Diabetes: alcohol abuse can cause uncontrolled blood glucose
One of the most common doubts in the office when a diabetic patient is on treatment is whether to drink alcohol or not. And here, to answer, we need to explain a little.
Alcoholic beverages, besides alcohol, are composed of carbohydrates. In general, we say that beverages contain empty calories - that is, those who drink alcoholic beverages consuming calories without any nutrients, and therefore are a nutritionally poor food.
For patients with type 2 diabetes, ingesting alcohol can initially lead to increased of blood glucose levels, especially if accompanied by diet. This is because alcoholic beverages are usually very caloric. And more calories are equal to weight gain and higher blood glucose concentration.
However, an inverse situation can happen. Our liver has several tasks that are essential to our body. One is to control blood sugar levels in the blood. When a diabetic patient drinks on an empty stomach, the liver gets too busy deactivating the ingested alcohol, and thus can not regulate the amount of sugar in the blood correctly. The result is that blood sugar levels may fall, leading to the risk of hypoglycaemia.
For adult diabetic patients, daily ethanol intake should be limited to one dose or less for women and two doses or less for men . This is the equivalent of 1 serving 150 ml of wine (1 cup) or 360 ml of beer or 45 ml of distillate, which is equivalent to 15 g of ethanol.
And the patient should never drink without feeding. It is recommended that a feed be made before ingestion and that glucose be controlled during the period of alcohol consumption. Oh, remember that pregnant women, children, adolescents and patients with cholesterol and liver problems should not drink!
Always be careful. Amounts greater than 30g of ethanol per day can cause serious damage, such as dehydration and increased insulin and pressure. If you are not diabetic, over drinks are one of the leading causes of developing type 2 diabetes because they are associated with weight gain. Finally, another message: never drive after drinking! Health, you only have one!
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