Drinking and Diabetes


(anathia) #1

Okay, folks, I have read up a fair bit about drinking and diabetes, so I know about the risks of the sugars, and how alcohol affects blood sugar--can make it immediately high, but then long-term low by staying in your system for hours aftewards, etc.

 

But out of curiosity, when you have drinks socially, how many do you have?  I usually socialize with friends about once or twice a week, and I usually try to limit myself to one to two drinks.  But sometimes I find some drinks affect my blood sugar differently than others, and I only ever drink either beer or wine.  What do you drink, and how many do you have? Does it seem to affect you differently depending upon what you've eaten (more protein, fewer carbs, etc)?

 

Thanks!
Ana


(system) #2

To be brutally honest, I'm probably considered a recovering alcoholic at this point..but still an alcoholic. haha. I started drinking and smoking pot when I was 14, like most people at that age so i have a lot of experience with alcohol and diabetes. Every weekend I would drink and/or smoke. A mickey to myself of vodka usually each night, though I started off with cider.

When I turned 19, I was at the bar 3nights a week and then when i moved onto school full-time and two part-time jobs..to relax me and my roomie were back at the bar 3-5nights a week. I usually drink at least two nights a week still, fridays and saturdays..but more often than not, i'll have a beer as well a couple times a week(like as I type this and watch tv with the roomies). I've quit drinking on weeknights for teh most part(i don't really count one beer as drinking) as i work early in the morning Monday to Friday.

I drink mostly beer or double gin w/ OJs at home, followed by double gins w/ OJ, beer, shots of tequila and/or St. James(southern comfort, green bols, sprite with a bit of cranberry juice) at the bar. A couple nights a week, I will go to the pub for a beer or two with friends, or they come to my house.

On average on the weekends, I have no less than 3 double gin w/ OJs in a night. Usually at least 5 though. Sometimes I eat before hand, sometimes I eat a late snack in the afternoon and end up skipping dinner. If my blood sugar is already high, it takes me longer to get drunk than if my blood sugars are normal when I start drinking..so I usually give myself a correction dose and wait for it to come down if I'm high, before having my first drink.

Depending on what I drink, my blood sugar rises. I check consistently while drinking and I always take extra insulin before I start to cover the sugar I'm about to have. I can usually keep my blood sugars within decent range while drinking, unless I don't give myself enough insulin to begin with..but then I usually just give myself another shot. Of course, after a night of drinking, my blood sugar is always perfect haha.

I learnt early on by trial and error:

-straight hard alcohol(shots of tequila, vokda, whiskey) will make your blood sugar drop and usually FAST

-mixing hard alcohol with pop or juice(gin w/ oj, vodka w/ coke, etc) make your blood sugar go high

-beer generally will make your levels go higher as well because of the ingredients

-ciders and "bitch drinks" are the worst because they are pretty much pure sugar. i never drink them anymore because it takes twice the amount of insulin to cover the sugar, as when i drink gin w/ OJ.

my endo and family doctor know all this, and since i have no complications(*knock on wood*), my eyes are in perfect condition(my eye doctor has one of those fancy machines that takes a picture of the back of your eyes so they can look at your veins..and apparently mine look like a healthy adult who doesn't have diabetes woot), they aren't too concerned as long as i'm watching myself while doing it.

 

 

 


(joe) #3

[quote user="Ana"]  when you have drinks socially, how many do you have?  I usually socialize with friends about once or twice a week, and I usually try to limit myself to one to two drinks.  But sometimes I find some drinks affect my blood sugar differently than others, and I only ever drink either beer or wine.  What do you drink, and how many do you have? Does it seem to affect you differently depending upon what you've eaten (more protein, fewer carbs, etc)?[/quote]

hi Ana!   after 2, I usually get sleepy so that's about my limit ...mostly =) .  The affect and the problems that people get into (in my opinion) is due to what's happening in your liver.  Alcohol can slow the absorption of carbs, so you can get into trouble if you bolus for a meal and then drink, and then eat.  It's always better for me to graze on a few carbs while drinking something strong (scotch) or a beer is good because there are enough carbs in the beer itself.  Wine can be tricky becasue a real dry wine has very few carbs and a moderate percent alcohol. 

The calorie king has a pretty good cordial/beer section so you can sorta see what drinks have carbs.  as is with everything diabetes - people should drink responsibly, diabetics have to drink really, really responsibly!


(hcole) #4

I had my first three beers in over a year since I was diagnosed (woo!).  I just had the three and I was just fine.  I found that the beer brought my sugar up a bit, but I dance a lot when I am out, and was able to keep my blood sugar pretty normal.  I ate something when I got home so the alcohol wouldn't bring my blood sugar down in the middle of the night and that seemed to work out ok for me.  I am not a huge drinker, but it's nice to know I can have a few drinks every now and then again:)!


(msmagacz) #5

I have no ability to tolerate alcohol. I have one drink and my head is spinning. I have my one and switch to iced tea. I'm curious if anyone else has noticed since their diagnosis that they lose the ability to tolerate alcohol?


(clh983) #6

I probably drink more than I should being a diabetic.  I typically will have a glass of wine on my weekly movie night, and then will go out to the bar one night during the weekend.  It will be about 3-4 drinks out at the bar, unless if I'm driving (then it's Diet Coke for me!).  When I was in college though, I drank more than 3-4 drinks in a night.

As far as what I drink, I drink wine, beer, champagne, and mixed drinks (which I will have either with juice or diet pop).  All the alcoholic beverages I have had make my blood sugars rise!  So I always give myself extra insulin before I drink, and I check my blood sugars throughout the night.  Even with the extra insulin, I typically don't go low in the long-term.


(rainbow) #7

Generally, two to three glasses of wine or hard cider over the course of an evening.


(SarahSchmidt) #8

Hi Matt... I too have no tolerance for alcohol.  I don't get buzzed or drunk easily, but the next day I feel terrible.  I can barely function even if I've only had one drink.  It really messes me up, so I usually just don't drink anything.  It has been a little difficult because so many people don't understand while I'll have a diet soda or water when everyone else is drinking.  I get annoyed at having to explain my decision to abstain from alcohol.


(system) #9

[quote user="Sarah Schmidt"]

Hi Matt... I too have no tolerance for alcohol.  I don't get buzzed or drunk easily, but the next day I feel terrible.  I can barely function even if I've only had one drink.  It really messes me up, so I usually just don't drink anything.  It has been a little difficult because so many people don't understand while I'll have a diet soda or water when everyone else is drinking.  I get annoyed at having to explain my decision to abstain from alcohol.

[/quote]

I passed along my mother's advice to Rhena when she was asking about going to highschool parties and not drinking...and I think it may help you.

My mom told me a trick when I was in highschool that she uses to this day when she's at parties(she never drinks). Grab a diet coke(or another diet drink like sprite, whatever you wanna drink..). If people ask you why you're drinking pop/juice/whatever, tell them there's some rum in it(or if it's a clear or juice drink, tell them it's vodka, etc). People usually leave you alone and it's just a white lie that doesn't hurt anyone. My mom found it easier than having to explain that she doesn't like to drink.