A Great and Growing Evil?: The Medical Effects of Alcohol
Doctors usually advise diabetics that they can safely drink alcohol in moderation.
So, if you have diabetes and drink, it’s particularly important to stay within the government’s lower risk guidelines.
It’s also important to eat a healthy diet and take exercise to help control blood sugar levels.
1.Unit guidelines are the same for men and women and both are advised not to regularly drink more than 14 units per week.
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The government advises that people should not regularly drink more than 3-4 units of alcohol a day for men (equivalent to a pint and a half of 4% beer) and 2-3 units for women per day (equivalent to a 175 ml glass of wine). ‘Regularly’ means drinking alcohol every day or most days of the week.
One unit is 10 ml of pure alcohol. Because alcoholic drinks come in different strengths and sizes, units are a way to tell how strong your drink is.
It takes an average adult around an hour to process this so that there’s none left in their bloodstream, although this varies from person to person.
2.Drink alcohol only with food.
Never drink alcohol on an empty stomach.
Food slows down the rate at which alcohol is absorbed into the bloodstream. Eat a meal or snack containing carbohydrates when you drink alcohol.
If you weigh 150 pounds, it takes about two hours for your liver to break down one alcoholic beverage.
Drinking too much alcohol can make you feel dizzy, sleepy, and disoriented—the same symptoms as hypoglycemia. Be sure to wear a bracelet that alerts people around you to the fact that you have diabetes, so that if you start to behave like you are intoxicated they know that your symptoms could be caused by hypoglycemia. If you are hypoglycemic, you need food and/or glucose tablets to raise your blood glucose level.
4.Avoid “sugary” mixed drinks, sweet wines, or cordials.
Beer and sweet wine contain carbohydrates and may raise blood sugar.
For more great Health and Nutrition Tips refer to the website positivehealthwellness.com.
5.Mix liquor with water, club soda, or diet soft drinks.
The “best”alcohol choices, are those that don’t contain too many calories or carbs: dry white or red wine or champagne; light beer; or distilled spirits.
Fruity drinks, such as piña coladas, daiquiris, and margaritas contain fruit juices and therefore contain more calories and carbs.
In fact, 4 ounces of a strawberry daiquiri can contain 200 calories and 30 grams of carb or more. And many people don’t stop at just one!
Stouts and ales (think Guinness or Sam Adams lager) approach 200 calories per 12-ounce bottle.
More of a gin and tonic or rum and coke lover? Go for diet tonic water and diet soda as your mixers.
What about nonalcoholic beer and wine? Because these beverages contain little, if any, alcohol, you may actually need to count them as carbohydrate choices in your meal plan. Many nonalcoholic beers contain close to 15 grams of carb (equal to 1 slice of bread or 1 small piece of fruit).
6.Always wear a medical alert piece of jewelry that says you have diabetes.
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The symptoms for alcohol intoxication and hypoglycemia are similar. Symptoms may include fatigue, disorientation, and dizziness. To ensure proper medical care for hypoglycemia, a person with diabetes should carry a card, wear an identification bracelet, or wear a necklace indicating that he or she has diabetes.
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