(Natural News) Apart from eating healthy and engaging in regular physical activity, there’s one more thing that people with Type 2 diabetes can do to ensure that they are always in the pink of health – cut back on alcohol consumption. After all, reducing alcohol intake lowers the risk of developing serious health conditions, including certain types of cancer, high blood pressure, and heart disease.
Lower alcohol consumption, together with a diet that is low on refined sugar and simple carbohydrates and regular exercise, helps lower the risk of Type 2 diabetes and improves existing diabetes control. If you have diabetes and you love the occasional taste of liquor, you are not completely discouraged from drinking. But as a rule, you need to stay away from beer and cider as these contain higher amounts of sugar.
If you are taking medication that lowers your blood glucose levels, you may need to lay off on alcohol completely. Liquor can interact with your medication and cause severe hypoglycemia, wherein your blood sugar crashes way below normal levels. The condition causes a variety of symptoms, including clumsiness, trouble talking, confusion, loss of consciousness, seizures, and in extreme cases, death.
Controlling your alcohol intake also reduces your risk of liver damage. Diabetics are already at a higher risk of suffering from organ damage. Engaging in known risk factors, such as drinking alcohol, cannot be good for your liver.
Finally, saying no to alcohol aids in weight loss, an important step in diabetic management, because it lets you avoid all the extra sugar and calories that come with drinks like beer and certain cocktails. (Related: Excessive alcohol intake damages your brain.)
Tips on how to reduce your alcohol intake
Once again, you don’t need to quit alcohol completely. Some types of liquor, such as red wine, are good for you at the right doses. The idea is for you to simply limit your intake to what is safe for your condition.
- Monitor your intake – To do this, you will need to keep a tally of how much you drink at any given period, say, a week. At the end of the week, you can review your notes and compare it to your goal.
- Drink only at dinner – Fight the urge to drink once you get home and wait until you’re having dinner instead. The food will slow down your drinking while the wait delays the amount of alcohol that enters your system.
- Limit yourself to just one round – Peer pressure can be hard to beat. If you and your friends like going to the bar, just get yourself a bottle, settle for that, and get nothing more.
- Get rid of alcohol at home – It’s great to have a six-pack handy for when your friends come over to visit or when you really need a taste of beer. However, keeping liquor at home, within easy reach, makes it harder to control the cravings. Keep no alcoholic beverage at home – this way, you’ll be forced to go out and get alcohol from the store when you crave it. The inconvenience might just discourage you from doing so.
- Be the designated driver – If you’re going out with your friends and you know alcohol will be involved, a good way to avoid temptation is to give everyone a lift. That way, you and your friends will be obligated not to provide you with anything that will get you drunk and unable to drive.
- Get low-alcohol drinks – Drinks with low alcohol content gives you the experience but little of the effects. Drinking them instead of strong liquor will help you minimize your consumption without leaving you feeling deprived.
Read tips on how to control your blood sugar at DiabetesScienceNews.com.