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Beer & Type 2

Discussion in 'Type 2 Diabetes' started by bplum, Apr 30, 2013.

  1. bplum

    bplum · Newbie

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    Hi my husband is 44 fit and an ex footballer , 6ft 3in and 14 st - he was diagnosed as Type 2 about 10 weeks ago, although he suffered erectile dysfunction for about a year before and suffered a numbness in his feet also. My concern is he does not seem to have changed any of his previous habits apart from cutting out sugar and sweets - he still drinks about 8 bottles of beer on a Friday and Saturday and some nights during the week he has alcohol - should he be drinking alcohol as I am really concerned but do not want to sound like a nagging wife. He is on Metaformin (2 a day) I think 500mg. He is looking thin and he is really grumpy which is so unlike him.. thanks any advice welcome.
  2. bplum

    bplum · Newbie

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  3. viviennem

    viviennem Type 2 · Well-Known Member

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    Hi, bplum, and welcome.

    Alcohol per se is not a really a problem for someone on Metformin, despite what the package insert says. Basically, when you drink alcohol your liver stops working on glucose, instead it turns to handling the alcohol. This can lead to a lowering of blood glucose (because the liver isn't putting any out) and in extreme cases, a hypoglycaemic episode (hypo; = blood glucose too low). You can read up on hypos elsewhere on the forum.

    The packet leaflet warns against alcohol with Metformin just in case someone gets a hypo from drinking; it is something we need to be aware off, but on Metformin-only a hypo is unlikely. Unlike some other drugs used for diabetes, Metformin doesn't lower blood glucose levels very much. I drink (too much) red wine, and have been known to drink more than a bottle on a night :shock: :oops: without any ill effects - at least, not from the Metformin :lol:

    Having said that, some people on Metformin find they feel sick if they drink; some others get blinding headaches; so it's not something to dismiss altogether. Keep an eye on things.

    There are two other problems with alcohol; one is the calories, but you say your husband is thin; the other is the carbohydrate content - carbohydrate turns into glucose and raises blood glucose levels.

    Which beer does your husband drink? It's worth checking both the alcohol and the carbohydrate content and seeing if you can find a lower alcohol, lower carbohydrate beer that he likes. But I do agree with you - don't nag. Men :roll: !

    About his diabetes: he is a little young for a typical Type 2, but it is occuring in younger people these days; and you don't have to be fat - even skinnies can get it, though admittedly not many. Do you have a blood glucose testing kit, with a monitor and test strips? Some surgeries give them out to all diabetics; in other practices, they won't give them to Type 2s. We do need them, at least at first, to help us find out which foods spike us and which foods we can eat safely. It may be that your husband is not a typical Type 2 - there are different varieties. Monitoring his blood glucose regularly, and keeping a diary of the results, will help you both see what's going on. If need be, go back to the doctor.

    Have you had the "info for Newbies" that Daisy1 posts for all new members? You'll find it helpful, particularly if you do most of the cooking. Most of us on here find that we have to control our carbohydrate intake in order to keep control of our blood glucose levels. If I ate the diet the NHS dietitian recommended, my blood glucose levels would be through the roof. By limiting my carbs and eating more meat, fish and veg, I can keep my levels within the non-diabetic range - and it's no hardship! :D

    Don't be surprised if you find your husband is in denial. It happens to very many of us on first being diagnosed, and in my experience the more fit and healthy the newbie is, the more likely they are to deny their diabetes! It's not the end of the world - look at Sir Steve Redgrave! or Sir Ranulph Fiennes. It doesn't stop us doing anything; but we have to be aware of our condition and work with it, not against it.

    The time after first being diagnosed is worrying; you're both still finding your feet with this, and there's at lot of information to take in. You're among friends here; have a good read around, and ask anything you like - no such thing as a silly question! We'll help all we can, so do come back and tell us how you're getting on. Slow and steady is the way - he's not going to drop dead just yet! :D and there's no reason you can't both live full and active lives from here on.

    Do come back and give us an update - and get that testing kit!

    Viv 8)
  4. Daibell

    Daibell LADA · Master

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    Hi. Alcohol in itself is not a problem for diabetics although it's not a good idea to have large quantities with any medication. As other posts have suggested do get hold of a blood sugar meter and encourage your husband to check his sugars from time to time 2 hours after a meal. Has you husband had an HBa1C blood test yet? Hopefully he will be given one within the next month or so. If not make a GP appointment and ask about the test which will reliably show your husbands average blood sugar over the previous 3 months. You say you husband is looking thin and appears to be suffering some early nerve damage. As he is still quite young, it is always possible he has Late onset Type 1 diabetes rather than Type 2 which is why it important to get a meter and ask the surgery to do an HBa1C test. Daisy should be along shortly and provide various bit of info including the NICE levels your husband should be achieving. Try to get your husband to control the level of carbs he is having and have low-GI ones where possible. A meter will guide you on which foods affect him most and how much he needs to control the carbs and portion sizes (sugar is just another carb). Do come back with any further questions.
  5. bplum

    bplum · Newbie

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    I am in work right now but have a really quick question (I will send a longer email this evening) what kind of monitor do we need and can you buy them from Boots or somewhere?? His father is type 1 could it be genetic?? Thanks so much for your replies they are so informative - and my husband said something about his blood being 11!!! have no idea what he meant and I dont think he does either. And yes i think he is in denial as he has spent his life as a pro and semi pro footballer and now coaches football.....
    thanks again.. will chat later this evening :D
  6. LittleGreyCat

    LittleGreyCat Type 2 · Well-Known Member

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    There are many meters, and they are for sale in Boots and Lloyds amongst many pharmacies.
    If you have a PC at home it is worth while getting a tester which has a USB (or possibly bluetooth) connection so that you can save the results to the PC and look at them as a series.
    Easier (for me) than writing them all out longhand.

