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The Question
Sun May 20 11:50:05 UTC 2012

i want to go out and have quite a few beers. i'm on metformin 850mg twice a day and lantus 8 units at dinner. Can I?
Asked By: rickycass22  
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Expert Answers (1)
2012-05-24 20:00:19.0

Thank you for your question to dLife. Eating out in restaurants and drinking alcoholic beverages can affect your blood sugar levels. There are a number of things to consider if you are planning on drinking alcoholic beverages while you are taking medications to help manage your diabetes.

Here are a few things to consider when dining out and drinking alcohol:

1. Be aware of the amount of carbohydrate you'll be consuming at the meal. The amount and/or timing of your medication may need to be adjusted.

2. If the meal is delayed, make sure that you test your blood sugar and determine if you need to adjust your carbohydrate intake.

3. Never drink alcohol on an empty stomach. Do not drink any alcohol if your blood sugar is below 80 mg/dl. Alcohol consumption could lead to (or worsen) hypoglycemia.

4. Alcohol consumption could affect your blood sugar levels several hours after drinking. Therefore, continue to test your blood sugar to make sure that you don't experience delayed hypoglycemia.

5. Never drink in excess (especially if you are dining in a restaurant and are unsure of the carbohydrate and calorie content of your food). Drink in moderation, especially while you are on diabetes medications.

6. Avoid mixed drinks that contain fruit juice or other sugary beverages. This combination may cause a significant rise in your blood sugar.

7. If you are going to drink alcohol, remember to carry fast acting carbohydrate with you (such as glucose tablets). If your blood sugar drops, you'll need a fast acting form of carbohydrate.

8. Sip on your alcoholic beverage slowly. Always drink a glass of cold water after each alcoholic beverage. This will help to quench your thirst and reduce your alcohol intake.

Answered By: Susan Weiner
Accreditations: R.D., M.S., C.D.E.,C.D.N.
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Community Answers (4)
2013-05-30 12:53:21.0

I love how the most accurate and helpful postings on this site tend to be the ones that get "flagged." The public postings did a much better job of answering this clown's question than the expert did.
Answered By: kenhampshire

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2013-05-22 17:01:44.0

When I began taking Metformin, my doctor specifically told me not to drink. (He actually said "call the paramedics first and you might live.") I cannot see how we can ignore that and go ahead and drink beer and think everything's going to be OK. When my medications say not to drink, I don't. That means I also disagree with the expert's answer and will get "flagged" as well.
Answered By: marilynnes

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2013-05-21 13:24:19.0

Read up on the medications you are taking. Most diabetic medicines tell you not to drink alcohol. The experts answer was not very thorough as to the medication you were taking. Don't be ignorant to the fact that you have a medical problem and drinking alcohol may kill you. The best thing for you to do is except the fact that your life style you use to have must change if you want to get better and keep blood glucose levels in the normal range. If you don't, you'll certainly have other medical problems, including possibly losing your foot, leg, etc., among other conditions that come with not managing your diabetes.
Answered By: bobij46

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2013-05-21 12:46:00.0

Let me answer you with a question to start with. You know you are diabetic and taking both a pill plus insulin, why would you want to go out and have "quite a few beers? It is obvious to me, and I am not being factitious, that you are not really concerned with controlling your diabetes or you would not want to do this. Things like "Quite a few beers" is probably the main thing contributing to your type 2 diabetes. You need to really change your lifestyle of eating and drinking because you are a type 2 diabetic. Eating right and controlling you eating lifestyle is the biggest thing you can do to help your diabetes. Stop doing the things you have done in the past that caused your type 2 and you will feel better, look better and regain the health you lost by your prior eating and/or exercise 'habits. I like you was on 1000mg of Metformin 2x @ day, and 16 units of lantus, was overweight but went to the gym regularly. All I changed was my attitude toward diabetes and my lifestyle of eating and am now off all meds! You can do it too, but not thinking the way you are by "having quite a few beers".
Answered By: dkashefska

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*** All information contained on dLife.com is intended for informational and educational purposes only. Our Expert Q&A is not intended to be a replacement or substitute for consultation with a qualified medical professional or for professional medical advice related to diabetes or another medical condition. Please contact your physician or medical professional with any questions and concerns about your medical condition.

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