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Health Tip: Diabetics and Drinking

-- If you have diabetes and get insulin shots or take other diabetes medication, you may end up with low blood sugar if you drink alcohol, the American Diabetes Association says.

If your doctor says it's OK for you to have a drink now and then, the association offers these guidelines to help you use alcohol safely:

  • Just as with non-diabetics, only moderate drinking -- one drink a day for women, two for men -- is recommended.
  • Since alcohol can contribute to low blood sugar, always drink with a meal or on a full stomach.
  • If you are watching your weight, know that alcohol is high in calories, and can quickly cause unwanted weight gain.
  • Look for drinks to mix with alcohol that are low in sugar or sugar-free, such as a diet soda, tonic, sparkling water or club soda.
  • Don't drink alcohol if you have nerve damage or high blood pressure.
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Posted: February 2009