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Is drinking alcohol harmful for a diabetic patient?

Q: I am a type II diabetic patient with a weight of 85 kg and height of 163 cms. My latest blood sugar was high. The doctor prescribed me Amaryl-1mg and Glycomet-500 mg tablets when I went for my vacation. I am now in the habit of taking alcohol daily at night with a maximum consumption of 4 pegs. Please let me know whether this will affect my health and also guide me how to reduce my weight so that I can keep my sugar level under control.

A:Consumption of alcohol, especially as much as 4 pegs daily will a. Increase your weight b. Worsen your diabetes control by pushing your sugars high and then low. If you would like to take alcohol, the maximum consumption recommended is 1 small peg (25-30 cc) daily. Losing weight requires long term commitment on your part, but gives tremendous returns in the form of better control of diabetes, BP, cholesterol and triglycerides. You will need to: - cut down alcohol intake drastically, - exercise regularly - The best way is to start by walking 15-20 minutes and increasing it to about 40-50 minutes per day. This can be in one stretch or divided into 2-5 parts of 10-20 min each, depending on general health, weight, condition of knees etc. - eating regularly: NO missed meals, especially breakfast. Missing meals can make sugars go low and increase weight gain - eating sensibly by taking enough fruits and salads, reducing excess fat intake in your diet in the form of oily vegetable cooking, parathas, ghee on chapatis, fried snacks e.g. pakoras, namkeens, mixture, murku, etc. and making sure you are taking sufficient amounts of LOW FAT milk. In addition, you must make sure about the following things: 1. Take Amaryl 30 minutes before meals. 2. Get your blood sugar tests (F/PP) done at least once every month. 3. Get your glycosylated haemoglobin test (which gives the average blood sugar over the previous 2-3 months) done every 3-6 months. 4. Your BP is maintained between 120-125/ 80-85 mm Hg. 5. Your retina is checked every year. 6. Your lipid levels are checked at least annually and maintained in the normal range. Please stay in regular follow-up with a good physician/diabetologist for proper treatment.

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