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Question:

From Louisville Kentucky, USA:

I was wondering how bad alcohol hurts me. I am 23 years old and Type 1 diabetic in a honeymoon period.

Answer:

Alcohol acts in the body to shut down the glucose-producing capacity of the liver. Alcohol also enhances the production of fatty acids and triglycerides which in the long run lead to an accumulation of fatty acids in the liver (which can cause a liver disorder called fatty liver). The moderate use of alcohol should not produce long term problems such as fatty liver, however, moderation is emphasized. In addition, low blood sugar and seizures are short term hazards of drinking alcohol due to the shutting down of glucose production I mentioned first.

To drink responsibly means to:

  • Always eat food during alcohol intake,
  • never drink on an empty stomach,
  • it is best to drink no more than two drinks a day,
  • if calories are a consideration, exchange a normal drink for about 2 fat exchanges in your meal plan,
  • avoid drinks with large amounts of sugar, and
  • never drink until your ability to think is impaired.

It is a good idea to talk to you doctor about including alcohol in your life. There may be other considerations that your health care team may want to discuss with you.

JM

[Editor's comment: Be sure to wear medical identification jewelry, since hypoglycemia symptoms often mimic those of excessive alcohol consumption. JSH]

Original posting 7 Jun 1998
Posted to Meal Planning, Food and Diet

  
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Last Updated: Tuesday April 06, 2010 15:08:58
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