Nights Out and Diabetes

It's a good idea to take some medical ID with you on a night out
It's a good idea to take some medical ID with you on a night out

Some care needs to be taken if nights out involve alcohol, particularly if you've yet to experience the effect alcohol has on your blood sugar levels - which can vary between different people.

High and low blood glucose levels are more likely to occur during nights out so be prepared to test at convenient times.

Test regularly

If you're drinking alcohol, you might not get your usual hypo symptoms. To avoid getting caught out, test your blood sugars regularly, particularly if it's an active night.

Testing can be a pain, in more than one way, but the better your levels are, the better the night will be. Make sure your hands are washed and dried before testing to ensure an accurate result is obtained.

Is your blood glucose monitor up to a night out? Take a look at our blood glucose meter guide.

Take carbohydrate before you sleep

Usually, our liver constantly provides a steady amount of glucose into our blood through the day, and this is one reason why we need basal (background) insulin.

However, alcohol limits the liver's ability to release glucose and so quite it's common for people to experience hypos after a night of drinking if they have not had a snack before going to bed.

The overnight blood glucose lowering effect of alcohol can vary from person to person so it's best to play things safe.

Don't go crazy on the alcohol and don't risk your blood sugars going too low.

Take your background insulin on time

It's important not to miss taking your background insulin.

If your basal insulin injection is missed, your body will lack insulin and so blood sugar levels will rise and your body will start to release ketones into the blood which can lead to the development of ketoacidosis.

Carry identification

It's a good idea to take some medical ID with you on a night out. The last thing you'd want is to go hypo and people mistake you for being drunk rather than helping.

Paramedics are trained to look for medical jewellery or a medical card, so if you go unconscious for any reason, they'll be able to treat appropriately.

Needles and sharps in clubs

We are aware that some clubs have in the past prevented people with diabetes taking needles or sharps in.

Whilst this is relatively rare, it's worth being prepared for the possibility that it could happen.

If you are attending a gig, the security may be strict and they may not allow you to bring your needles into the gig. It can be a good idea to call the venue beforehand to ask about their policy.

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