Do you drink alcoholic beverages? Why or why not?

My question is Do you drink alcohoholic beverages? if so what do they do to your BG and how do you take advantage of/ cope with it?

I drink because I am loathe to give up that part of my prediabetic life, because I like the tast of wine with dinner, love the taste of single malt scotch and because I like the mellowing effect in the evening and because when out to dinner with DH I can eat a little bit more food if I also have the alcohol to lower my BG.

This article I found explains the method by which alcohol actually increases insulin production :

How Does Alcohol Lower Blood Sugar?

Diabetes is not only a risk factor of heart disease but also a serious medical disorder. Diabetics who do not have their blood sugar levels managed properly will lead them to many other complications and in some serious situations, blindness, amputation and even death can just happen to them.

In the past, drinking alcohol beverages has been known to lower blood sugar levels in diabetics. And now, results of a new study on animal, conducted by a group of researchers from the Karolinska Institute in Stockholm, revealed the mechanisms involved. The findings that were published in the journal Endocrinology show that alcohol produces a massive redistribution of blood flow within the pancreas.

According to what was observed in the study, alcohol seems to send more blood to a region of the pancreas called the islets. The islets contain cells whose main function is to produce insulin, the key hormone that lowers blood sugar levels in the body.

Using various techniques, the researchers showed that pancreatic islet blood flow is increased by about 4 folds in rats after an injection of ethanol. Overall blood flow to pancreas, by contrast, was not affected. The alcohol injection also led to increased insulin secretion, resulting in low glucose levels.

Further study also showed that alcohol induced pancreatic blood flow changes by affecting a chemical called nitric oxide and the vagus nerve, a nerve that is responsible for sending many important signals in the body.

Based on the results obtained from the study, the researchers recommend doctors to advise their diabetic patients, especially those with liver problems, to be very careful with alcohol, if they are taking drugs to lower blood glucose, since these drugs may increase the effects of alcohol.


I really enjoy a glass of (usually red) wine with my dinner. I limit myself to one or two glasses at the most. If I drink more than that, I can be assured of a hypoglycemic episode later on.

Having been Type 1 all my life, I’ve heard everything from “you can’t drink EVER” to “sure, enjoy your life while you can,” so I try to fall somewhere in between. I did some, shall we call it, research in my college years and found that if I stay away from, or very much limit my intake of, fruity drinks, I feel better while I’m out with friends. I like margaritas, so I’ll have one with dinner when out, but compensate for it. If I’m out for a night on the town, it’s Long Islands (diet Coke, extra lemon) and/or rum and Diet’s. I’m not much of a beer drinker, but I do enjoy the occasional glass of wine.
Lest I sound like a lush, I will also mention that my betrothed is a recovering alcoholic, so the occasional glass of wine has become that much more of a once-in-a-while treat, and the ladies nights out have all but ended. He’s been good for my liver. :smiley:

I drink… although less often now that there are children in my house. But, girls night is still every other Friday. =o) I have noticed that alcohol does lower my blood sugar. I usually just basal down a little and make sure that I do not drink on an empty stomach. Like Coco-- I stay away from fruity drinks most of the time, too- but, because they tend to make my bg spike instead of plummet. hmmmm…

I don’t drink, but I didn’t drink before my T1 diagnosis at 26, so was not a diabetes thing. I don’t care for the taste or the effects of alcohol. I am too much of a control freak to enjoy any feeling of not being in control:)

Only amateurs drink fruity drinks. I haven’t had anything with fruity stuff in it since college and I’m old enough to have drunk when the legal age was 18.

But wait I did have sangria at a fancy picnic and mojitos at a political fundraiser last summer but that was only to be socialable and I asked for a tall glass of club soda with which to dilute them. neither is my drink of choice since both would raise my BG instead of lowering it which is one of the the two goals of consuming alcohol, at least in my book…
I do miss beer especially when out with local friends to a brew pub, then I just have a sip of DH’s brew.

Biggest temptation is the the local annual pub crawl coming up soon this summer. I have to keep eating and testing as the night wears on and still end up walking home with BG too high or too low…

I used to really enjoy a nice bottle of wine with my husband. Between the two of us we could polish off the bottle easily. i only have a very occasional glass of red wine due to the drop in BG from it. now. I also loved to have a few shots of a very nice tequila. That drops me faster than the wine. I also enjoyed the nice ice cold beer. I seem to climb from those even though I only drink a Michelob Ultra now. I only have one maybe every four to six months for the beer. As far as fruity drinks go, i just can’t do them anymore.
I have a really, really nice bottle (expensive) of tequila and a really, really nice bottle of scotch, but they both will drop me faster than I can recover. I miss the wine and tequila most of all.


I don’t think I only had 2 drinks in my life and that was pre-DX…I don’t care for drinking and never did.

I drink bourbon, vodka and some schnapps and I do like a cold beer too :wink: . All of which lower my blood sugars. It was explained to me that while the liver is processing the alcohol it does not produce glucose. So the BG naturally drops, however you loss your low-low protection too. Be careful!


