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Diabetes

Ethanol blood of 114.0

12/18/2009

Question:

my blood test came back as .114 but i only had 3 to 4 four drinks approximately four to five hours before. my blood sugar was 678 and my a1c was 13.8 could this have caused my elevated ethanol reading because of this and ketones in my blood?

Answer:

I don't know of an exact relationship between number of drinks and blood ethanol level - my guess is that that result is probably within the range that could be seen with 3-4 drinks at that number of hours.  Your statement of "only 3-4 drinks" implies that your judgment is that that is not much.  That is subject to disagreement.  There can be detrimental interactions between alcohol and diabetes on several fronts.  My usual advice to people I take care of with diabetes (which is solely based on my judgment and not on any studies) is that 2 drinks per day 2 or less days per week is not likely to cause much of a problem in most people.  In those with a history of severe hypoglycemia or with severely elevated triglycerides, I would probably further restrict alcohol intake beyond that.

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Response by:

Robert M Cohen, MD Robert M Cohen, MD
Professor of Clinical Medicine
College of Medicine
University of Cincinnati