Can I Drink With Diabetes? Does Alcohol Affect Blood Sugar?
As a diabetes educator, I frequently get asked from patients, “can I drink alcohol and, if so, how much?” A lot of people don’t know that alcohol can actually lower your blood glucose level. If you use insulin or certain diabetes medications you are at greater risk of having a low blood glucose reaction if you drink alcohol. It’s important to have this conversation with your doctor to see if it’s safe. Keep in mind that alcohol should always be consumed in moderation, however if you choose to have an alcoholic drink, here are some tips to help keep you safe: Don’t drink on an empty stomach or when your blood glucose is low. Drink alcohol with a meal or carbohydrate snack like pretzels or crackers. Don’t carb count your alcohol. If you count carbohydrates, don’t add alcohol to the equation. Replacing alcohol with carbohydrate foods can be risky and lead to low blood glucose or hyperglycemia. Alcohol is considered empty calories. It provides no nutritional value, so drinking too much will add no benefit to you. Drink in moderation. The American Diabetes Association recommends drinking in moderation and people with diabetes should follow the same guidelines as those without diabetes. Women should have no more than 1 drink a day, and men, no more than 2 drinks a day. You might be wondering, what is one drink? To give you an idea, one drink is equal to 12 ounces of beer, 5 ounces of wine or 1 ½ ounces of distilled spirits (American Diabetes Association). Sip on your drink and make it last. By drinking in small sips, you can savor the flavor and make that one drink feel like much more. Hydrate yourself by keeping water close by. It’s easy to forget to drink especially when you’re in the midst of a conversation. Grab a glass of water when you grab your alc Continue reading >>
How Does Coffee Affect Blood Sugar And Diabetes?
Type 2 diabetes is a massive health problem worldwide. About 29 million people, or 9% of all US adults, had type 2 diabetes in the year 2012 (1). Interestingly, long-term studies have linked coffee drinking with a reduced risk of type 2 diabetes (2, 3). Yet, oddly enough, many short-term studies have shown that coffee and caffeine can raise blood sugar and insulin levels (4, 5, 6). Why this happens is not fully known, but there are several theories. This article examines the short-term and long-term effects of coffee on blood sugar and diabetes. The health benefits of drinking coffee are well-documented. In observational studies, coffee is linked to reduced blood sugar and insulin levels, which are major risk factors for type 2 diabetes (7). Furthermore, consuming regular or decaf coffee on a regular basis is linked to a 23–50% lower risk of developing type 2 diabetes (3, 8, 9, 10, 11). Studies have also shown that each daily cup of coffee you consume may reduce this risk by 4–8% (3, 8). Additionally, people who drink 4–6 cups of coffee each day have a lower risk of type 2 diabetes than people who drink less than 2 cups each day (12). Regular coffee drinking has been linked to a 23–50% lower risk of type 2 diabetes. Each daily cup is linked to a 4-8% lower risk. A major paradox exists between the long-term and short-term effects of coffee. Short-term studies have linked caffeine and coffee consumption with increased blood sugar levels and insulin resistance (13). A recent study showed that a single serving of coffee, containing 100 mg of caffeine, can negatively affect blood sugar control in healthy but overweight men (14). Other short-term studies -- both in healthy individuals and in type 2 diabetics -- show that consuming caffeinated coffee impaired blood sug Continue reading >>
How To Bring Down High Blood Sugar Levels
Tweet Having high blood sugar levels can be discomforting and many people wish to know what they can do to help to bring down high blood glucose levels. We look at some of the options for lowering blood glucose in the short term. High blood sugar is commonly known as hyperglycemia. What are the signs of high blood sugar? The classic symptoms of high blood glucose levels are: Feeling very thirsty Needing to go the toilet often Having a dry mouth Feeling tired/lethargic Feeling uncomfortable and irritable Check your blood sugar If you have take medication that may cause low blood sugar (hypoglycemia), it’s highly advisable to check your blood sugar levels before you try to bring your sugar levels down. This is just in case your blood sugar is normal or low, which can be the case in some situations. Testing of blood sugar before bringing your levels down is particularly important if you take insulin. When to call for medical advice It is important to note that very high blood glucose levels can be dangerous and it is important to be aware of the symptoms and risk factors of the following conditions: Diabetic ketoacidosis - a short term complication most commonly associated with type 1 diabetes Hyperosmolar Hyperglycaemic State - a short term complication most commonly associated with type 1 diabetes If you are struggling to keep your blood glucose levels under control, speak to your GP or consultant who can advise you or refer you onto a diabetes education course. Correcting high blood sugar levels with insulin If you take insulin, one way to reduce blood sugar is to inject insulin. However, be careful as insulin can take 4 hours or longer to be fully absorbed, so you need to make sure you take into account how much insulin you may already have in your body that is yet t Continue reading >>
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8 Sneaky Things That Raise Your Blood Sugar Levels
