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Moderate amount of alcohol will not have a serious effect on the blood sugar levels of people with type 1 or 2 diabetes if a few tips are followed.
Drinking alcohol can cause a drop in blood glucose because alcohol blocks the production of glucose in the liver. (The liver contains “emergency stores” of glucose to raise your blood sugar if it drops too low.) Once the liver's stores of glucose are used up, a person who has drank a lot of alcohol can't make more right away, and that can lead to dangerously low blood glucose or even death.
- Do not drink on an empty stomach or when your blood glucose is low, since your risk of low blood glucose increases after drinking.
- Don’t skip a meal if you are going to drink.
- Wear an I.D. that notes you have diabetes. If you are in a setting where people are drinking alcohol, hypoglycemia may be mistaken for being drunk.
- For mixed drinks, choose calorie-free drink mixers like diet soda, diet tonic water or water.
- As with anyone with or without diabetes, do not drive or plan to drive for several hours after you drink alcohol.
- Drink slowly.
- Drink a maximum of two drinks at an event/meal.
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