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Diabetes and Alcohol: Care Instructions


Your Care Instructions

People who have diabetes need to be more careful with alcohol. Before you drink, consider a few things:

Is your diabetes well controlled?

Do you know how drinking alcohol can affect you?

Do you have high blood pressure, nerve damage, or eye problems from your diabetes?

If you take insulin or another medicine for diabetes, drinking alcohol may cause low blood sugar. This could cause dangerous low blood sugar levels.

Alcohol

• Too much alcohol can also affect your ability to know your blood sugar is low and to treat it. Drinking alcohol can make you lightheaded at first and drowsy as you drink more, both of which may be similar to the symptoms of low blood sugar.
• Drinking a lot of alcohol over a long period of time can damage your liver (cirrhosis). If this happens, your body may lose its natural response to protect itself from low blood sugar.
• If you are controlling your diabetes and do not have other health issues, it may be okay to have a drink once in a while. Learning how alcohol affects your body can help you make the right choices.
• Follow-up care is a key part of your treatment and safety. Be sure to make and go to all appointments, and call your doctor if you are having problems. It's also a good idea to know your test results and keep a list of the medicines you take.