DIABETES

There are two types of diabetes – type 1 and type 2.

Type I diabetes develops when the insulin-making cells in the pancreas can’t produce insulin. Type 2 diabetes is more common and is when the body can produce some, but not enough insulin or the body becomes immune to insulin. Weight management is the key to controlling the condition.

 
 
 
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Is alcohol safe for diabetics?

Many diabetics can still drink if they choose, but it is important to stay within the recommended guidelines to keep risk to a minimum. By keeping alcohol intake low, and in conjunction with other lifestyle choices such as regular exercise and healthy eating, people are best placed to manage the condition.

It is also important to know alcohol affects diabetes and how to manage it if it does. The main risk is that alcohol can make blood sugar spike or drop - so there is the risk of a hypoglycaemic attack. When you drink the liver has to break down toxins instead of other tasks like releasing stored glucose if levels start to fall. And this can last hours and even days. Mistaking low blood sugar for being drunk could have serious consequences.

Symptoms of a hypoglycaemic attack include:

  • Slurred words

  • Headache

  • Confusion

  • Double vision

  • Abnormal behaviour

Additionally, alcohol contains loads of calories and weight management is key to managing a condition like diabetes.

If you do choose to drink, we recommend that you do it occasionally and when your blood sugar levels are under control.

  • Know your blood glucose level before your start drinking.

  • Don’t exceed the Chief Medical Officer’s guideline amounts.

  • Never drink on an empty stomach.

  • Know your own limits. Your doctor is best placed to advise.

  • Wear a medical alert bracelet.

  • And if are trying to lose weight, we also suggest you download the DrinkCoach app to help track and change your unit and liquid calorie intake.

 

Alcohol can make blood sugar spike or drop so if you do choose to drink, we recommend that you do it occasionally and when your blood sugar levels are under control.

Our DrinkCoach Tools
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