Hi guys, Im a 23 year old student and Im also Irish, Hence I love to drink and will drink at least 3 nights a week,
I really love cider but it is very sweet, I emailed the brewers of my favorite kind and found out the carb content, There is 20grams of carb per pint (584ml) so for 2-3 pints I will take normal insulin for this amount (4-6 units of novorapid). But if I am drinking more than that i will go down to half so 1unit of insulin for 20grams to allow for the drop that the alcohol will have.
I will sometimes drink wine but I find that there is no carb in it and there for it sends me hypo in the morning. If i am having wine i either eat extra or take less insulin.
If i am on a complete bender i generally do a test around 12am and deliberatly leave my sugars a bit high so I dont have to worry about it later on.
I hope this helps Eilis

I drink a lot less now than I did pre-DX, but that is mostly unrelated to D. Basically, I don’t drive and I don’t drink alone, so unless I’m at a party where there is something I’d actually want to drink… I rarely do. I might have a bottle of cider every now and again, and when I’m cooking with wine (which is infrequently enough), I’ll drink a glass or two. And I’ll drink as part of religious rituals.

Pumpers–i read this somewhere—to fend off lows–Reduce your basal by 50% after your last drink. Reduce it for one hour per drink.
3 drinks - reduce basal 50% for 3 hours.

well since being diagnosed, not…but looking back I can sure see that rather than being an obnoxious alternating with silly individual who could not hold her liquor, I was actually really really really low…my sister called me sick as a dog, which if you have seen my photos, you know I can relate to, wanting to know what she could have done to make her FBS skyrocket…we went thru the usual 20 questions and then I said, did you happen to have a drink with dinner ? She had…one small martini glass with something inanely named consisting of banana liquor, rum and cream. The cream set off her lactose intolerance and IBS and the other her sugar. I dont think she will make the same mistake again. Work has been really really bad lately and I am eying a bottle of Skye and wondering if diet coke with lime would work as a mixer. So far, it isnt THAT bad.

Great discussion :slight_smile: I have a glass of wine or a mixed drink every now & again socially. I always make sure to choose the non-sugary bevarages, have something in my stomach, and I don’t have problems. It is all about diabetes management which individuals have noted. I like homemade Berry Long Isand Ice Teas - Rum, Vodka, Gin, Triple Sec, 7-up Berry Plus (only 3 carbs per can), and the only sugar is a bit from Sweet & Sour …

Of course, my husband steps in and says “You should never drink because you are diabetic.”

That starts a whole other conversation which remain on the path of moderation when the debate begins :slight_smile:

The drunken diabetic issue has come up before many times, when drunken diabetics are arrested and jailed. There have been a number of cases where folks died to the low blood sugar part. The ADA won a legal case against the Police Dept in Philadelphia when there were a lot of these.

I never drink at home. I guess that makes me a social drinker. I do like to have a drink when I am hanging with my buddies. Most of the time it’s just diet coke, but sometimes I will have a Bud Lite or maybe a shot of tequila (patron of course) chased by red bull. Rarely do I over do it, but sometimes I would say I do. I have always found that yes, hyper follows. Just be careful, and if you find it hurting you, don’t do it. Control, thats key.

I love my red wine. I have been a type 1 diabetic for over 23 years so I have learned what I can drink. Hard liquor, no matter what you mix it with will drop your blood sugar. Beer raises it. If I stick to full bodied, red wine my blood sugar is not affected. I read someone on this chain saying they purposely go to bed a little higher after drinking quite a bit. I will do this if I happen to have hard liquor which is very rare. But, I drink regularly (mostly in moderation) and as long as I stick to a cabernet red wine, my blood sugars stayed the same. I learned these ropes surviving college as a diabetic.

Many people have stated that they don’t like the BG drop from drinking alcoholic beverages and I am surprised.

I take advantage of the BG drop that results from drinks with dinner to be able to eat MORE food. Friday night is my DH and my evening out to dinner, “marriage maintenance”, is what I call it. I get to eat a bigger meal and I use the two scotch and sodas to allow me to eat BOTH the bread that comes with dinner AND the potato or rice served with the entree since I usually only allow myself one or the other when not consuming alcohol. I’ve gotten pretty good at judging the amount of carbs that can go with 2 drinks and manage to keep the friday night post prandial within the same range as any other meal, although it did take some trial and error. I guess I gotta say that I a type 1.5 diabetic, not on insulin, not on meds doing very tight control on diet and exercise and still making about 50 to 75% of normal insulin output. The alcohol just encourages my betas to up their output for a bit, and while I may be shortening their ultimate life spans ( and perhaps mine as well I am sure some of you will be all too willing to point out) I guess that is the educated risk I am taking…

I do not drink. Only tried alcohol a couple of times, didn’t care for the taste, never was an attraction for me.

I do love my diet sodas, though. Mountain Dew, Pepsi, Dr. Pepper are my favorites. Before my diagnosis about a year ago I dearly loved sweet tea. McDonald’s sweet tea was one of my favorites. Can’t believe I have gone nearly a year (will be a year Friday) since I had a sweet tea or a regular soda. Wasn’t a real hard transition, most days, but the urge is still there to splurge once in a while.

“sure, enjoy your life while you can”

Niiice, I sure hope that wasn’t from someone in the medical profession :slight_smile: