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Question:

From Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA:

I am 25 years old and have been a diabetic for 3 years. I do not have a very healthy diet, and I do drink somewhat on the weekends. I am, however, relatively good at keeping my blood-sugar in a good range (100-150), and I am very active in exercising. Am I still at risk of the long-term effects of diabetes, given my bad diet and weekend drinking, even though I exercise and control my blood-sugar level?

Answer:

The blood sugar level over time is certainly a big "piece of the puzzle" when it comes to preventing complications from diabetes. Other factors affecting the health of an individual however include inherited problems such as heart disease and "good nutrition."

Good nutrition is important in keeping all the systems in the body functioning. You may want to consider seeing a Registered Dietitian to have your current eating pattern and habits evaluated. The dietitian may be able to help you make a few modifications that will help you improve your diet. The Food Guide Pyramid is helpful in choosing foods to provide your body with the nutrients it needs.

The fact that you exercise is of great benefit to your heart and circulation as well as muscle development and toning. It is very important to "cover" exercise with extra food with blood sugars running in the 100-150 range.

Alcohol in moderation can be successfully worked into your lifestyle. Moderation is the key. It is very important to eat when you drink alcohol to keep the blood sugar level up. Alcohol acts like fat in the blood sugar and it shuts off the ability for the liver to make glucose or sugar so you must eat when you drink. Beer contains about 14 grams of carbohydrate while light beer and sweet wines contain about 5-6 grams of carbohydrate. Distilled liquor contains no carbohydrate.

JM

Original posting 6 Oct 97

  
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Last Updated: Tuesday April 06, 2010 15:08:54
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