Skipping breakfast iStock/Thinkstock Overweight women who didn’t eat breakfast had higher insulin and blood sugar levels after they ate lunch a few hours later than they did on another day when they ate breakfast, a 2013 study found. Another study in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition found that men who regularly skipped breakfast had a 21 percent higher chance of developing diabetes than those who didn’t. A morning meal—especially one that is rich in protein and healthy fat—seems to stabilize blood sugar levels throughout the day. Your breakfast is not one of the many foods that raise blood sugar. Here are some other things that happen to your body when you skip breakfast. Artificial sweeteners iStock/Thinkstock They have to be better for your blood sugar than, well, sugar, right? An interesting new Israeli study suggests that artificial sweeteners can still take a negative toll and are one of the foods that raise blood sugar. When researchers gave mice artificial sweeteners, they had higher blood sugar levels than mice who drank plain water—or even water with sugar! The researchers were able to bring the animals’ blood sugar levels down by treating them with antibiotics, which indicates that these fake sweeteners may alter gut bacteria, which in turn seems to affect how the body processes glucose. In a follow-up study of 400 people, the research team found that long-term users of artificial sweeteners were more likely to have higher fasting blood sugar levels, reported HealthDay. While study authors are by no means saying that sugary beverages are healthier, these findings do suggest that people who drink artificially sweetened beverages should do so in moderation as part of a healthy diet. Here's what else happens when you cut artificial sweetener Continue reading >>
3 Easy Tips To Lower Blood Sugar Fast
Jeanette Terry was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes when she was 11 years old, and she has since lived with diabetes through difficult life transitions, including the teenage years, college, and having children. She addresses the day-to-day struggles of living with diabetes—going beyond medical advice—to improve overall adherence and management. Extremely high blood sugar levels can be dangerous, and they can cause lasting health complications. Remember: if you ever have blood sugar readings that remain high for more than 24 hours without coming down (and after an effort has been made to lower them), you need to be addressed by a doctor. That being said, we've all had those days when we get a random high blood sugar reading and we are not sure what caused it…or we forget to give insulin, or we eat a delicious dessert without realizing how much sugar is actually in it. For whatever reason, those out of the ordinary high blood sugar readings happen and need to be treated. No need to rush to the doctor for every high blood sugar reading though. There are some simple steps you can take to lower blood sugar fast. Watch for signs of high blood sugar You know the feeling: extreme thirst, sluggishness, nausea, blurred vision, a downright sick feeling. And your family or friends may tell you that extreme irritability is a major sign you need to check your blood sugar to see if it is high. The best thing to do is to catch it before it gets really high, or it will be harder to bring down quickly, causing havoc on your blood sugar readings for days. If you do not take insulin as a part of your treatment plan, these tips will show you how to lower your blood sugar fast. If you take insulin, you will first want to give the appropriate amount of insulin to correct the blood sugar. Continue reading >>
> Diabetes: What's True And False?
If you're like most people with diabetes, you'll get all kinds of advice about it from friends and family or online. Some of this information is wrong. Here's the truth about some of the common things you might hear. No, it doesn't. Type 1 diabetes happens when cells in the pancreas that make insulin are destroyed. This happens because something goes wrong with the body's immune system. It has nothing to do with how much sugar a person eats. Sugar doesn't cause diabetes. But there is one way that sugar can influence whether a person gets type 2 diabetes. Consuming too much sugar (or sugary foods and drinks) can make people put on weight. Gaining weight leads to type 2 diabetes in some people. Of course, eating too much sugar isn't the only reason why people gain weight. Weight gain from eating too much of any food can make a person's chance of getting diabetes greater. Can people with diabetes eat sweets? Yes! You can have your cake and eat it too, just not the whole cake! Like everyone, people with diabetes should put the brakes on eating too many sweets. But you can still enjoy sweets sometimes. Do people "grow out of" diabetes? People with type 1 diabetes don't grow out of it. With type 1 diabetes, the pancreas stops making insulin and won't make it again. People with type 1 diabetes will always need to take insulin, at least until scientists find a cure for diabetes. People with type 2 diabetes will always have a tendency to get high blood sugar levels. But if they take steps to live a healthier life, it can sometimes lower their blood sugar. If people eat healthy foods and exercise enough to get their blood sugar levels back on track, doctors might say they can stop taking insulin or other medicines. Can you catch diabetes from a person who has it? No. Diabetes is Continue reading >>
Can Drinking Lots Of Water Lower My Blood Sugar?
