June 23, 2006, Newsletter Issue #59: Alcohol and Diabetes

Tip of the Week

Alcohol is considered a carbohydrate, and it breaks down very easily into simple sugars. Due to this fact, it can have a dramatic effect on your blood sugars.

Just as you would see if eating chocolate, the blood sugar rises sharply, and then subsequently drops just as quickly, which can result in symptoms of hypoglycemia - low blood sugar - including dizziness, weakness, sweating and nausea.

Alcohol also acts as a diuretic, pulling fluid from the body and contributing to dehydration. Dehydration results in concentration of sugars in the bloodstream, which significantly impacts the effectiveness of insulin, requiring adjustments in your insulin dosages.

Talk to your doctor about the effects of alcohol on your diabetes, to reduce the risk for negative outcomes. When in doubt, leave it out!

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