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diabetes FAQ: treatment (part 3 of 5)
Section - Alcohol and Diabetes

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This section provided by Peter Stockwell <peter(AT)sanger.otago.ac.nz>.

Having diabetes does not prevent the consumption of alcoholic drinks,
but there are some considerations:
   - Alcohol can metabolised to produce energy and so has dietary
       consequences.
   - Alcohol promotes the uptake of blood glucose into liver glycogen
       causing a drop in bG.
   - Many alcoholic drinks contain sugar, particularly mixed drinks.
   - The symptoms of drunkenness and hypoglycaemia are similar - alcohol
       may mask the effects of a hypo.
   - Diabetics must remain sober enough to care for themselves (perform
       injections on schedule, etc).
   - Excess alcohol consumption can cause increased serum triglycerides.

Few difficulties arise if following points are observed.

Acceptable in moderation:
   - Red wines.
   - Dry or medium-dry white wines.
   - Dry sherries.
   - Dry light beers (lagers, light ales fermented with low residual
       sugar).
   - Spirits (whiskey, gin, vodka, etc) with "diet" mixers.

Use with extreme caution due to high sugar content:
   - Sweet wines or sherries.
   - Ports.
   - Heavy or dark sweetened beers (stout, porters, etc which have
       high residual sugar).
   - Wine coolers.
   - Spirits with normal mixers.
   - Cocktails.
   - Liqueurs.

Use with extreme caution due to very high alcohol concentration:
   - Neat (undiluted) spirits.

General rules:
   - Simple drinks (wine, beer) are more reliable than complex mixed
       drinks, especially in company where you have less control over
       the contents or concentration.
   - Drink with or after food to avoid hypo problems.
   - Approach anything with caution if you are in doubt.
   - Low alcohol beers are not necessarily preferred - many of them are
       rather sweet.
   - Alcohol provides about 7 cal/g of food energy. Some is lost in the
       urine, but most is converted by the liver into forms which can be
       used for energy elsewhere in the body or stored as fat.

Clearly these succinct rules are simplified and there are exceptions to
them (for example, there are dry ports) but they are intended as a
general guide.  I make no attempt to define the term moderation, this
will depend on the individual.

User Contributions:

Raqiba Shihab
Report this comment as inappropriate
May 10, 2012 @ 2:14 pm
Many thanks. My husband has Type 2 diabetes and we were a bit concerned about his blood sugar/glucose levels because he was experiencing symptoms of hyperglyceamia. We used a glucometer which displays the reading mg/dl so in my need to know what the difference
between and mg/dl and mmol/l is, i came across your article and was so pleased to aquire a lot more info regarding blood glucose, how to read and convert it.
Bhavani
Report this comment as inappropriate
Aug 11, 2012 @ 9:09 am
It was really informative and useful for people who don't know conversion. Thanks to you

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Top Document: diabetes FAQ: treatment (part 3 of 5)
Previous Document: Does falling blood glucose feel like hypoglycemia?
Next Document: Necrobiosis lipoidica diabeticorum

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