The answer is yes, indirectly it will reduce insulin resistance and help a person reduce their hunger. Drinking 8 glasses of water a day appears to bring down one's blood sugars by reducing insulin resistance due to proper hydration. While at the same time the more water you drink the less hungry a person is so they tend to eat less during the day, similar to drinking a glass of water prior to eating fills the stomach causing a person who is dieting to reach satiation (fullness) sooner. If your blood sugars are very high and your kidney is not able to process all the sugar, water will help remove the excess sugar and ketones out of your system. Drinking water is important for everyone but for diabetics, especially type 1 diabetics, it is crucial to remove excess ketones from the blood stream and reduce dehydration when blood sugars are high. Continue reading >>
How To Lower Your Blood Sugar Levels Naturally
How to safely bring down your blood glucose levels and keep it under control. Hyperglycaemia (otherwise known as “high blood sugars”) occurs when your body is unable to utilize the sugars it consumes by turning them into energy. Although it mainly occurs with people who have the serious condition diabetes, there can be other causes. Hyperglycaemia can cause serious symptoms and lead to potentially-dangerous complications, but the good news is that it can be tackled, with effort and a few simple lifestyle changes. What Could Cause High Blood Sugar? There are two predominate types of hyperglycaemia (high blood sugar). These are: Fasting hyperglycaemia, which is blood sugar levels higher than 130mg/dL (that’s milligrams of sugar per decilitre of blood) after not eating or drinking (other than plain water) for eight hours. Postprandial (after-meal) hyperglycaemia, which is blood sugar levels higher than 180 mg/dL two hours after you eat. A diabetic can have hyperglycaemia for a large number of reasons. The most common reasons are: forgetting to take your insulin or other glucose-lowering medication at the right time, eating too many carbohydrates for the amount of insulin you did take, or being less physically active than usual. However, there are other causes that are less obvious. Being under the weather, feeling stressed, or having an infection could all affect your blood sugars, making them more prone to rise where they wouldn’t normally. What Are The Common Symptoms Of Hyperglycaemia/High Blood Sugar? There are two stages of symptoms in hyperglycaemia. If you are experiencing a large number of the early symptoms, take notice and monitor your blood sugars, attempting to lower them if they are too high, as the later symptoms are particularly serious and uncomfort Continue reading >>
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- World's first diabetes app will be able to check glucose levels without drawing a drop of blood and will be able to reveal what a can of coke REALLY does to sugar levels
Alcohol And Diabetes: How Does It Affect Blood Sugar Levels?
