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The 9 effects of alcohol and 7 helpful guidelines for you.
Diabetes and alcohol consumption do’s and dont’s. Learn about the effects of different types of alcohol on diabetes as well as guidelines on alcohol consumption for diabetic people.
If you have diabetes, drinking alcohol will cause your blood sugar to rise.
Plus, alcohol has a lot of calories. If you drink, do it occasionally and only when your diabetes and blood sugar level are well-controlled. If you are following a calorie-controlled meal plan, one drink of alcohol should be counted as two fat exchanges.
It is a good idea to check with your doctor to see if drinking alcohol is safe for you.
Here are some other ways that alcohol can affect diabetes:
- While moderate amounts of alcohol can cause blood sugar to rise, excess alcohol can actually decrease your blood sugar level – sometimes causing it to drop into dangerous levels.
- Beer and sweet wine contain carbohydrates and may raise blood sugar.
- Alcohol stimulates your appetite, which can cause you to overeat and may affect your blood sugar control.
- Alcohol may also affect your judgment or willpower, causing you to make poor food choices.
- Alcohol can interfere with the positive effects of oral diabetes medicines or insulin.
- Alcohol may increase triglyceride levels.
- Alcohol may increase blood pressure.
- Alcohol can cause flushing, nausea, increased heart rate, and slurred speech.
- These may be confused with or mask the symptoms of low blood sugar.
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People with diabetes who drink should follow these alcohol consumption guidelines:
- Do not drink more than two drinks of alcohol in a one-day period if you are a man, or one drink if you are a woman. (Example: one alcoholic drink = 150ml of wine, 44ml “shot” of liquor or 340ml beer).
- Drink alcohol only with food.
- Drink slowly.
- Avoid “sugary” mixed drinks, sweet wines, or cordials.
- Mix liquor with water, club soda, or diet soft drinks.
- Always wear a medical alert piece of jewellery that says you have diabetes.
- Always control blood sugar levels to prevent diabetic health complications.
So, whatever the occasion you may be planning for, always remember to keep the necessary medication you may need to supplement and help control sugar levels, appetite and cravings, close at hand.
We all have questions.
Below are some of the answers to the most common questions that you need to know.
Which is worse – Type 1 or Type 2 Diabetes?
“Worse” is a harsh comparison. The difference between these two types of Diabetes is that Type 1 requires insulin, and it never goes away. Type 2 requires consistent effort and can be managed over your lifetime.
What is the normal HbA1C level?
It is generally accepted that you should maintain HbA1C below 8%. The following guidelines are suggested by the South African Diabetes Association:
- 4 – 6% Non-diabetic range.
- < 7% Well-controlled diabetic 7% – 8% Acceptable diabetic control > 8%
- Poor diabetic control needs attention.
What is the main cause of Diabetes?
Diabetes (Type 1) is usually a predisposed or genetically inherited condition. Diabetes (Type 2) is caused by lifestyle choices. Gestational Diabetes can be caused by either genetics or lifestyle choices.
What are the first signs of diabetes?
- Excessive thirst over a prolonged period.
- Increased frequency in the need to urinate.
- Significant weight loss or gain.
- You find yourself fatigued, tired, and irritable, on a regular basis.
- Open or ruptured wounds take a long time to heal.
- Blurred vision.
- Tingling sensations in your hands and feet.
Can you get life insurance if you have Diabetes?
Yes. AllLife can help you get up to R10million life insurance, as either a Type 1 or Type 2 Diabetic.
Can I test myself for Diabetes?
Although you can easily test your own blood glucose levels at any time, only your doctor, nurse, or clinic team can confirm a Diabetes diagnosis. This is because a series of specific tests are required for diagnosis.
Up to R10 million Life Cover for people living with Diabetes.
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What will I be covered for?
With just one phone call, you could be offered comprehensive Diabetic Life Cover and Diabetic Disability Cover (optional). A simple underwriting process is completed once you’ve signed up, usually consisting of common blood tests, to determine if full cover can be continued.
What happens after I‘m covered?
After you’re covered you can enjoy the benefit of our Health Control Programme where we remind and assist you when it comes to regular tests and checkups, ensuring that you live a healthy and happy life.
Remember, life cover gets more expensive as you get older, so your premium will never be lower than it is today.