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Alcohol

Diabetics must be sensible

Just because you have Diabetes it does not mean that drinking is out of the question, however it does mean that you have to be sensible.

Alcohol and Hypos

For people who treat Diabetes with insulin, alcohol makes a hypo (low blood sugar) more likely to occur. The liver gets rid of alcohol at the rate of one unit per hour but you must remember this varies with each person. This means that if you drink more than a few units in one night you will have an increased risk of hypo- all night and also part of the next day as the liver continues to break down the alcohol in your system.

Alcohol affects us all differently and it is important to remember that if "you have one too many" that you may not be in best shape to respond to your hypo. Think sensibly before you drink.

If you do go out drinking always have some breakfast even if you don't feel like eating. This will not only help make you feel better but also aid blood glucose control.

Whilst prevention is always better than cure follow our top tips below if you feel you have had one too many.

Top Tips for drinking safely with Diabetes

  • Have a substantial starchy snack or meal beforehand
  • If you are drinking over a prolonged period have a snack of starchy foods like crisps
  • Make sure those who are with you know you have Diabetes and how to treat hypo if it occurs
  • Carry something obvious that indicates that you have Diabetes, such as a medical necklace, I.D card
  • Always have a starchy snack before going to bed.

Top Tips for handling hangovers alongside Diabetes

  • Make sure you take plenty of sugar free liquids, as well as eating starchy foods such as toast, before going to bed. The fluid will combat dehydration and the starch will prevent a hypo
  • If you are suffering classic hangover symptoms check your blood glucose levels as you may actually be having a hypo. Don't ignore the symptoms!
  • If you can't face food or are being ill, take as much fluid as possible and monitor your blood glucose levels regularly
  • Never stop taking your insulin.

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