    It is thought that there is a genetic tendency to diabetes.
    If his father was T1 then there is probably an increased risk.

    I am a little concerned that at his age he is showing signs of complications which are usually the result of some years of poor control.

    Cutting out sugar and sweets is unfortunately not the comprehensive diet review required - but at least it is a start :)

    I think it is important that he starts testing as soon as possible so that you can both see what his current levels are, and then you will have a clearer idea of how his body is coping.
    Post the results here and we will help you interpret.


  7. daisy1

    daisy1 Type 2 · Legend

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    Hi bplum and welcome to the forum :)

    This is the information which we give to new members, mentioned by Viv and Daibell, and I hope you will find it helpful.


    Diabetes is the general term to describe people who have blood that is sweeter than normal. A number of different types of diabetes exist.

    A diagnosis of diabetes tends to be a big shock for most of us. It’s far from the end of the world though and on this forum you’ll find well over 30,000 people who are demonstrating this.

    On the forum we have found that with the number of new people being diagnosed with diabetes each day, sometimes the NHS is not being able to give all the advice it would perhaps like to deliver - particularly with regards to people with type 2 diabetes.

    The role of carbohydrate

    Carbohydrates are a factor in diabetes because they ultimately break down into sugar (glucose) within our blood. We then need enough insulin to either convert the blood sugar into energy for our body, or to store the blood sugar as body fat.

    If the amount of carbohydrate we take in is more than our body’s own (or injected) insulin can cope with, then our blood sugar will rise.

    The bad news

    Research indicates that raised blood sugar levels over a period of years can lead to organ damage, commonly referred to as diabetic complications.

    The good news

    People on the forum here have shown that there is plenty of opportunity to keep blood sugar levels from going too high. It’s a daily task but it’s within our reach and it’s well worth the effort.

    Controlling your carbs

    The info below is primarily aimed at people with type 2 diabetes, however, it may also be of benefit for other types of diabetes as well.
    There are two approaches to controlling your carbs:

    • Reduce your carbohydrate intake
    • Choose ‘better’ carbohydrates
    Reduce your carbohydrates

    A large number of people on this forum have chosen to reduce the amount of carbohydrates they eat as they have found this to be an effective way of improving (lowering) their blood sugar levels.

    The carbohydrates which tend to have the most pronounced effect on blood sugar levels tend to be starchy carbohydrates such as rice, pasta, bread, potatoes and similar root vegetables, flour based products (pastry, cakes, biscuits, battered food etc) and certain fruits.

    Choosing better carbohydrates

    Another option is to replace ‘white carbohydrates’ (such as white bread, white rice, white flour etc) with whole grain varieties. The idea behind having whole grain varieties is that the carbohydrates get broken down slower than the white varieties –and these are said to have a lower glycaemic index.
    http://www.diabetes.co.uk/food/diabetes ... rains.html

    The low glycaemic index diet is often favoured by healthcare professionals but some people with diabetes find that low GI does not help their blood sugar enough and may wish to cut out these foods altogether.

    Read more on carbohydrates and diabetes

    Eating what works for you

    Different people respond differently to different types of food. What works for one person may not work so well for another. The best way to see which foods are working for you is to test your blood sugar with a glucose meter.

    To be able to see what effect a particular type of food or meal has on your blood sugar is to do a test before the meal and then test after the meal. A test 2 hours after the meal gives a good idea of how your body has reacted to the meal.

    The blood sugar ranges recommended by NICE are as follows:

    Blood glucose ranges for type 2 diabetes
    • Before meals: 4 to 7 mmol/l
    • 2 hours after meals: under 8.5 mmol/l
    Blood glucose ranges for type 1 diabetes (adults)
    • Before meals: 4 to 7 mmol/l
    • 2 hours after meals: under 9 mmol/l
    Blood glucose ranges for type 1 diabetes (children)
    • Before meals: 4 to 8 mmol/l
    • 2 hours after meals: under 10 mmol/l
    However, those that are able to, may wish to keep blood sugar levels below the NICE after meal targets.

    Access to blood glucose test strips
    The NICE guidelines suggest that people newly diagnosed with type 2 diabetes should be offered:

    • structured education to every person and/or their carer at and around the time of diagnosis, with annual reinforcement and review
    • self-monitoring of plasma glucose to a person newly diagnosed with type 2 diabetes only as an integral part of his or her self-management education

    Therefore both structured education and self-monitoring of blood glucose should be offered to people with type 2 diabetes. Read more on getting access to blood glucose testing supplies.

    You may also be interested to read questions to ask at a diabetic clinic

    Note: This post has been edited from Sue/Ken's post to include up to date information.
  8. iantheb

    iantheb · Newbie

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    I still drink beer am on metaformin and am type 2 have Spina Bifida and im diet controlled
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