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Drinking advice for Type 1 Newbie

Discussion in 'Type 1 Diabetes' started by RichWatt, Apr 14, 2012.

  1. RichWatt

    RichWatt Type 1 · Member

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    Hello all,

    I became insulin dependant in Jan 2012 as my pancreas was removed. I was not diabetic before then, so this is all new to me.

    I'm learning how to manage the day to day carbs/insulin ratio and am doing a reasonable job with my Levemir/NovoRapid regime. My social life is suffering at the moment though as I am scared of drinking due to all that I have read about the raised risk of hypo.

    I am happy to stick to spirits (vodka/rum/JD) with diet cola when I start drinking again socially. I'm not a heavy drinker. Just 1 or 2 to feel like i'm fitting in with the crowd.

    I know drinking will affect everyone differently. I am a 34yr old male, 61kg/9st, and have a healthy diet. Is there anyone out there of a similar build, who has experience of being T1 and drinking similar to that above? If so, can you tell me how drinking affects your BG. i.e. how much it drops by, and how much later after drinking does your BG fall?

    Even if you are not a similar build I would appreciate hearing your experience.

    Thanks all
    Richard.
     
  2. Paul1976

    Paul1976 · Well-Known Member

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    I'm not on insulin myself but I have a type 1 friend on Lantus and humalog and he makes sure that if he's going drinking socially that he eats something like pizza or chips before drinking and tests periodically throughout the evening and usually has toast before bedtime to minimize the risk of Hypo during the night.That's what he PERSONALLY does but I'm not 100% if it's good advice or not.
     
  3. Littleholls

    Littleholls · Member

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    Hi I'm a type 1 on insulin. I still enjoy a night out and a few drinks!
    I always have a carby meal before starting drinking. I then have a few vodka and diet cokes or a few glasses of wine. Before bed I have a slice of toast with no insulin.

    The next day my levels are a little low so I test regularly and eat a couple of snacks.

    You still need to live your life!
     
  4. stevie24

    stevie24 · Member

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    I am similar size to you and on exactly the same regime, pre-diabetes I was a bit of a binger to say the least, I have cut back a hell of a lot since being diagnosed because it wipes me out and leaves me feeling rough for a few days. At first I had no issues with drinking but recently when I do binge a bit it makes me sick these days, not sure why but before this I was fine having a few drinks so long as I had a bedtime snack without rapid, just 20g of carb or similar, still left me feeling rough though and with poor control for a few days. Like I say though I tend to drink to excess although not anymore and am fine with 4-5 pints on a night out, so long as I snack
     
  5. jopar

    jopar · Well-Known Member

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    When you'll drinking and/or got alcohol in your system, your liver can't to replenish the liver store of glucose, it can't start doing this again until it has processed all the alcohol out of your system on average it takes your liver an hour to process one unit of alcohol...

    So when you'll drinking to start off with, the alcohol doesn't make much difference or your BG may raise quite sharply depending on what you'll drinking (if it's got carbs in like beer, larger etc) as your liver is still dribbling glucose into the system, but once the supply runs out, then your BG can take a nose dive and increase the likely hood of a hypo, also until the liver finished sorting out the alcohol, your liver isn't being replenished, as even when it starts to replenish it takes time for the glucose to start to be delivered to your system, during this time you are not only at a high risk hypo, but you have also lost your safety net of the liver dumping it's glucose store to bring you out of an hypo.. It also means that a glucogen injection won't work.. As glucogen is the hormone that's needed to single your liver to dump it's store...

    You need to test frequently while drinking and for a while after, some good advice for carb up take before going to sleep etc.. But you should also insure that you don't drink alone, your friends are aware that you'll diabetic and any behaviour that might indicate a hypo, needs to be acted on and if paramedics are called that they are aware that you've been drinking...
     
  6. RichWatt

    RichWatt Type 1 · Member

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    Thanks All,

    Thats useful advice. Safe to say I can have an occasional Whiskey or Vodka and diet coke without worrying i'm going to hypo.

    Is there a general rule that anyone is aware of that says how much your BG will fall per unit of drink?
     
  7. Cheryl

    Cheryl · Well-Known Member

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    My consultant once said to me, have a bag of crisps with your drink (not every drink lol) and either have a glass of water with each drink or have a non-alcoholic drink between each alcoholic one. Kills two birds with one stone; a naughty treat & a naughty drink!

    One or two spirits shouldn't affect you hardly at all, but you could always think about knocking a unit off your nighttime long term insulin so when your liver isn't drip feeding tour blood stream with glucose (while it processes the alcohol), you haven't got quite as much insulin in your system as usual eating it up.

    I'm on a pump & find that I need to drop my basal rate slightly after a few drinks to deal with the alcohol. You can still enjoy a drink or two as a diabetic, but you just have to be sensible.
     
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