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Alcohol and carbs

Discussion in 'Ask A Question' started by Cocosilk, Jan 16, 2021.

  1. Cocosilk

    Cocosilk Gestational · Well-Known Member

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    Can someone explain to me how it works when you drink a glass of wine with a plate of pasta?

    I know alcohol causes your liver not to function correctly and can prevent it from producing glycogen and so can lead to hypos. But if you are eating carbs while having an alcoholic drink, what will your blood sugar do?

    Does the alcohol delay your body from dealing with the sugars and your blood sugar stays low until the alcohol wears off?

    and then do you have a late spike?

    Or does it mean your blood sugar just doesn't spike as high if you include alcohol with a meal that contains carbs?
     
  2. In Response

    In Response Type 1 · Well-Known Member

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    The reason for low blood sugars after alcohol is that the liver stops dripping glucose to focus on the toxins in the alcohol.
    The carbs from the food you eat still make it into your blood in the same way as usual. You are just missing the background glucose.

    If you are following a basal-bolus insulin regime, the basal mops up the background glucose drip if that drip isn't there, you have too much insulin and your blood sugars drop too low.
     
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  3. Oldvatr

    Oldvatr Type 2 · Expert

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  4. Oldvatr

    Oldvatr Type 2 · Expert

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    I don't think anyone knows why this happens. I am a T2D on orals only, and I respond differently.

    The experiments I have done so far (n=1) is that I do get lower blood sugars that are measurable by my bgl meter. The effect shows up in my FBG the next morning, so it is a sustained low. But I do not go hypo, just low. I have never blacked out and only once had a dizzy spell (and I used to drink heavily). One thing I did discover is that it is retroactive, in that I can eat a carby meal, get the spike of 3 or more mmol/l clicks, then take a shot of a spirit such as a whisky, and see the BGL drop into low 5's by the 4hr PP time, and it remains low most of the night. It is like the glucose has disappeared.

    I know also that over a prolonged period of drinking bouts, my weight, and girth increases, so that indicates the glucose gets stored away. Now I suffer from Insulin Resistance, so I have a feeling the alcohol is either reducing my IR by interfering with whatever drives IR, or it is increasing my insulin output. It is not (as my original thoughts were) that it was changing my blood chemistry such that my bgl meter was giving a false reading.

    For me, it works to my advantage, but it is not a tool that I would recommend as a treatment.
     
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  5. Ronancastled

    Ronancastled Type 2 · Well-Known Member

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    I've ran a few tests with beer & wine while eating & not.

    I drank 3 pints of Guiness on an empty stomach & took a 1 hour essentially while I was still drinking, came in at 6.1 which pleased me no end.
    I find wine is different gravy & slams me straight away down to the low 4's.
    In fact if I'm going out to a restaurant, when we could do such things, I could eat guilt free if I was drinking wine.

    Doesn't appear to effect the morning FBG but mine is normally low anyway.
    Problem with alcohol for me is that it gives me the munchies.
     
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  6. Cocosilk

    Cocosilk Gestational · Well-Known Member

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    I'm eating mostly low carb but I get the feeling that if I want to have a glass of wine, I almost ought to have a small serving of carbs with it so as not to go too low. But I also felt like, ooh , I must try this homemade pasta since it's the first time I have ever made it, let me just have a glass of wine with it to make sure I don't spike too high.

    But it's probably no better than self-medicating with caffeine for depression and alcohol for anxiety. Hard to tell if it's doing more damage than good. Or maybe it does whatever we believe - if we think positively about it, maybe it's going to help :p
     
  7. Oldvatr

    Oldvatr Type 2 · Expert

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    Lomg term use seems to be problematic, certainly.
     
  8. MrsA2

    MrsA2 Type 2 · Well-Known Member

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    I'd eat the pasta sauce, but leave out the pasta! Hubby did homemade meatballs in tomato sauce this week. He and family had theirs over spaghetti. Mine came in a bowl and was just as good. I might have had extra cheese on top. :rolleyes:
     
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  9. Cocosilk

    Cocosilk Gestational · Well-Known Member

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    I usually would skip pasta altogether. Zucchini strips are not too bad to cut the sauce somewhat. But the hours we spent rolling our own pasta from durum semolina and egg, I had to know the result. A half cup serve of cooked pasta I seem to get away with every now and then since I'm low carb most of the time. But the problem with pasta that's that good is it's hard to stop at a small serving, isn't it? In which case, skipping it altogether makes sense. But I am still happy that I had my 6 year old making her own pasta for dinner. If you had to make your own pasta from scratch every time, you certainly wouldn't be able to eat as much - (at least not unless you had a proficient granny making it all for you in her free time - it took me an hour at least to roll out about one small serve worth of fettucini :hilarious:
     
  10. Ushthetaff

    Ushthetaff Type 1 · Well-Known Member

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    Ha the old alcohol and low blood sugar story , to be honest I’ve tried to understand it and have decided not to bother but have just accepted it as one of those “ magic “ things that happens with diabetes lol bit like eating same thing one day and having diff blood sugar or how you mum knows your not telling the truth. , I know it’s not a technical way of dealing with it but it works for my simple brain, the long and short of it is if I drink alcohol ( large amounts which these days is extremely rare ) I don’t take any insulin or very little , in fact not enough as a normal bonus for what I eat, result being I get an initial spike in bs but don’t get the big drop when I’m sleeping.
     
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