Drinking alcohol

By lucyjane1993 Latest Reply 2014-10-08 01:05:37 -0500
Started 2013-09-20 18:51:21 -0500

I'm Newley diagnosed to type 1 diabetes and I'm 19 years old just wanted to know how I go about drinking alcohol when I go out and what alcohol I would be able to drink and how much I don't go out a lot because I also have a baby daughter but would just like a bit of info for future reference thanks guys :) xx

28 replies

ari's mom
ari's mom 2014-10-08 01:05:37 -0500 Report

I am so glad that you asked this question, I have a 7yr old daughter who is a T1 as well, needless to say I have a LONG time before I have to worry about her drinking, but you're a mom so you know even when they're young you worry about things that are in the distant future LOL, and alcohol has been one of my biggest fears. From what I've read in books, drinking will cause a sudden spike and then a major drop in you blood glucose, so my main thought would be:
1. Drink in moderation (maybe 1-2 drinks tops)
2. Eat with your drink or before drinking (if your glucose runs on the lower side normally eat about the same amount of carbs you would for a snack 10-20 carbs and don't correct with insulin) and definitely don't drink on an empty stomach, try to have a complete meal before hand.
3. Most importantly have someone with you that knows you are diabetic and is responsible that can call someone if something goes wrong, be sure to keep glucagon with you and in a place they can get to easily and quickly, be sure they know where it is and how to use it properly, just in case (not implying you'll need it most likely you won't but it's important to have someone with you just in case and that they know what they're doing)
4. Keep a fast acting carb close by and monitor your BGL often just in case you do drop low and to see how you react to what for future reference, I'm sure alcohol is like food and each type will possibly affect you differently so for your record keep a log of what you drank and your BGL so that you know what type of alcohol is best for your individual body.

SweetinNJ 2014-10-02 13:24:06 -0500 Report

I have also heard (From another TYPE 2 Diabetic, that Scotch was the only drink she'd have that didn't effect her BS! (I know nothing.. this is just what she does).

schutch 2013-09-24 16:33:51 -0500 Report

An occasional drink is probably OK. However, alcohol is metabolized differently in different folks. It can go up real fast, but plummet even faster. Until you have experimented with a drink or so, with very close BS monitoring, I'd be very careful with any type of ETOH. Some folks do better with lite beer, some with clear liquors. But an ounce of alcohol has over a hundred calories, and they are metabolized very quickly. Be adult and watch your intake. And if you are going to drink, be sure you have a diabetic bracelet or necklace on. The cops can't tell the difference.

KG66 2013-09-23 15:32:04 -0500 Report

I am also 19! I'm from Canada where I am I can legally drink not. I always make sure to have glucose tabs or a granola bar or something. As you drink your sugar will go up, but don't be surprised if it drops quickly. I had a scary moment when my blood sugar dropped so quickly that I fainted. Always be sure to have food in your system and when I say food I mean carbs. Don't take insulin for the alcohol you drink as alcohol will already bring your sugar down on it's own. Um… that's all I can really think of at this moment! lol

Silicone eyes
Silicone eyes 2013-09-23 09:52:12 -0500 Report

You have a lot going on. Since your newly diagnosed and a new mother, your hormones and metabolism will be all over the place. That being said, I always believed in being informed and moderation. Not sure what the options are in the UK, do you guys have light beer? One or 2 of those are ok. I was also told to avoid liquors, and that clear alcohol was better, vodka, tequila, gin. Cut it down with Diet tonic or 7up; make sure it's diet. A drink here or there isn't the end of the world, just make sure it's in moderation, test frequently, and make sure to eat something.

cizzy21 2013-09-22 20:26:30 -0500 Report

Please, please be careful!! When I used to drink alcohol, my blood sugar dropped dangerously low, and many times I passed out, not from intoxication, but from low blood sugar. Another thing I remember is when I was newly diagnosed, I turned to alcohol alot because I didn't want to face the reality that I had diabetes. You know, the whole denial thing. I won't even try to tell you what to do or not do, just letting you know my thoughts. Take care of yourself lucyjane!

taygrace143 2013-09-21 23:36:10 -0500 Report

I had the same issue with the drinking when I was about your age. What I noticed is that no matter what you drink it's going to make your sugar spike but in my case I would get low in the middle of the night. Best advice I could give is test often and make sure you eat before and snack while drinking.

One Step at a Time
One Step at a Time 2013-09-21 17:38:30 -0500 Report

Where are you from that a 19 year old goes out and drinks?

lucyjane1993 2013-09-21 18:47:07 -0500 Report

Wigan in England

One Step at a Time
One Step at a Time 2013-09-21 18:51:36 -0500 Report

Gotcha. I'm in the US and it threw me for a second.

You'll have to be careful- some alcohol will raise my BG, and some will lower it. Don't have much at first, until you know what works for you.

