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Smoking And Drinking In Diabetes

By Suparna Chakaraborthy
Can I have drink when I have Diabetes?

Yes, you can. Alcohol is not banned in people with Diabetes; you should know the rule of thumbs. A little alcohol is pleasant, a lot is not regardless of Diabetes and can damage the body badly. Remember “Hypo" (low blood sugar) can occur with alcohol and you should not skip meal after a drink with the fear of calorie in the drink. Not only that, sometimes Hypo can look like being drunk.

You need to know the medically allowed limit of alcohol. A small measure of Whiskey, Rum, Vodka or Gin, a small glass of Beer or Wine is measured as one unit. The limit for men is 21 units and for women 14 units a week. It is better to space that rather than taking weekly quota on a day! Sweet wine or Sherry should be avoided as they have very high sugar content.

Most of the time we do not realize what we are eating with a drink. Taking fatty or high calorie snack like paneer or pakoda with a drink will increase your total calorie intake for the meal. So better try some salad like cucumber, tomato or onion with your drink. A small measure of potato chips may make you happier.

As otherwise, it is better not to get drunk. There can be several health hazards. For example, if you forget your meal you may have a hypo. More so, your hypo may be difficult or almost impossible to diagnose if you are drunk, as both may look the same. Your hypo may be missed as being drunk and your friends may not realise that you need something to eat to correct the hypo. On top of these, you may get hurt or injure others while driving.

What about smoking?

Smoking makes your insulin less active, so should be stopped or minimised to the least. Otherwise also smoking is bad for heart and lungs. Also, as you will know smoking can cause cancer in different organs.

Story first published: Tuesday, August 24, 2010, 12:09 [IST]
Read more about: alcoholic diabetes smoking
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