Welcome to M.V Hospital for Diabetes, established by late Prof. M.Viswanathan, Doyen of Diabetology in India in 1954 as a general hospital. In 1971 it became a hospital exclusively for Diabetes care. It has, at present,100 beds for the treatment of diabetes and its complications.

Monday, January 10, 2011


(Alcohol and Diabetes)

You may have heard that alcohol has certain health benefits. However, any pattern of drinking can be harmful. Proven ways of improving your health include: healthy eating, being active, and being a non-smoker.

The Association’s Clinical Practice Guidelines recommend that:

* People using insulin should be aware of delayed hypoglycemia (low blood glucose) that can occur up to 24 hours after drinking alcohol.
* People with type 1 diabetes should be aware of the risk of morning hypoglycemia if alcohol is consumed 2 to 3 hours after the previous evening’s meal.
* Alcohol should be limited to 1-2 drinks per day (less than 14 standard drinks / week for men and less than 9 standard drinks/ week for women).
* People with diabetes should discuss alcohol use with their diabetes healthcare team.

Health risks of alcohol use for people with diabetes

Alcohol can:

* affect judgement
* provide extra calories that can make weight loss or weight management a challenge
* increase blood pressure
* contribute to sexual difficulties
* damage the brain and nerves
* increase your triglycerides
* contribute to inflammation of the pancreas
* dehydrate the body which is very dangerous in someone with high blood glucose
* increase the risk of various cancers over time
* increase the risk of personality change such as depression or aggression
* worsen eye disease
* damage your liver over time

For young people in particular, alcohol use:

* can lead to addiction
* is associated with a dramatic increase in injuries and death

For those on insulin or some diabetes medications

* Drinking alcohol can increase your risk of having low blood glucose. To reduce this risk, take the following steps:

BEFORE Drinking Alcohol

* Eat regular meals, take your medication(s), and check your blood glucose levels frequently,
* Wherever you are, make sure someone with you knows your signs and symptoms of low blood glucose and how to treat it so they can help you.
* Be aware that glucagon, a treatment for low blood glucose, will not work while alcohol is in the body,
* Wear diabetes identification such as a Medic Alert

WHILE Drinking Alcohol

* Eat carbohydrate-rich foods when drinking alcohol.
* Eat extra carbohydrate-rich foods if you are dancing, playing sports or doing other physical activity.
* Drink slowly.

AFTER Drinking Alcohol

* Tell a responsible person that you have been drinking. They should look for low blood glucose symptoms.
* Check your blood glucose before going to bed. Eat a carbohydrate snack if your blood glucose is lower than usual.
* Set an alarm or have a responsible person wake you up through the night and early morning – a delayed low blood glucose can occur anytime up to 24 hours after drinking alcohol.
* You need to get up on time the next day for any food, medication or insulin you normally take. Missed medication or insulin can lead to high blood glucose, ketones and diabetic ketoacidosis (DKA).

You should not drink alcohol if you:

* are pregnant or trying to get pregnant,
* are breastfeeding,
* have a personal or family history of drinking problems,
* are planning to drive or engage in other activities that require attention,
* are taking certain medications.

In nutshell

If you do not drink alcohol, don’t start.
* If you choose to drink alcohol, intake should be moderate (daily intake should be limited to two drinks for adult men and one drink for adult women).
* When drinking alcohol, make sure you know how to prevent and treat low blood glucose.
* Heavy alcohol use can make blood glucose control more difficult and increases other health risks.
* Talk to your Psychologist or healthcare professional if you have questions.

B.Elayaraja M.Sc.,M.Phil.,PGDGC

Psycho social counselor.

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