Diabetes and Alcohol


For those over 21, you can still drink with Type 1 Diabetes, there are however some precautions and additional information that may be beneficial to have. Excessive amounts of alcohol consumption can cause you to have a hypoglycemic episode. When you drink alcohol, the liver is too busy breaking down the toxins (the alcohol) to remove them, that it stops doing its typical job - steadily releasing its stored glucose. As a result, your blood sugars begin to drop. This hypo may last for hours after drinking, and possibly even overnight and into the next day. Because of the increased risks of your blood sugars dropping with alcohol consumption, it is recommended that you at least eat carbohydrates before or while drinking. It is important to regularly check your blood sugar levels while drinking since you are at risk of going low, and possibly dangerously low as your regularly administered insulin will still be working properly, possibly causing you to thus go even lower. While drinking can cause a hypoglycemic episode, it can also cause hyperglycemia. The drinks themselves may contain sugar and carbohydrates which can initially cause your blood sugars to spike. After this initial spike however, the blood sugars will begin to fall such as was mentioned previously. 

It is important that you are always aware of your blood sugars, especially while drinking. And due to the risk of hypoglycemia, drinking on an empty stomach is not recommended. For safety precautions, if you are drinking with company, in case of an emergency it is a good idea to tell those with you about your diabetes and additional risks while drinking.