I personally like tequila, but margaritas are out of the question. BUT: 1 oz tequila, juice of 1 lime, over ice with a splash of diet sprite is pretty tasty.

lucyjane1993 2013-09-21 19:01:58 -0500 Report

Ahh :) you have to be 21 in the US don't you? I'll try the tequila idea when I get my head round it all only just getting used to changing what I eat

lucyjane1993 2013-09-21 16:13:34 -0500 Report

This is the kind of info I've wanted to see so i can get an idea I know I won't be able drink a lot anymore I was only gonna have one or two but try haveing one at home first before drinking out to see how it goes thanks for the info :)

Jim Edwards
Jim Edwards 2013-09-21 16:05:18 -0500 Report

I suspect some are going to jump your case for drinking alcohol, but I will not. I will tell you my experiences and you can take it or leave it. Beer, glad I don't love it, because a mug will jump my blood suger 75 to 100 points in less than 1/2 hour, so my beers are limited to about 6 cans…a year. A hot summer day after push mowing the lawn is a good time. Mixed drinks as in alcohol mixed with soda or fruit juice, pretty much the same thing. Straight alcohol…my preference is Brandy or Vodka. These, by themselves or mixed with water actually drop my BS for the first 6 oz of intake. You are much younger than me and with a little one. You need to be responsible in all you do. If you OD on alcohol and by ODing, I do not mean getting drunk, I mean consuming too much for your body to handle, the effects are both long term and short term. Short term may be a hospital stay, long term blindness and.or amputation. Not trying to scare you sober, but until you know how 1 beer, 1 whiskey sour, 1 whatever effects you, you need to err on the side of conservative. Test your BS. Have 1 drink, test your blood sugar, 20-30 minutes later and see what happens. If it has gone up, test again in 15 minutes. IF still going up, test in another 15 mins, until it stabilizes. So Miss Lucy, your nights of 4-6 drinks are over with…forever, but you may be able to have 1 or 2. Wish you the best,,,,now I will read what the other responses were (I don't like to read them first as thay might influence what I write! LOL!) Jim

Just Joyce
Just Joyce 2013-09-21 12:36:06 -0500 Report

If these people were your friends, they would understand it if you didn't drink. You could sip lemon water or a diet soda. You have to decide what is more important, drinking with friends or your health and baby. Most cocktails are made with a fruit juice, sugar or both. You cannot control what the mixture is made of or its sugar content.

What happens if you have more than one drink and you end up going to the hospital because you spiked your blood sugar? Who is going to be responsible for your baby until you are back on your feet?

As someone who is newly diagnosed, you don't know what one drink will do to you so I wouldn't risk it. The problem is with some people, they can't have one drink and call it a night so moderation goes out the window. When I was diagnosed, I gave up alcohol and only have it once in a while. I prefer to be lucid and keep my blood sugars balanced. If I do have alcohol it is anything that can be mixed with my flavored crystal light or diet soda and I limit it to one drink.

This is a decision only you can make. There is plenty of research on alcohol and diabetes. Please read it and make a decision after educating yourself.

ShellyLargent 2013-09-20 23:27:05 -0500 Report

If these are truly your friends, they will understand that you need to think of your health and well being and are choosing not to drink that night. Because of the dangers of going into a hypoglycemic episode very quickly with alcohol, you need people around you that are aware of the symptoms and not incapacitated themselves. There's also the danger of law enforcement not knowing the difference between falling down drunk or hypo reaction. It could literally be a life or death situation. Be the bigger and more mature one of the group and choose not to drink that night. You can still go out and have fun with them. Chances are they will need a designated driver for that night. Besides, just think of the fun and, the You Tube videos, you'll have being the only one sober enough to remember the night's activities! Blackmail could be a good thing… Seriously though, it's really not worth the risk…

Just Joyce
Just Joyce 2013-09-21 12:38:56 -0500 Report

Shelly this is excellent advice. Law enforcement won't know and if she is arrested because they think she is falling down drunk when she is actually having a diabetic episode this could prove to be very bad for her.

I have never figured out why people associate drinking with having fun. You can have just as much fun in a bar sober. Besides you will be the only one who remembers what happened. You are so right, it isn't worth the risk.

lucyjane1993 2013-09-20 19:38:58 -0500 Report

I haven't had alcohol or been on a night out since before I got pregnant and obviously I will put my health and my daughter first but was just asking because its my friends birthday coming up soon and we will be going out for drinks to celebrate

Jim Edwards
Jim Edwards 2013-09-21 17:39:16 -0500 Report

LJ, the only problem i see with this is what some of the others have pointed out. when I use to go out for drinks, I didn't want to be asking for a Coke or Ginger Ale, if I were to go out now, I would just ask for water with lemon. Why? In a social setting where everyone else is drinking I would find it too easy to drink more than 1. In addition to that, even though I have never driven under the influence, I do not want to take that chance, knowing that one drink may screw me up enough that I may end up driving as if I am drunk. I now only drink at home or at a house where I am staying put. Jim

Just Joyce
Just Joyce 2013-09-21 12:42:39 -0500 Report

True friends who know you are diabetic will never ask you to go out for drinks. I go out with friends to dinner who have a drink. I order unsweetened ice tea or diet soda. They NEVER ask me if I would like a drink because they know I shouldn't have it.

What are these friends going to do if you are hypo from the drinks you have? Are they going to call 911 if you need it? Are they going to see that you get home safely? You also have to keep in mind, alcohol and medications do not mix.

haoleboy 2013-09-20 19:32:28 -0500 Report

this is not going to be popular but as a father (and grandfather)I feel it needs to be said …
take care of your health and your baby. plenty of time for going out later in life,
but for "future reference": http://www.diabetes.org/food-and-fitness/food...

haoleboy 2013-09-20 20:04:40 -0500 Report

that works … everything in moderation. have to admit when I was your age I didn't know the meaning of the word moderation. my excessive lifestyle is what put me in the fix I am today.
check out that site I linked. some real basic info there. It seems counter-intuitive but your biggest risk is hypoglycemia (low blood sugar).

Jim Edwards
Jim Edwards 2013-09-21 17:34:40 -0500 Report

I know the high BS has long term issues, but in reality the low BS is what scares me as I begin to lose my abilty to think clearly. The highest I have ever been has been 450 and I had no side effects that I saw at the time. Now I know the main one when mine is high is that I sweat for no apparent reason.