In every issue of WebMD the Magazine, we ask experts to answer readers' questions about a wide range of topics, including questions about what's true and not true in the field of medicine. For our July/August 2012 issue, we interviewed a researcher from the Joslin Diabetes Center about alcohol and diabetes.
Q: My husband has diabetes and says it's OK to drink alcohol. Is that true?
A: While it's fine for some people with diabetes to drink some alcohol, your husband's blanket statement is...
Wear medical identification at all times. In an
emergency, medical identification will let people know how to care for you.
Talk with your doctor or pharmacist about how to get medical identification.
Carry some quick-sugar foods with you at
all times. These include raisins, hard candy, or fruit juice. Keep some in your
car in case you have low blood sugar while driving and need to stop and eat
Plan your trips so that you will not miss or delay a
meal, if possible. If a trip will delay a meal, eat a snack before
Always have your home blood sugar meter with you, and
check your blood sugar level if you think it may be low. If you have low blood
sugar often or you do not get the usual symptoms of it, test your blood sugar
before you drive. Consider having someone else drive.
blood sugar is below 70 mg/dL before you drive, do not drive until you have
eaten something to raise it. Before driving, check to make sure it has risen to
your target range.
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Your level is currently
If the level is below 70 and you are experiencing symptoms such as shaking, sweating or difficulty thinking, you will need to raise the number immediately. A quick solution is to eat a few pieces of hard candy or 1 tablespoon of sugar or honey. Recheck your numbers again in 15 minutes to see if the number has gone up. If not, repeat the steps above or call your doctor.
People who experience hypoglycemia several times in a week should call their health care provider. It's important to monitor your levels each day so you can make sure your numbers are within the range. If you are pregnant always consult with your health care provider.
Congratulations on taking steps to manage your health.
However, it's important to continue to track your numbers so that you can make lifestyle changes if needed. If you are pregnant always consult with your physician.
Your level is high if this reading was taken before eating. Aim for 70-130 before meals and less than 180 two hours after meals.
Even if your number is high, it's not too late for you to take control of your health and lower your blood sugar.
One of the first steps is to monitor your levels each day. If you are pregnant always consult with your physician.
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