For many people, a glass of alcohol here and there does not pose a problem. However, for those with health conditions, such as diabetes, alcohol can affect blood sugar levels and pose a health risk. Understanding what you are consuming and how alcohol influences blood glucose levels is particularly important for people with diabetes. Alcohol can interfere with blood sugar levels. People with diabetes should sip drinks slowly and not drink on an empty stomach. Alcohol and the body Alcohol is a depressant; it is classed as a "sedative-hypnotic drug" because it depresses the central nervous system. Every organ in the body can be affected by alcohol. Once consumed, it is rapidly absorbed by the stomach and small intestine and enters the bloodstream. In an average person, the liver can breaks down roughly one standard drink of alcohol per hour. Excess alcohol moves throughout the body. The amount not broken down by the liver is removed by the lungs,kidneys, and skin in urine and sweat. How alcohol affects a person's body depends on how much they consume. At low doses, alcohol can act as a stimulant - people may feel happy, or become talkative. Drinking too much alcohol, however, can impair the body. Alcohol and blood sugar levels A person's overall health plays a big role in how they respond to alcohol. People with diabetes or other blood sugar problems must be careful when consuming alcohol. Alcohol consumption can interfere with blood sugar as well as the hormones needed to maintain healthy blood sugar levels. Frequent heavy drinkers can wipe out their energy storage in a few hours. Over time, excessive alcohol consumption can reduce the overall effectiveness of insulin. This results in high blood sugar levels. Many people with alcoholic liver disease also have either gluc Continue reading >>
Water And Diabetes
Tweet As water contains no carbohydrate or calories, it is the perfect drink for people with diabetes. Studies have also shown that drinking water could help control blood glucose levels. Lowering blood glucose levels The bodies of people with diabetes require more fluid when blood glucose levels are high. This can lead to the kidneys attempting to excrete excess sugar through urine. Water will not raise blood glucose levels, which is why it is so beneficial to drink when people with diabetes have high blood sugar, as it enables more glucose to be flushed out of the blood. Dehydration and diabetes Having high blood glucose levels can also increase the risk of dehydration, which is a risk for people with diabetes mellitus. People with diabetes insipidus also have a heightened dehydration risk, but this is not linked to high blood glucose levels. Diabetes mellitus Drinking water helps to rehydrate the blood when the body tries to remove excess glucose through urine. Otherwise, the body may draw on other sources of available water, such as saliva and tears. If water access is limited, glucose may not be passed out of the urine, leading to further dehydration. Diabetes insipidus Diabetes inspidus is not associated with high blood glucose levels, but leads to the body producing a large amount of urine. This can leave people regularly feeling thirsty, and at a higher risk of dehydration. Increasing how much water you drink can ease these symptoms, and you may be advised to drink a specific amount of water a day by your doctor. Read more on dehydration and diabetes How much water should we drink? The European Food Safety Authority advises that we take in the following quantities of water on average each day: Women: 1.6 litres - around eight 200ml glasses per day Men: 2 litres Continue reading >>
How Water Impacts Blood Sugars
This article was originally from the weekly Diabetes Daily Newsletter. To receive your copy, create a free Diabetes Daily account. Picture a glass of water. Mix in a little sugar and stir until it dissolves. Now place it outside on a hot, sunny day. As the water evaporates, the remaining water gets sweeter and sweeter. If you have diabetes, this happens to your blood when you’re dehydrated. Because your blood is 83% water, when you lose water, the volume of blood decreases and the sugar remains the same. More concentrated blood sugar means higher blood sugars. The lesson: stay hydrated to avoid unnecessary high blood sugars. How Much Water Should I Drink? The average person loses about 10 cups of water per day through sweat and urination. At the same time, you gain fluid from drinking liquids and eating food. So how much you need to drink is a tricky question. You may have heard the “drink 8 glass of water a day” rule. Where did this rule come from? As Barbara Rolls, a nutrition research at Pennsylvania State University says: “I can’t even tell you that, and I’ve writen a book on water!” It turns out that there’s no basis for this in the medical literature. The easiest way to tell is looking at your urine. If it’s a little yellow, you’re probably hydrated. If it’s darker, then you need to drink more fluids. You can also go with your own intuition. Are you thirsty? Drink! If you’re busy or stuck at a desk for long periods, make sure you have a water bottle so you can easily answer when your body calls for water. Does Coffee or Tea Count? Yes! Although consuming caffeine can cause your body to shed some water, you still gain more water than you shed. And studies have shown that this effect is partically non-existent for people who drink caffeine re Continue reading >>
Tips For Managing Glucose Levels
