We all have our vices.

I’ve given up drinking since I’ve been diagnosed (May 2010) and I’m trying to quit smoking as well. I’ve given up coffee because it makes me smoke, and I’m not trying to do that as much.


I’m 5’2, 115 lbs. Prior to being diagnosed as T1, I drank very heavily. I’m not going to blame college or my genetics, but I probably drank 5 to 6 days a week. I got sober 3 weeks before I was diagnosed and I’ve continued on that path.

I’m debating whether or not to incorporate alcohol back into my “diet.” And I don’t mean Jagermeister “time travel” blacking out into the next day drinking, but a glass of wine with dinner drinking.

My BGs are getting more under control, I think I go above 200 every so often, but I’m resting around 140 right now (at least on average, from what I can look back in my little notebook to see).

But I’m curious if anyone has gone through a similar experience. Does/did alcohol raise/lower your blood sugar? If you drink alcohol that has carbs in it (a dark beer was always my favorite) do you need to take extra insulin for that? Or none at all?

So many questions.


Hi Liz,

There was a somewhat recent discussion about red wine therapy here – if you do a search with those terms on discussions, you will find it. I’ve had half a glass of wine with dinner before, and 1 shot of whiskey on the rocks after dinner, on different nights – as long as you test your BG beforehand to make sure it’s at a safe level, limit yourself as recommended and have food in your stomach while or beforehand, you should be OK. It seems to have a lowering effect. As type 1, you need to be careful about that because of the simultaneous BG lowering effect of insulin. That’s what I know so far. All in moderation, as the saying goes.

I was under the impression that alcoholism sort of prevented being moderate about things? I don’t know why given your history you’d want to start drinking again.

I find wine makes me go sky high and then bottom out, but if I drink a mixed drink like rum and pineapple juice as an example my bg goes up a little but doesn’t crash later. If you are going to drink make sure you eat so if it does begin to drop you it won’t make you crash, and test every hour or so just to see how you react to it. I do agree with Frances however about waiting. If you were a heavy drinker before it may be too easy to get back into it again so soon, even if you have the best intentions not to. Quitting drinking and smoking are not easy. I personally don’t smoke and I only drink on occasion, but I have seen too many family members struggle with alcoholism over the years, and my boyfriend and father struggled horribly with smoking. It seems that people do better when they avoid the vices that were so hard for them to quit to begin with. Congratulations on being able to stay sober and improve your health. Keep up the good job, and good luck. :slight_smile:

Hi Liz,

The main thing to be mindful of is how different forms of alcohol will affect your sugars. Also as you are a new(ish) diagnosis watch out for the honeymoon period as alcohol and extra insulin do not mix. As a rule of thumb be very careful with beer, essentially its liquid bread. I always inject a little if I want some beer but the issue is that alcohol stops your liver producing glucose so you can see where this would be a problem if you are drinking and injecting. The trick is to not go overboard. If you over do it with the beer you will have a hyper night and a hypo morning. One way to avoid this is to reduce your long acting over night so that there is not as much insulin mixing with the alcohol. As a general rule also spirits and diet mixer will seriously lower your blood sugar so be careful of that. It can also be used to you advantage however, if you wanted a vodka and diet coke you could maybe lower your rapid. Also (and I don’t nessesarily recommend this) but say I’ve been out and I’ve had a few beers I might chase them with a vodka/ whisky to balance them out. I also find that red wine has a non effect on my bloods so it’s great to have with dinner as you don’t need to take any extra rapid with it or anything. Just bear in mind that what you neeed to remember is that overdoing it, regarless of you choice, will lead to an increased risk of hypos both through the night and the next morning. Of course all of this is to a certain extent subjective and the best way to control your BGs is to work out what suits you and how your own body reacts

Oh and for the record your ‘history’ looks pretty normal college stuff to me’ we all did it :slight_smile:

HI! I drink wine with dinner pretty much every night. It has a blood sugar lowering effect so I absolutely would never give insulin for it. In fact, we are all different, but I do the opposite and have to give myself less for my dinner because of it.

