So here it goes…I am a 20 year old female, and I have never drank or been drunk in my life. I was diagnosed at 14, so I just never really started to drink, or experiment with it like my friends did. Just to let you know, I live in Canada, where the drinking age is 19, so this is all legal. I really have no desire to get “hammered” or anything, but I was wondering what my options are in regards to moderate (one or two drinks) alcohol use? So basicly I am asking, How does a diabetic drink safely?
The same way you do pretty much anything, count carbs, test, bolus? The Calorie King books have a pretty comprehensive listing for various flavors of beer, wine, hard liquor, mixed drinks, etc. I generally have a better time when I use the booze as an adjunct to some type of snacks too but I have gotten by on light to minimal food. It’s probably more risky though.
I drink safely by not drinking at all. First few things the Endo told me when I first went to him was to stop smoking(which I don’t), and drinking(moderately 2 or 3 when out, so now zero).
eat before, stay away from high carb stuff, drink slowly and always in moderation. Stop early enough in the night that you can stay awake to see how your body reacts.
Never was a big thing for me, don’t need to be any more crazy than I already am. And when going out, the bartenders would look at me like I was from Pluto when i would ask for Rum and Diet Coke Please. Did pretty good though, stayed with rum or bourbon and a diet coke - could get a good buzz without being to out of blood sugar control! (And this was before the portable meters, insulin pumps, and CGMS) Today a couple of sips and I’m gone - oh well!
As for safety and drinking - like anyone else - you drink, someone else drives and for us diabetics, I’d make sure you have someone else capable of testing your sugars if you begin to act stranger than “normal” and maybe plan on a finger stick or two that night also until you figure out what does and does not work for you.
I just asked a similar question a few days ago. I had a successful “regular” drinking weekend. I had two glasses of red wine yesterday and one glass of white today. I dropped about 40 points after two glasses and zero food yesterday. Today I stayed the same after one glass and some carrots with ranch. So as other members told me: it’s hard to notice if your low when you drink because the symptoms are similar to being “tipsy” or feeling drunk. Being safe: one drink at a time, carry snacks and glucometer, and make sure someone with you knows what’s going on. Everyone’s bodies will have different responses. The only time that I don’t need a snack is if I have a margarita: tequila, triple sec, and lime juice. I won’t have more than one but the lime juice is enough sugar but not too much. Good luck and be safe!
For me personally, it’s not worth it to drink unless I am getting hammered. Unlike my friends, I can’t sit around and drink 10 beers until I’m tipsy (beer has so many carbs) so I drink rum and diet, or vodka and diet, which gets you pretty drunk pretty quick. I don’t drink often, and I’ve never tested while under the influence, but nothing bad has ever happened D:
I drink vodka martinis, they’re basically zero carbs, and I always have a snack while I’m drinking. One of the best things that you can get is a CGM. I swear by mine. I can watch it and see what way I’m trending and correct it, plus it makes it easy for my close friends I’m drinking with to see if I’m having issues or I’m just wasted! I’m a firm believer in partying in moderation. So, have fun and have someone with you that knows what to look for if you go low!
“Partying in moderation” and vodka martinis? heh heh heh!
Like that huh? Hehehe!
Yup. Or gin martinis…
I’m 27 and I’ve had diabetes for 21 years. Honestly, everyone is different. Part of it is your tolerance and your diet, but more importantly, some alcohols actually cause your blood glucose to drop, fast. So, while you think you’re taking insulin for the carbs and everything will be fine later, your body is about to play a nasty trick on you.
I’ve had this happen before where I was 1 drink over my limit and I woke up 13 hours later in my friend’s apartment after getting a glucagon shot (which keeps food from digesting and your body from clearing out alcohol). At 6’ 180lbs, I’m alive, but I could have died that night and there’s no logical explanation for why I’m alive. I would discuss it with your doctor and/or a Certified Diabetes Educator (CDE) that is familiar with your personal medical history. They can also give you a medical explanation for why some booze are worse to drink than others (besides alcohol content).
I hope this helps.
I had similar questions when I was first diagnosed. I was a heavy drinker when I was diagnosed 8 months ago and for the first six months, I didn’t drink at all because I didn’t know if I could drink responsibly. I’ve found out a few things…
-The reason your doctor may tell you not to drink is because alcohol has an effect on everyone differently…just like diabetes. And they don’t want you to get so drunk you forget your are diabetic and not care for yourself.
-I mostly stick with wine and gin martinis. I used to be a heavy beer drinker and I have yet to have one since I started drinking again. When I drink liquor, I usually drink one drink over the course of two hours.
-I maybe drink…once every two weeks. But when I drink, I only have one drink because of my alcohol tolerance. Also, men have a different alcohol tolerance/absorption rate than women…so often men with diabetes can have two, and women can have one, says the endo…
-I try to ALWAYS eat something when I’m drinking, whether it’s peanuts or a meal with a glass of wine, just to make sure I’m not putting alcohol into my stomach with no food to slosh it around with.
-If you’re ever in doubt, test yourself to see how your blood sugar reacts to alcohol. Again, everyone reacts differently to alcohol. But it’s always good to know.
I hope this helps!