When first diagnosed with diabetes , most patients quickly learn the recommended dietary guidelines for keeping their blood sugar as stable as possible. What is not always discussed, however, is how alcoholic beverages can affect the body of a person with diabetes. Although alcohol consumption is safe for many diabetics, there are some things to consider before imbibing.
Effects of Alcohol on the Diabetic Patient
To understand the effects of alcohol in a person with diabetes, it is important to know that the liver is responsible for both alcohol metabolism and glucose (sugar) storage and release. The liver releases stored glucose into the blood stream when blood sugar levels are too low and one is not under the influence of alcohol. When working to break down alcohol, however, this ability is impaired.
Most diabetics are prescribed medications, such as metformin or sulfonylureas, which work to decrease glucose release from the liver. As long as the patient retains a stable blood glucose level by eating at regular intervals, these medications can be very successful in managing diabetes. When blood sugar is low, however, and when combined with the effects of alcohol, diabetics can experience dangerously low blood sugar levels (hypoglycemia).
Guidelines for Drinking with Diabetes
It can be safe for a diabetic to drink alcohol, as long as he or she does so responsibly. If you have diabetes and decide to drink, remember the following guidelines:
- The amount of alcohol you drink should be very limited—one or fewer drinks per day for women, two or fewer for men
- Do not drink on an empty stomach—eat a meal or a light snack with your beverage
- If you decide to drink more than a couple times per week, be sure to tell your physician so they can prescribe medications accordingly
Other Helpful Tips
When drinking, you may also want to consider the following tips:
- Drink only when and if your blood glucose levels are under control
- Be sure to test your blood sugar levels before drinking and before going to bed
- Sip your drink slowly to make it last
- Avoid drinks with a lot of sugar
- Do not mix alcohol and exercise
Do you still have questions about diabetes and your health? Let Southern Hills Hospital & Medical Center be your resource—call our Consult-A-Nurse Healthcare Referral at (702) 880-2100.
Cell phone use has grown dramatically in the past decade; this has unfortunately led to a large increase in cell phone use while driving and distraction-related deaths. In this video, you can learn about one woman’s unfortunate experience with distracted driving. As a member of FocusDriven, a coalition against distracted driving, she explains the role that we all play in ensuring our roadways remain safe.
April is National Distracted Driving Awareness Month. Every year, thousands of senseless deaths and injuries are caused by drivers talking, texting, or browsing on their cell phones. Become part of the solution by resolving to drive without using your cell phone. Learn more about how you can keep the roadways safe by contacting Southern Hills Hospital & Medical Center at (702) 880-2100.
There are many sayings and myths that circulate about the effects of different types of alcohol , especially regarding their effects when mixed with one another or consumed in succession. One common saying describes one such belief: “Beer before liquor, never been sicker; liquor before beer, you’re in the clear.” Although many drinkers may confidently believe that mixing certain drinks can lead to certain illness, most experts say that the combination of drinks you consume matters much less than the total amount of alcohol consumed.
An explanation for this can come from the way that our livers process alcohol. The average person can drink and process one drink per hour, which equates to approximately 12 ounces of beer, five ounces of wine, or one shot of hard liquor. The amount of alcohol in the blood increases more quickly after drinking hard liquor, so beginning with liquors may encourage the drinker to not consume as much. When starting with beer, the effects are not felt as immediately and the drinker may continue to imbibe, consuming more alcohol volume in the process. This will increase their degree of intoxication, and therefore, their probability of becoming ill.
If you do decide to drink alcohol, remember to do so responsibly and in moderation. Drinking excessively can lead to serious health complications, including dementia, stroke, cardiovascular disease, social problems, liver diseases, and much more. If you or a loved one drinks excessively or participates in dangerous drinking habits, get help by contacting the healthcare experts at Southern Hills Hospital & Medical Center at (702) 880-2100. Our nurses are available 24 hours a day, seven days a week to answer your health-related questions.
When you or a loved one is suffering from illness or injury, seeking treatment from experienced medical experts can make all the difference. If you enjoyed reading about the health topics discussed in our recent blogs, you can learn more by looking through the links below or contacting Southern Hills Hospital & Medical Center at (702) 880-2100 for more information.