Upswing: Caffeine There are many different ways blood sugar (glucose levels in the blood) can be affected and cause problems with sugar control in people with diabetes. Each person reacts differently to various items that influence blood sugars. There are some compounds individuals with diabetes may want to examine to see how they influence their own blood sugar levels. For example, blood sugar levels can rise after drinking coffee, black tea, and some energy drinks due to the presence of caffeine. There are other compounds that may alter blood glucose levels and methods people with diabetes can use to see what compounds and actions influence their own blood sugar levels. Upswing: Sugar-Free Foods A number of foods claim to be "sugar-free," but these foods raise blood sugar levels because many of them contain carbohydrates in starches, fats, and even fiber. Sugar alcohols such as sorbitol and xylitol add sweetness to foods but still may have enough associated carbohydrates to raise blood sugar levels. Foods with high levels of carbohydrates are likely to raise blood sugar levels very high, and eventually may cause organ damage over time in people with diabetes. Upswing: Chinese Food Foods high in fat can cause blood sugar to stay higher for longer periods of time. Pizza, French fries, and most fried foods are high in carbohydrates and fat. It's a good idea to check your blood sugar about two hours after you eat such foods to see how your blood sugar levels are affected. Upswing: A Bad Cold Dehydration can elevate your blood sugar so it is wise to stay well hydrated. If you are sick, diarrhea and vomiting for more than two hours, or illness longer than a few days may alter your blood sugar. Moreover, blood sugar rises as your body tries to fight any type of illness. Medi Continue reading >>
13 Natural And Easy Ways To Lower Your Blood Sugar
Being diagnosed with Type II diabetes can be a bummer, and it can be a struggle to keep blood sugars under control. Sometimes, you may find yourself with blood sugar levels that are higher than normal (let's say around 150, for example), but not excessive enough to necessitate taking more medication. You don't feel very good with the higher blood sugar, but taking medication can make your blood sugar TOO low. So what can you do to lower your blood sugar up to 40 points without taking more medication? Try the following these 13 tips and see if you can lower your blood sugar naturally. (See also: How to Reduce Your Risk of Diabetes) Health Disclaimer: As always, you need to be careful to monitor your sugar levels so as not to become hypoglycemic (that's when your blood sugar is too low, which is dangerous). Talk to your physician before making any changes to your diet. And remember, these 13 tips for lowering blood sugar may work for many people, but they won't work for everyone. Carb Intake Carbs are basically sugar, and everybody should make an effort to control their intake, especially diabetics. 1. Cut Back the Carbs Effects seen: Immediate Your diet is something you want to talk to your physician about, but the simple fact is that a lower carb diet makes it easier to maintain stable blood sugar levels. It's part of why you're hearing so much about the Paleo Diet these days. Carbohydrates are found in starchy foods — root vegetables, grains, rice, and legumes — and all of their derivatives, like bread, pasta, sushi, French fries, mashed yams, and even lentil soup. As someone who has been diabetic for nearly 20 years, I can attest that eating a diet low in carbohydrates, but rich in leafy greens, nuts, dark fruits like berries, and lean meats has had an amazing eff Continue reading >>
Wise Up On Water
Water has got to be one of the most boring beverages there is. Now don’t get me wrong — I love water, and we wouldn’t survive without it. I mean no disrespect. But water is tasteless, colorless, and odorless and, in general, has nothing in it (provided it’s clean, of course). How exciting is that? Yet as bland as water is, there are some myths and controversies surrounding this innocuous drink. I thought I’d take this week as an opportunity to answer some of the questions that many people have about water and set the record straight. 1. Will drinking water help you lose weight? Health-care professionals used to snicker at this question. It’s along the lines of ordering a diet soda with the super-sized burger and large fries. But there may actually be some truth to water’s reputed weight-loss abilities. First, some people do find that drinking water can fill them up. And it stands to reason that a full stomach means that you’ll probably eat less. So, if you find that having a glass of water before a meal helps you cut back on your food intake, then, by all means, keep at it! Second, there is some research that actually backs up this claim. In a study published in the International Journal of Obesity in September, researchers reported that overweight children who drank two cups of cold water had a significant increase in their resting energy expenditure (the number of calories required to maintain typical body functions in a resting state, such as lounging on the couch). While this study was done with children, a previous study showed similar results for adults. So, the answer to this question is a resounding maybe! 2. Will drinking water with a meal affect digestion in any way? The quick answer to this is “no.” There is no reason why you shouldn’t d Continue reading >>
Can Drinking A Lot Of Water Lower Blood Sugar?
Not likely, the only 3 ways to lower blood sugar are: Sleep enough - Not sleeping enough or adequately causes cortisol to elevate which drags up blood sugar Low Carb / High Fat diet - Done by means of limiting insulin stimulating foods (limit or stay away from carbs) Fasting - Either intermittent or all out fasting. Intermittent fasting would be Fasting at minimum 16 hours a day. All out fasting, look to fast for at least 48–72 hours. Continue reading >>