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Blood sugars and alcohol

Discussion in 'Diabetes Discussions' started by LewisK123, May 20, 2019.

  1. LewisK123

    LewisK123 Type 1 · Active Member

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    Hello,

    I’m 21 years old and been a type 1 for over 3 years now, I’ve done a lot of drinking over these years as I’m at the prime age of wanting to go out and get smashed! I’ve never ever had an issue with alcohol affecting my blood sugars which is extremely lucky, however recently over the past month or so I’ve noticed that beer and cider and possibly spirits have been shooting my blood sugars into the 20’s I actually have to take insulin when I drink to bring it down to stop me from going too high. Now this blood sugar spike doesn’t just happen when I drink loads it happens if I have 1 or 2 beers?

    I’ve emailed my diabetes clinic who gave me a link to a website that doesn’t say a great deal other than ‘don’t drink beer it cider’, I’m at a bit of a loss on what to do and how to tackle it?

    Any advice would be fantastic or if there’s any threads around that you know that would help me please send them this way!

    Thanks in advance
     
  2. Deleted Account

    Deleted Account · Guest

    When we drink alcohol, a few things happen
    - many of the drinks such as beer and cider contain carbs. So the carbs will cause our BG to rise
    - our liver find alcohol toxic to our body so concentrates on getting rid of the alcohol and avoids setting it free. As a result, when we drink a lot, the liver stops dripping glucose but we have still taken basal insulin to handle this background glucose. Therefore, our BG will drop.

    I am a tad older than you but still enjoy my drink so I have adopted the following approach
    - take insulin for the carbs in the first pint and a half. I am small and female (and old) so my tolerance is probably less than yours.
    - stop taking insulin for any further drinks
    - reduce my overnight basal

    Some people also eat carbs (e.g. a slice or two of toast) before bed with no insulin after a night out.
     
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  3. LewisK123

    LewisK123 Type 1 · Active Member

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    That’s what I’ve been mulling over in my head, I can’t seem to understand why I’m having to take 6 units of rapid to bring my sugars down when my liver is working over time to break down the alcohol? I’ve alwsys found beer and cider okay but I guess diabetes is very complex and never makes sense, what’s okay today may not be okay tomorrow.

    I take my background at 4pm everyday which seems to be the right time and dose for me when sober but things go funny when I drink. I think spirits are okay as the alcohol content is so high so it’s more work for my liver? The only time I can eat food and be okay not needing insulin is when I drink spirits. it’s all a bit confusing at the moment and feels like a dangerous game of trial and error.
     
  4. sunspots

    sunspots Type 2 · Well-Known Member

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    Plain spirits contain little or no carbs unlike beer or cider or 'fancy' spirits like Drambuie (which I'm sure is sweetened). Wine is somewhere inbetween. Hope that helps explain some of what you are experiencing - probably not much!
     
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