- Behavioral health problems can significantly reduce a patient’s quality of life, especially in older adults. You can read more about mental health in older adults on the National Institute of Mental Health website.
- Stress can have many adverse affects on your health. This fact sheet found on WomensHealth.gov answers many frequently asked questions about the causes of stress and how it can affect your well-being.
- Stroke is the leading cause of adult disability in the United States. The American Heart Association provides more information about the common effects of a stroke and how rehabilitation can help.
- Can you recognize the symptoms of a stroke? Visit the National Stroke Association website to learn some helpful ways to remember the warning signs of a stroke .
- Aphasia is a common disorder that can affect stroke survivors. You can learn more about this communication disorder from the National Aphasia Association.
- Undergoing regular screenings is vital in the prevention and cure of most types of cancers. The American Cancer Society lists the recommended guidelines for the early detection of cancer on their website.
- Quality prenatal care will help to detect and manage any complications with pregnancy that may arise. WomensHealth.gov provides more detailed information about prenatal care on their website.
- The March of Dimes website contains more information about the prenatal tests that are commonly used to monitor the health of the mother and her growing child.
- You can find out more about birth statistics in the United States on the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website.
- Minimally invasive surgeries have many benefits over traditional open surgeries—visit the Society for Minimally Invasive Spine Surgery website to read more about these advantages.
The neurological system is an extremely complicated system of nerves responsible for processing information and transmitting signals between different parts of the body. As one of the most complicated physiological systems, the neurological system requires advanced technology and knowledge in its care. At Southern Hills, our experienced staff offers just that. Read on to learn more about our cutting-edge neurological services.
- The Brain Lab
To meet the growing need of the communities of southwest Las Vegas, Southern Hills expanded our neurosurgery services and introduced the newly-equipped Brain Lab. The advanced equipment of this suite provides surgeons with more precise navigation of the brain while performing craniotomy procedures. Craniotomy is a surgery performed to resolve a wide variety of diseases, conditions, or injuries, including brain tumors, foreign objects, infection, or swelling of the brain tissue.
- Minimally Invasive Spine Surgery
With the development of new, more advanced surgical techniques, surgeons can now perform many surgical procedures much less invasively than in the past. Patients who suffer from debilitating neck or back pain can take advantage of the many benefits of these minimally invasive surgical procedures by putting their trust in the nationally-recognized Southern Hills Spine Program. In addition to a reduced recovery time, patients who undergo minimally invasive spine surgery will often experience less soft tissue damage, less pain, and improved function.
- Primary Stroke Center
Certified by the Joint Commission as a program of excellence, the Southern Hills Primary Stroke Center is a community leader in the diagnosis and treatment of stroke. Our program, staffed by a trained team of doctors and nurses, is also dedicated to education and outreach in the prevention of stroke and its unfortunate consequences.
Southern Hills Hospital & Medical Center is proud to offer these state-of-the-art health care services to southwest Las Vegas. Along with the other hospitals in the Sunrise Health System, we are committed to the continued health of the men and women in our community. If you would like to learn more about any of the services described above, please contact Southern Hills Hospital today at (702) 880-2100—our staff is happy to answer your questions.
- The Brain Lab
Atrial fibrillation, commonly called afib, is a common cardiac arrhythmia affecting roughly 2.3 million people in the United States. Men and women with atrial fibrillation do not only have an increased likelihood of suffering from a stroke, but afib-related strokes are also twice as deadly and can be severely disabling.
In this video, you can learn more about atrial fibrillation and how the condition relates to stroke. The host also describes how men and women with afib can be proactive in the condition’s management and, with the help of their doctor, work to prevent a stroke.
Every 45 seconds, someone in America suffers from a stroke. At Southern Hills Hospital & Medical Center, our Certified Primary Stroke Center is dedicated to the expert treatment of these brain attacks and educating the community about their risks. To learn more about your potential risks for a stroke, contact Southern Hills Hospital at (702) 880-2100.
The Best of Las Vegas Reader’s Poll results are in. While Southern Hills didn’t win the title of “Best Hospital,” we can proudly say that we took second place! We congratulate our sister hospital, Sunrise, for being voted “Best Hospital.”