Drinking Dos and Don’ts For People with Type 2 Diabetes

If you are someone who suffers from Type 2 diabetes, or perhaps knows and have been around someone who suffers from Type 2 diabetes, then you will be well aware of the fact that there are plenty of rules and guidelines that have to be followed in order to stay as healthy as possible on a regular basis.

Type 2 Diabetes

Type 2 diabetes is a serious health condition that causes too much sugar to be present in the blood. This is because the body becomes unable to use glucose as a fuel in the way that it is supposed to, unable to turn it into energy.

This can lead to serious, life-threatening issues if left untreated. The majority of the most damaging effects of the condition like insulin sensitivity, blood glucose levels, low blood sugar, or elevated glucose levels can be eased and controlled by various medications. Something else that diabetes patients are encouraged to do is make significant changes to their lifestyle to be able to better control their blood sugar levels.

Chief among these lifestyle tips is to consider your alcohol consumption. Drinking alcohol has potential side effects for people with diabetes. Digestive and kidney diseases are among the major risk factors, so anyone with diabetes should examine their relationship with alcohol.

With this in mind, here are some expert ‘dos and don’ts’ that you should try to follow with regards to alcohol and diabetes Type 2.  If you suffer from diabetic complications like low blood sugar levels, overall blood sugar control, or insulin resistance, sometimes even one drink can make the difference between good health and bad health.

Consider Giving Up Drinking Alcohol

Although seemingly drastic, the most sensible action to take if you suffer from low blood sugar levels and compromised blood sugar control is to give up drinking alcohol altogether. Alcohol consumption isn’t an issue of dietary need or survival. Unlike water, alcohol is not a necessity.  If you can change your drinking habits to eliminate drinking alcohol completely, that is absolutely the best thing for your blood sugar and diabetes.

If you rarely drink alcohol as a matter of course, then decreasing low alcohol consumption to nothing won’t be a big sacrifice to make. It may be harder for those with heavy alcohol consumption, but the health benefits from giving up and the risk factors of even moderate alcohol consumption are too huge to ignore.

Avoid Consuming Alcohol That Is Too Sweet

If you find that you cannot give up the two drinks or so that you like in moderate amounts, then the next best advice is to avoid alcoholic drinks that are overly sweet. For example, beer and sweet dessert wines are two types that have more capacity to increase blood sugar levels.

Any type of moderate drinking that involves more than three drinks of a very sweet variety is going to start messing with a person’s blood sugar, and obviously, for people with diabetes, this is going to put you at increased risk compared to completely healthy people.

If you want to consume alcohol for a special occasion or just want one drink now and then, choose alcoholic drinks on the ‘drier’ side to avoid the greater risk factor of sweeter drinks.

Although alcohol affects people very differently, anyone with diabetes should check how much alcohol or sugar is in any drink before consuming it.

Cut Back On Your Alcohol Consumption

If you don’t want to give up completely, then cut back on the amount you drink. Aim for low or moderate consumption. . The guidelines from the American Diabetes Association are no more than two drinks in one day for men and one per day for women. Any excess alcohol will pose too much of a risk factor to your condition.

Avoid saving this “allowance” to one long drinking session as this can easily have the same effect as binge drinking.

If you are unsure of your consumption level or alcohol’s effects on your blood sugar and glucose levels, have your intake of alcohol medically reviewed by your GP.

Only Drink Alcohol With Food

Rather than drinking alcohol on its own or binge drinking on an empty stomach, drink in conjunction with a meal and preferably in the evening. Peer-reviewed studies have proven that doing this reduces your cardiovascular risk, as well as potentially preventing things like weight gain. The hidden calories in alcohol can lead to excess weight, and weight gain is something that people with diabetes should avoid.

Drink Alcohol Slowly

Any healthcare professional will tell you that people with diabetes need to drink alcohol slowly. Diabetes and alcohol are not two things that naturally want to mix, so the slower you drink and allow your body to absorb the alcohol, the lower the risk factor.

Mix With Soft Drinks

Avoid neat alcoholic drinks. It is better to mix with diet soda, club soda, and other soft drinks. This, however, is not a pass to not drink safely. Just because you are mixing a drink with something sweet and non-alcoholic, it doesn’t make it any more diabetes-friendly.

Be responsible about your overall alcohol consumption at all times, because if your blood sugar starts to become a problem, it can soon lead to other aspects of diabetes such as nerve damage and hypo or hyperglycemia.

Wear Medical Alert Jewelry

In a situation where you have had more than three drinks and your blood glucose or insulin resistance is starting to become a problem in real-time, then having an item of medical alert jewelry to announce you have diabetes on your person can be the difference between life and death.

You can find out more about these items from the American Diabetes Association, and if you are drunk and have slurred speech, you might not be able to explain your dangerous levels to someone. The medical alert should mean you will be given enough insulin if you need it and also point the way for a healthcare provider to other remedial treatments if required.

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