Alcohol and Blood Glucose

Alcohol contains sugar and will initially raise your blood glucose level. However, in larger quantities, alcohol prevents your liver from releasing glucose, therefore it can lower your blood glucose and increase the risk of a hypoglycemic attack.

Points to remember about alcohol

• Drinking a lot of alcohol can cause hypoglycemia if you are taking insulin or insulin-stimulating pills so be prepared and learn to recognize signs of a hypoglycemic attack.
• Drinking alcohol with a meal or some carbohydrate-containing food will reduce your risk of hypoglycemia.
• All alcoholic drinks are high in calories. Low-calorie misers such as diet cola, diet ginger ale, and diet tonic water help you avoid extra calories.
• Alcohol consumption is measured in units. One unit of alcohol is equal to half a pint of ordinary strength beer, or 1.5 fl oz (25ml) of sherry, vermouth, liqueur, or aperitif. There is also 1 unit of alcohol in one small glass (4.5 fl oz/125ml) of wine or 1.5 fl oz (25ml) of liquor.
• The maximum recommended daily intake of alcohol is two to three units for women and three to four for men. It is recommended that you have two alcohol-free days a week.

Working out your body mass index (BMI)

To find your BMI, measure your unclothed weight and your height. Trace a straight horizontal and vertical line from each measurement on the chart. The point at which the two lines indicates the weight range you are in. you can ten tell whether you need to gain weight, lose weight, or maintain your healthy weight.

Why weight and body shape matter

Why is my body shape relevant to diabetes?

If you carry extra fat around your waist rather than on your hips, you are at increased risk of developing heart and circulatory problems. Even if you are not overweight, your risk of heart disease is reduced if you have less fat around your waist than on your hips.

How do I know if I have too much fat around my waist?

Measure your waist t the widest point. If it is more than 40in (102cm) for a man or 34in (88cm) for a woman, your risk of heart disease is increased.

How do I measure my waist-to-hip ratio?

Measure your waist and hips at the widest points and divide waist size by hip size. For example, a waist size of 33in (82cm) and hop size of 41in (103cm) gives a waist-to-hip ratio of 0.80. More than 0.95 (for a man) or 0.85 (for a woman) increases your risk of heart disease.

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