Find Information About:

Drugs & Supplements

Get information and reviews on prescription drugs, over-the-counter medications, vitamins, and supplements. Search by name or medical condition.

Pill Identifier

Pill Identifier

Having trouble identifying your pills?

Enter the shape, color, or imprint of your prescription or OTC drug. Our pill identification tool will display pictures that you can compare to your pill.

Get Started
My Medicine

My Medicine

Save your medicine, check interactions, sign up for FDA alerts, create family profiles and more.

Get Started

WebMD Health Experts and Community

Talk to health experts and other people like you in WebMD's Communities. It's a safe forum where you can create or participate in support groups and discussions about health topics that interest you.

  • Second Opinion

    Second Opinion

    Read expert perspectives on popular health topics.

  • Community


    Connect with people like you, and get expert guidance on living a healthy life.

Got a health question? Get answers provided by leading organizations, doctors, and experts.

Get Answers

Sign up to receive WebMD's award-winning content delivered to your inbox.

Sign Up

This content is selected and controlled by WebMD's editorial staff and is brought to you by Janssen Biotech, Inc.

Can You Have Sugar?

You might have heard that people with diabetes shouldn't have any table sugar. While some doctors say that, others take a more forgiving view.

Most experts now say that small amounts of the sweet stuff are fine, as long as they're part of an overall healthy meal plan. Table sugar does not raise your blood sugar any more than starches, which are found in many foods.

Remember that sugar is a carb. So when you eat a sweet food like cookies, cake, or candy, swap it for another carb or starch (for example, potatoes) that you would have eaten that day. In other words substitute, don't add. Ultimately, the total grams of carbohydrates matter more than the source of the sugar.

Account for any food swaps in your carbohydrate budget for the day. Adjust your medications if you add sugars to your meals.

If you take insulin, tweak your dose for the added carbs so you can keep up your blood sugar control as much as possible. Check your glucose after eating sugary foods.

Read food labels so you know how much sugar or carbs are in the things you eat and drink. Also, check how many calories and how much fat are in a serving.

Other Sweeteners

You can add artificial sweeteners to your food and drinks. Many have carbs, though, so check the label carefully. If necessary, you can adjust the other foods in your meal or medication to keep your blood sugar under control.

Certain sweeteners known as "sugar alcohols," such as xylitol, mannitol, and sorbitol, have some calories and slightly raise glucose levels. If you eat too much of these you can get gas and diarrhea.

Stevia is another option to make things sweet. It's a natural product that has no calories.

What About Alcohol?

It's a good idea to ask your doctor if it's OK for you to drink booze. If he says yes, only do it occasionally, and only when your blood sugar level is well-controlled. Most wine and mixed drinks have sugar, and alcohol also has a lot of calories.


man organizing pills

Essential Tips

Everyday ways to keep your condition in check.