Drinking and Type 1 Diabetes. A long discussion, with some good 'splainin

LOL! Insulin! That would be really funny if whiskey were part of my emergency kit. But it really does stop the liver from dumping. Love the taste but hate being drunk so it would be temporary. And binge drinking isn’t exactly healthy either but in short term drunk > dka??? Forgot about water. Yes that would be on the plan too for sure. I forget the exact bg where the insatiable thirst hits. 300’s maybe? At diagnosis in dka at 600 the thirst was insane and I was drinking water nonstop. I went hiking drank gross water out of the creek since I was so desperate (didn’t get sick!).


I am the exception to the rule.

Alcohol does nothing to my Blood Sugars and have I tested it extensively.


How much did you drink? Sufficient amounts of alcohol will generally stop the liver from releasing glycogen. But that does not mean your blood sugar will automatically drop, it just means your liver would not be adding more sugar to your blood. The liver’s priority becomes removing the alcohol. But whatever blood glucose is in your blood does not get removed at a faster rate just because of the alcohol.

But it might take a large amount before you notice it. And a large amount for you might be more than for someone else. You know, being Canadian and all…

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How gross. :grin:

actually “gross” is not even it. How LUCKY that you made it through the episode, creek water and all, and are here to tell the tale. That’s for real.

I don’t drink so really am not sure, but if you’re having alcohol with sugary mixes, might it tone down the effects? I don’t drink MUCH I should say because a couple of weeks ago, while having a drink, I took a look at the contents. A Margarita, like 1/2 glass, was like 46 grams of carbs… I did crash a little later, but that could’ve been from the boatload of insulin and dancing. :dancer:t2:

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Not at all. It does double duty as an antiseptic, so you won’t need to pack alcohol swabs as well. Plus you will instantly become BFFs with all the other scavengers.

This is my experience, though I always eat at least a little something while I’m drinking, so it’s hard to differentiate. My evening cocktails almost always contain some carb – sugar, sugar syrup, a carb bitter like Campari – and I do not go low later.

But I also don’t drink in quantity. One cocktail, maybe one and a half if someone twists my arm, maybe on a weekend a glass of wine or two as well. If I’m out I will probably drink more wine, but the evening is pretty much shot anyway as far as tight control goes, since carb-counting is a guessing game and accurate prebolusing times go out the window.

Given this is FUD is should choose my words carefully and probably post some expirimental data before making claims… :laughing: I am sure there is a reduced liver dump but it is not enough to be noticable.

I have noticed no appreciable effect from drinking alcohol on my blood sugars and I do not make any treatement changes (i.e. food insulin) when I consume alcohol. The only thing I have noticed is if I have a social weekend where more alcohol is consumed than normal, I sometimes (rarely) need to fun a slightly higher basal rate on a Monday - I hypothesize that is the liver dumping glucose but it could also be something diet related.

To @Nickyghaleb’s question - The high-carb booze I drink is beer and port and I will bolus for these according to a carb count. When I drink a mixed drink like a gin and tonic, I use a sugar-free mixer (i know that real tonic is better than diet tonic but hey - that is how I roll.

So to @Eric’s question - on a summer day, I can sit in the garden and drink 3 gin (2 oz of gin each) and diet tonics and read a book over an afternoon and I will have no worries about going low or needing food.

When I have a free afternoon, I will do an experiment to test my hypothesis.


Same for me.


Of course not, there is no reason in that situation that you would go low.

Alcohol does not drop BG. It can - in sufficient quantities - inhibit the liver from releasing glucose. But if you are sitting there reading a book, your liver would not be releasing glucose anyway.

Alcohol does not work like insulin to lower BG. The only thing it can possibly do is reduce the glucose that might otherwise be released from the liver.

How long have you been diagnosed? For most T1’s who have been diabetic for a long enough time, the alpha cells are not releasing glucagon and stimulating liver glycogen release anyway.

So in a situation like a T1 of sufficient years sitting around drinking, I would not expect any lows from the alcohol.

Under what situations might your liver release glucose? Maybe when you wake up. Maybe when walking around. Maybe when you are under stress. Under those circumstances, a sufficiently large amount of alcohol might inhibit your liver. But if you drink on regular occasions, you’d need to really pound a lot of drinks to see it affect your liver.

For somewhat new T1’s and for T2’s, the effect of alcohol is more obvious, because their alpha cells are still somewhat functional. So that is a different situation entirely.

I don’t wear a pump, but if some dweeb er tech tried to remove my Dexcom I’d clock him.


And then will no longer have any whiskey in your emergency pack… which is why glucose tablets are preferred to skittles… you couldn’t pay an ordinary muggle to put one of those in their mouths. Not even sugar-crazed young ones.


So the stories of diabetic college kids dropping dead the day after a frat party because the alcohol continued to push them down? Urban legends? Ghost stories to keep college kids clean? I’m all for that, scaring them, but I’d also like to know what’s real. :scream:

Take one for the team…

So maybe another myth… I was told to bolus for 2 beers and to do nothing if I were to drink more. Honestly, I could count on one hand the amount of times this would even have been a consideration as sobriety, since becoming a mother, is the only way to get along with my children. :grin: so I’m just asking for a friend.:grin:


Found the answer to my own question. This makes sense since 27 years old, 4 decades ago, was probably the last time I had any kind of conversation along these lines. I had a 2 year old… and still a few misconceptions about how hardcore mothering was going to be and whether or not a hangover was EVER going to fit. :grin:

We have to be careful with things like this.
“because the alcohol continued to push them down”

Alcohol does not push your BG down. At all. Period. Only insulin does. (or exercise, but let’s not open up that can of worms.)

Alcohol can inhibit the liver from releasing glucose. But preventing glucose from being released is not the same as pushing someone’s BG down.

Suppose a college kid is taking a basal insulin which is programmed to counter-act their normal liver glucose release. Or they are on a pump which is programmed for the same thing. When they drink heavily, the liver does not respond like it normally does, so the insulin they take does not have the normal glucose from the liver, and the insulin drops them low. It is not the alcohol that drops them, it is the insulin. The alcohol simply changes the normal liver behavior that they are used to.

So yes, a big round of heavy drinking can have an affect, but it is not the alcohol. It is the combination of insulin, and the alcohol inhibiting the liver.

Does all that make sense?

I hope to make it understandable, but I don’t want to be accused of man-splaining.


Which is why I need to be around people like you. I need to emit that somehow…

I’m gonna let this one slide because, yes, it makes absolute sense, and because I needed an explanation… but watch yourself.


I don’t drink much, mostly because I just don’t like wine nor the taste of alcohol. However, in university I did drink, often to the point of being tipsy and then I’d stop (I didn’t like feeling drunk, felt too close to feeling low to me). I was on NPH at the time. The effect I noticed was that I’d often have to spend all night up treating lows for hours. I’d had diabetes for 10-15 years at the time, so I wasn’t new to it. These days, if I just have a glass of wine or a cooler (which I only do a couple times a year anyway) I don’t notice any impact on my blood sugar.

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This supports Eric’s point, and it does make sense. I honestly don’t think I will ever drink enough for any of this to matter, but I have had plenty of false notions about alcohol for a really long time so it’s nice to correct them. I’m with you and just don’t like the feeling. I can pretty much enjoy a drink. Then I pretty much want to be stone cold sober again. :grin: