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Emergency treating a hyper with alcohol

Discussion in 'Type 1 Diabetes' started by spikyonyx, May 2, 2016.

  1. spikyonyx

    spikyonyx Type 1 · Member

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    Sunday, out with the family for a meal. I'd not checked my BG after the first beer prior to the meal and figured I'd wait till after. I'd no doubt have taken too much then, as the sugar from the beers would have kicked in rather than... I know, I know, BAD diabetic...
    I've been thinking that my Lantus doses are probably too low as my HbA1c is stupidly high.

    In any case, I had salad and fish and another beer. Taking the humalog to go with the beers and food was a fail as my needle broke and for some unknown reason; or more probably the fact that I double check that I've packed my one year old's bag correctly. I was unable to administer any insulin. Short of spoiling everyone's meal and insisting my partner leave a drive home to grab my supplies, I had a double vodka and checked my BG. It was high enough to freak us all out so I had another double vodka and waited until we'd finished the meal. Was driven straight home, checked levels, had evening Lantus and humalog as required.

    In 10min the first double had reduced my levels by 7 units so the tactic worked this time, fortunately.
    Has anyone else done something similar?
     
    #1 spikyonyx, May 2, 2016 at 11:44 PM
    Last edited by a moderator: May 2, 2016
  2. tim2000s

    tim2000s Type 1 · Expert
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    @spikyonyx, can't say I've ever tried that. If I'd eaten food and had a beer or two, there's no way that a double would have any effect on my blood glucose levels.
     
  3. AndyS

    AndyS Type 1 · Well-Known Member

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    Never seen alcohol have an effect that quickly.

    It is usually 8 or so hours later that I will see a drop though never anything quite as dramatic as 7mmol off the equivalent of a double.

    Did you get any insulin at all from your basal or did you break the needle before you even got to giving yourself the shot?

    /A
     
  4. azure

    azure Type 1 · Expert

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    Perhaps the first high test was a dodgy test? I've never seen a drop of 7mmol so quickly like that.

    How high did it read?
     
  5. tim2000s

    tim2000s Type 1 · Expert
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    I have to agree with @AndyS - I've never seen alcohol act that quickly. It sounds as though there's something else going on here, whether that's insulin before breaking the needle or something else.

    Also, it should give you an incentive to make sure you carry additional needles...!

    Whilst this might seem a trite comment, as you say, your bg levels were something that freaked everyone out. I don't know how frequently this kind of thing happens (only you know that) and I'm guessing what tends to happen is your BG levels swing up and down a lot, but it's possibly a guide as to why you're struggling with a high Hba1C.
     
  6. noblehead

    noblehead Type 1 · Guru
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    Agreed, could be that you had a false reading at the pub, did you wash your hands prior to the bg test @spikyonyx
     
  7. novorapidboi26

    novorapidboi26 Type 1 · Well-Known Member

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    As others have said, its unlikely the alcohol started to work that quickly......

    and the speed at which your liver works can vary every time you drink....

    so wouldn't be a good way to 'treat a hyper'......remember the alcohol stops and/or slows the output of glucose from the liver, it doesn't actually process existing blood glucose....
     
    • Agree Agree x 1
  8. Bluetit1802

    Bluetit1802 Type 2 (in remission!) · Legend

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    Just butting in here as I know nothing about insulin or treating hypers and don't drink beer. However, I can confirm that a small glass of red wine before eating, on an empty tummy, will drop my level by half a mmol/l almost immediately, and my levels will continue to fall whilst I am eating and drinking another glass, only beginning to rise appropriate to what I have eaten after approximately 45 minutes. This has been shown on a Libre sensor on several occasions.
     
  9. AndyS

    AndyS Type 1 · Well-Known Member

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    I wonder if this is some other kind of response that is not specific to liver function where alcohol is concerned then. Our systems really do like to mess with us.

    Though I will admit I have never seen it even when I have been on libre. It is an odd one I will grant :)
     
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  10. Geoff-O

    Geoff-O Type 2 · Well-Known Member

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    Alcohol, I thought, does reduce levels. I've always been told that if you are on insulin and go out drinking, make sure you have a bag of chips on the way home. Personally, a glass of red wine increases my blood sugar levels, but the 2nd (third...?) reduces levels & so on. Same with spirits but more so.

    On Metformin & Humulin M3
     
  11. catapillar

    catapillar Type 1 · Well-Known Member

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    Drinking alcohol can lead to lower blood sugar later on, but it's not a direct effect like: drink vodka = lower blood sugar. My understanding is that it just stops your liver raising your blood sugar later on, so it's more like: drink vodka + few hours later your liver is too busy dealing with the alcohol to do a glucose dump like it normally would when you are asleep so the normal dose of basal what you took to go to bed plus whatever lingering bolus might be hanging around doesn't have as much glucose coming out of your liver as it normally would = lower blood sugar that expected hours later.

    Also, actually taking insulin doesn't have any effect on me within 10 minutes, especially if I'm a bit high! It's such a quick response that I think maybe there was something else going on - a false high, some inaccuracy on the monitor, something like that.
     
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  12. PD Oz

    PD Oz Type 1 · Well-Known Member

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    That is a novel approach to a problem. My preference would be to dine normally but modestly and then go back to proper dosing when back home with next scheduled dose which is what the book recommends. Also on the subject of beer check out the types of beers with very low or no sugar. There are plenty of them around. Low carbs too. Mostly marketed as dry. Eg around 100 cal, 5-6gm carbs and no sugar in a 375ml can or stubbie.
     
  13. Kristin251

    Kristin251 LADA · Expert

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    Wine without food will lower me shortly after drinking. Spirits without any sugar, just water will drop ,e within minutes. Spirits will always drop me more than wine. I never have a bag of chips but I will have some guacamole or nuts / nut butter. Sometimes even a pickle if nothing is around will help.
    I know for a fact for me alcohol will lower me quickly. However too much wine will raise me later if I don't eat and shoot soon enough. But then as soon as I take insulin and eat I drop. I don't dose my injection on the wine bs. I generally know if it's alcohol bs and it seems to disappear fast after insulin
     
  14. ashokmuni

    ashokmuni Type 2 · Newbie

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    a similar experience.....i visited my wife's relative and they were doing tequila shots..i had four that evening and had a carbo laden chasers and dinner. i knew my t2 numbers will be high in the morning but wow it was 90.i was surprised. a similar thing happened again and i was bewildered. the third time i experimented myself as a study and had the same result. so now two shots after dinner and glucose level is great.
     
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