Let me just preface this answer with the fact that I may not be the best person to model after because I have never recieved formal education on how to handle diabetes and alcohol, and my knowledge and strategies only come from my own experiences. I also sometimes prioritize having a good time for a night over having excellent control for a night. I have never had a serious incident involving alcohol and diabetes in all of my college shannanigans though, if that adds to my credibility here
First off, I will agree that red wine is very easy because it has minimal impact on BG for the most part. I can’t speak for beer because I can’t stand the taste, I never drink it. I used to drink ciders but I stopped because the ratio of “amount of drunkness achieved by drinking this” to “how hard it is to manage BG with this” was not up to my desires haha.
I am a huge fan of getting sugary, girly drinks at the bar… it complicates things, but I love them so what can you do (think Lemon Drops, Cosmos, and Magaritas). Typically when I go out with friends my first 2ish drinks are of the sugary variety, and I give insulin for roughly 75%-80% of the carb content I believe that those drinks have. This tends to land me in the 150s to 180s depending on where I was before, and running a bit higher when drunk just makes me feel more comfortable. I will give small correction doses if I start to run higher than I want, but I will be conservative and keep my intoxication in mind… I typically use the Bolus Wizard function for this and reduce the suggested dose by a little. I can’t keep a good track of IOB when drinking so I trust Bolus Wizard to handle that for me.
Past the first couple of drinks, I switch to diet coke + (insert hard liquor here) because I don’t trust myself to estimate the carb content on drinks anymore.
Now, I still get drops in the middle of the night sometimes, depending on where my bg was at the end of the night. I usually still get woken up by dexcom alarms so I just reach over and grab a few skittles off my nightstand.
What I should do, and am planning to start testing soon, is create a different basal profile for nights where I’m drinking and reduce my basals a good amount between like 12am and 6am (I typically start seeing the drop between 2 and 4). I had previously thought the only good way to do this would be a temp basal, and a temp basal seemed too hard for drunk me to figure out. But I think a whole different basal profile that could be started before I start drinking would be the ideal solution. And because of the way pump profiles are set up in the t:slim, I could also adjust the ISF and carb ratios to make my more conservative adjustments more fully handled by the Bolus Wizard.
And just a general comment, learning your limits when it comes to alcohol is really the most dangerous time with alcohol, in any young person’s life not just a T1s. I probably made this problem worse for myself because I had a sense of rebelliousness about it when I was younger… my dad had told me many times that drinking was bad for diabetics and I should never do it. I saw him hand beers to my brother at age 18 at family events, but when I was offered wine (at a similar family event) at age 19 he said I couldn’t have it because I was diabetic… I ended up deciding that drinking was bad for everyone and I would do it if I wanted to, screw the diabetes. And that is exactly the wrong attitude to have! So I applaud you all for your desire to teach your kids about drinking safely and having an open dialogue about alcohol