House party: a play-by-play of diabetes management while drinking

After the great discussion happening over on Diabetic beer olympics: advice on alcohol use?, I decided to go ahead and share a play-by-play for a (small) house party I played co-host at last night :partying_face:

I will preface it by saying it’s not an absolutely beautiful graph but it it pretty typical for a drinking night for me :stuck_out_tongue:

1: [8 pm]
We’ll not get into why I was already at a high BG, please just politely ignore that :wink: I had Chipotle for dinner, which is not a meal where I nail the bolus most times, haven’t figured that out yet. I have identified that I need an extended bolus for it, because I tend to get later rises, but I have not nailed down what the upfront percentage should be. You can see here that my upfront percentage was definitely too high here. It was also complicated by the fact that I ended up eating a bit less of the burrito bowl than I expected, but the bowl was much fuller than normal, so it complicated my estimation. Basal-IQ ended up cancelling the extended portion and that’ll become relevant later

2: [9:45 pm]
Ended up going lowish (60s) right as people were starting to arrive for the party. Not really having time or attention to keep a close eye on it, I ended up over treating the low, which ultimately caused a high afterward, propped up by the fact that I never remembered to reinstate an extended bolus for the Chipotle. This is also pretty much when I actually started drinking, and when I switched to my drinking pump profile which features a 15% decrease in basals from 12am - 10pm, a lowered ISF from 1:50 to 1:60, and a raised target BG from 100 to 120. For about 50% of the night I was drinking “diet” jungle juice which I had personally made using a mixture of vodkas and diet fruity sodas. (There was a non-diet jungle juice available too, but I didn’t touch it :stuck_out_tongue:)

This is absolutely not a drink I would recommend to inexperienced drinkers because there is basically no way to tell how much alcohol you are drinking. But, a pro-tip you can take from this is the use of diet mixers. I avoid full-sugar mixed drinks at house parties because they are not worth the energy in trying to combat the rise. At parties I host, I obviously keep diet mixers handy, and at parties I attend, I absolutely brink a bottle of diet something for me to use. (I think a few sugary drinks are somewhat worthwhile when going out to bars because there is less control over the mixers available.) The other 50% of the night I switched to diet mixed drinks which I made in the moment so I could keep a closer control on the actual amount of alcohol.

3: [12:30 am]
Obviously I have been running high (sitting between 200-230) for a few hours, but I have been busy socializing and playing drinking games so I have not kept a close eye on it. At this point I give a correction bolus, using the bolus calculator because I don’t try to drink and dose without it.

4: [2 am]
The party has cleared out and I’m getting ready for bed. I decide on a quick snack, of some white cheddar Smartfood popcorn I had handy. I estimated 20g carbs and bolused accordingly, although I am really not sure whether the quantity of popcorn I ate matched the bolus estimate! You can see that this does seem to help stop a descent from the correction bolus I gave.

By 3am I was peacefully asleep and stayed right around 130-140 for the night, which is definitely somewhere comfortable spot for me if I’ve been drinking :slightly_smiling_face:

I am not entirely sure how much I drank, but we’ll just say it was enough to get into an emotional heart-to-heart with my friend but not so much that I have more than a mild headache this morning. This isn’t any sort of pure, unadulterated experiment on drinking with diabetes, and my BG was very obviously influenced by other factors but… that’s life :grin:


I love this post. :+1::+1:


You give me hope that my son will get all this figured out. Thanks for the insight.


@glitzabetes I am impressed! Reading this makes me think, “oh my gosh…why didn’t I think of setting up a drinking profile”? What an EXCELLENT idea.


Thank you! I ended up coming up with the idea at some point during a discussion on FUD :grin: I found myself thinking “what I really need is a reduced temp basal that I can set ahead of time, cause I’ll forget to do it otherwise… oh wait” and then the plan was conceived haha


I set a temp basal decrease last night for two drinks. Worked awesome. That was your idea, @glitzabetes.


As an aside, I’ve been dabbling in Diet Mike’s Hard Lemonades the last two weekends to see how my body handles it (after some sketchy reactions to small amounts of wine last year).

Unscientific…but I’m pretty routine oriented so I definitely noticed this…having two Diet Mike’s Friday and Saturday last weekend, I did not need to reduce overnight basal or the following morning’s breakfast bolus. Same with two Diet Mike’s this Friday. But having two Diet Mike’s last night (Saturday), I figured I was going to see the Metformin Effect, and I did. A 5% basal reduction overnight worked for me. I saw no wake up climb (which is hit or miss on the weekends). I reduced my breakfast bolus by 25% and still needed two tabs and several handfuls of cashews from two hours after breakfast to three hours after breakfast. Everything was back on track by lunch time.

It seems that there is an accumulating aspect for my body and alcohol before my liver starts showing the effects in my bg.


@glitzabetes, is this the same app you used last time that you are using to post your BG here? You have access to your BG, bolus and carbs on it: nice!


This is super consistent with the effects of alcohol I see on my blood sugars. It’s why for a while, I was considering trying to manage my dawn phenomenon with a nightly alcoholic beverage (unfortunately, my body has stopped tolerating alcohol well, so not a good option for me anymore).


Yes that’s Nightscout! I did have to manually input the carbs and insulin, so it’s a lot of effort to really fully use it as a log that way, but definitely makes useful reports if you do


@glitzabetes, do you need to set up xdrip as well if you want to use nightscout?

I don’t mind entering bolus and carbs because I already do it with mynetdiary. But I use the food db of mynetdiary to calculate my carbs, so I might have to log carbs twice :rat:


No you don’t have to use xDrip, you can set it up to pull data from Dexcom share (that’s how mine is set up now)

If you follow the instructions for a Nightscout bridge (I think highlighted in green on the link above) then you can set it up without xDrip! A little complicated to get going but pretty handy once you have it


Great post and I love the title @glitzabetes :stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye:

I definitely am programming the “drinking” profile to see how it works out.

Honestly though, any night with drinking is going to have a bunch of other factors at play (dancing, eating, distractions) so I love that you still posted this, because that’s life!!

ALSO - I tried spiked seltzers last night, and 1. they taste amazing, seriously, and 2. I didn’t have a rise from them!