What should I do to control my blood sugar levels?
Q: I am 62 years old, weigh 94 kg, and suffer from essential hypertension since past 20 years, which is well controlled by drugs. I am not a diabetic. Recently, I had a boil near the rectum & pus had to be drained by surgery. Blood sugar during treatment was upto 180/220 mg/dl and had to be controlled by insulin. It got normal once infection was removed. After 8-10 days, I tested again as I was no more on any medicines for diabetes and the fasting result was 135 mg/dl while PP after 2 hours was 125 mg/dl. I do take alcohol about 120 to 180 ml each night. Is the sudden increase in my blood sugar due to alcohol? How long does the effect of alcohol stay in the body? Can you please guide me as to what I should do to control my blood sugar levels and avoid drugs?
A:Diabetes is not always manifest and some times may exist as stress diabetes which shows up only during moments of stress and during normal stages, the blood sugars may be totally normal. To detect stress diabetics, one should either do glucose tolerance test or still better, you should get your Hb A1c (glycosylated haemoglobin) levels done, which is a test which reflects on the average blood sugar levels of the last 3 months. It is very much possible that you are a stress diabetic and during the abscess stage, when the infection was prevalent, your blood sugar went up and now that the infection is controlled, the sugars have come down. Definitely 120 to 180 ml of alcohol each night is rather excessive drinking and only 30-60 ml of alcohol per day is maximum permissible limit. I would strongly advise you to reduce your drinking as it may harm your liver, heart and other organs. Blood sugar levels do go up because of alcohol and the effect of alcohol lasts for about 6-8 hours. As for control of blood sugar, you should eat right (low fat; low carbohydrate, plenty of roughage & fibre), exercise regularly, control your weight, indulge in some kind of meditation and stress relief practices and get an Endocrinologist’s consultation.