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Diabetes And Alcohol Consumption

Apr 6, 2008
It is a shock when you are first diagnosed with diabetes because it is a life changing event. Diabetes has no cure and this means that you will have to treat the disease for the rest of your life.

Treating the disease involves watching your blood sugar levels each day. You may also have to inject insulin or take pills to make your body more responsive to naturally occurring insulin. You should get regular exercise. You must take more notice over what you eat and drink.

Watching what you eat and drink is probably one of the hardest things to get used to when you have diabetes because for most people eating is a very enjoyable experience. However once you have adapted to having diabetes, you will find that meal planning is actually quite easy.

One thing that many people wonder about is how alcohol and diabetes go together or maybe they don't go together. This article will cover diabetes and alcohol consumption. How alcohol affects the body and how you can consume alcohol moderately if you have diabetes.

There is no problem having an alcoholic drink for someone with diabetes. Depending on the type of alcohol you are consuming however, it will raise the blood sugar level. Alcohol has no nutritional benefits but does put a large amount of calories into the body. This can lead to weight gain if you do not exercise and utilize the calories. Excess weight is generally thought to be bad for a diabetic and can lead to other complications associated with diabetes.

When you consume alcohol your liver temporarily suspends making glucose and starts to remove the alcohol from your bloodstream instead. It is estimated to take around 2 hours for one ounce of alcohol to be completely metabolized depending on body size, weight and physical fitness.

When this happens there is a chance that the blood sugar level could drop to a point where the person becomes hypoglycemic. A person that is hypoglycemic will feel lethargic or could pass out. This is why people often advise never to drink on an empty stomach.

So getting a small bite to eat is good advice before you start to drink alcohol. This is especially relevant to a person with diabetes as they should strive to keep their blood sugar within a given range as much as possible. The food will make the liver create glucose and it will enter the blood before the alcohol enters the body. And like most medication, if you take diabetic pills then your shouldn't consume alcohol for a few hours after or as the prescription advises.

Don't drink excessively. Alcohol has no nutritional benefits for the body and as a diabetic it will be harder to control the blood sugar level. Fluctuations in blood sugar levels will make blood circulation worse and may lead to nerve damage and further problems with the cardiovascular system.

Having a glass or two of wine with dinner is perfectly ok. Drinking alcohol as part of a celebration is also fine. As you become more experienced with diabetes you will know when you have taken on too much alcohol.
About the Author
Find out about health problems caused by type 2 diabetes and how the diabetic glycemic food index can help control your blood sugar level.
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