatsoever.

    Of course if I start drinking in the morning I will have to reconsider:p
     
  18. PatsyB

    PatsyB Type 2 · Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    2,153
    Likes Received:
    11,409
    Trophy Points:
    178
    well how information differs when being given to idividuals across the board ....makes you wonder what is right and what is not and WHO should you listen to laughs
     
  19. Sancho panza

    Sancho panza Type 2 · Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    482
    Likes Received:
    1,017
    Trophy Points:
    158
    Gonna go out on a limb here
    I'm on Metformin and I drink, not every day but usually twice a week at the weekend now here's the thing I like to drink it's who I am but I'm not talking one or two pints I'm an eight pint plus drinker!
    I don't drink at home I've never seen the point it's a social thing for me
    So far I have had no problems either with the meds or highs or lows in my sugar levels.
    That doesn't mean anyone else should try it .
     
    • Like Like x 2
  20. theclash

    theclash Type 2 · Newbie

    Messages:
    1
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    41
    Hi, Just found this forum as i was searching Metformin & Alcohol, having just read it's a NO NO on the NHS/Diabetes website and in the med literature. (i missed it first time I read it!)

    I was only diagnosed last week, type 2. I, and as the OP, was not told anything about NOT drinking alcohol with the Metformin, by either Dr/Health Practitioner. I wasn't even asked about levels of alcohol i drink.

    I only started taking the Metformin less than 7 days ago, and am a drinker and have continued to drink (lager). I am only taking one 500mg tablet in the morning at the moment, and if no effects, (I have had none so far), to go on two a day after a week. I will drink 2 or 3 pints at lunchtime at least three times a week and also drink at home, probably a further 2 or 3 pints, but again not every night.

    It's actually disappointing that individuals have been given differing information. I like a drink and really would not be happy with the prospect of having to be teetotal.

    If it was definitive NO NO as it appears to be in the Med guideance and on the NHS website, I find it hard to fathom why my Dr and Health Practitioner didnt even mention the 'A' word.

    Thoughts are welcome

    regards

    theclash
     
  • Meet the Community

    Find support, connect with others, ask questions and share your experiences with people with diabetes, their carers and family.

    Did you know: 7 out of 10 people improve their understanding of diabetes within 6 months of being a Diabetes Forum member. Get the Diabetes Forum App and stay connected on iOS and Android

    Grab the app!
  • Tweet with us

  • Like us on Facebook