Best Wishes,
T1 for 30 years, diagnosed at age 3
Proud Mama to a 2 year old daughter and 7 month old twin sons :slight_smile:

I learned quickly after being fiagnosed with D, that I do not need to cover for beer or wine. I had the theory in the beginning that the Calorie KIng said XX carbs, so I started to cover the beer, and crashed and burned later. I no longer cover the carbs in the beer, but rather just the carbs in the meal and I do OK. I WAS ALWAYS TOLD TO MAKE SURE YOU HAVE CARBS IN YOU BEFORE I DRINK, and I use this a a rule. With an empty stomach, if I drink, my BG definitely drops.
I do not cover for mixed drinks either, because usually after a small increase in BG, I go right back down. But I am talking like one mixed drink or so, no more.


Hey Liz,

I use a pump and I never drank when I was on shots, so it might be a bit different, but the alcohol will do the same: raise BG then crash it over night. There are 2 really important things when you booze: 1)EAT… something with some carbs that’ll keep your BG from crashing at 5am, because you will wake up in your own bed and have no clue where you are/ what you’re supposed to do because you’re hypoglycemic (and it’s happened a BUNCH of times) it’s not fun. 2) Test before bed… Test before you start drinking, while you’re drinking and for sure before you go to sleep. If you’re a little high before drinking 11-13 mmol/L (approx 200) you won’t crash as low at night. If you’re getting lower before sleeping, get some carbs. It’ll be trial and error for a bit, but you’ll get it.

Like Jacq said, your college experience looks pretty normal. I’m out of school, and I still like to go out and party, you just gotta know where the line is, and don’t cross it too often. Read Danny’s blogs: “Getting clean in Sin City”

Hope it goes well for you!

Could you possiblly post a link to the blog? Sound like something I’d be interested in :slight_smile:

Link to the Blog:

haha damn teena, you’re too quick! it’s a beauty of a story

Loved that blog too! =) (aside from having fast typing fingers…LOL)

My previous endo recommended that I have 1 or 2 glass of wine with dinner. (He vowed me to secrecy) oops sorry doc.

T1 for 52 years since the age of 3.

Thanks very much

I remember going out to dinner with my parents once and I was a bit high but I didn’t want to inject so close to eating. I asked my mum to buy me a triple vodka and diet coke. Her face was priceless. She was even more shocked when 30 mins later my BS had dropped 5 points. My drinking has been medicinal ever since :stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye:

I compensate for beer slightly, it raises me then drops me, it is a fine art getting it right. My Endo told me if I was gonna drink I should do it in the afternoon! No worries about crashing at night. As with all things Diabetes moderation is key.

I have a drink after work and with dinner but it isn’t like those college days! I was seven days a week so it sounds like you had some restraint :slight_smile: Be warry of getting “wasted” it causes me severe blackouts and I am a totally different person.

Good luck finding the happy grounds.

Frances your post adds nothing to the thread. I see you like to throw your 2 cents in often. Please try and refrain from being the moral police or throwing jabs at fellow members. If you would like to say something that will add to a thread by all means say it, the “drive by posting” really is unnecessary.

I know diabetes can suck but we are all here trying to make it better.

This is amazing! Love it – medicinal drinking.

Hi Liz,

The only thing I haven’t read here that I would add is that it’s good to learn your drinks as well as you learn your food. I’m a beer drinker, myself, and have learned that while a Miller Lite has 3g of carbs, a Sam Adams can have as much as 30g… that’s a HUGE difference, particularly once you get to the 2nd (or 3rd one).

And yes - it’s important to pay attention to what happens several hours afterward, as we are all different.


i’ve recently discovered budweiser select 55 and it doesn’t do much to my sugars while drinking, but will go later if i don’t eat a snack…bud light lime is my fave, will give a few extra units while drinking it