Even though we already know that none of these substances are safe, we may still be tempted to try alcohol, tobacco, or drugs. What we may not know is that they pose considerably more danger to those of us with diabetes.


Everyone knows that drinking too much can have side effects. However, for people with diabetes even just a little alcohol can be dangerous. Alcohol on its own can lower blood glucose, while the sugary mixers in some drinks can raise our blood glucose. It is also difficult to recognise the signs of hypoglycemia when drinking. You may think that you are just feeling the effects of alcohol, when in fact blood glucose is falling rapidly.

Don’t forget: drinking is illegal until you’re 18! However, some teens still drink. If you decide to drink, make it as little as possible. Stick to one or two drinks only and avoid mixing of different wines. You should never drink on an empty stomach because the danger of hypoglycemia is too great. On the other hand, you should not pig out when drinking alcohol otherwise you will face the opposite problem. Also, check the alcohol and carbohydrate content of various drinks and only choose the ones with lower alcohol and sugar. You should always wear your medical ID bracelet, just in case.


Smoking is a reason for a huge number of deaths due to lung cancer and heart disease every year. It can also cause or worsen other conditions like asthma, sinus infections, allergies, and many other health problems. Smoking is double trouble for those with diabetes, who are already at risk from heart disease and kidney problems, no matter how old we are.

Illegal drugs

The dangers of illegal drugs are just more or less the same as alcohol. Some drugs can lower blood glucose, yet some others raise it. Symptoms of hypoglycemia may be masked by the effects of the drug, in this case you may put yourselves in jeopardy because you do not notice it.

Drugs can affect different people in different ways depending on the type, amount and purity of the drug. Drugs – legal or not – can cause serious problems with your health, the police, and for your family and friends. To avoid these problems, we should simply steer clear of drugs.

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