Sunday, March 9, 2014

Alcohol & Diabetes

The last time I got a vial of insulin it had a sticker slapped on it that said, "Do not drink alcoholic beverages when taking this medication." I've been buying insulin for five years now and I have never seen this sticker before. I posted it on Facebook and got some responses that said, yes! I get this sticker too.  I have come to the conclusion that the sticker gets put on the box when the pharmacist is maybe slightly concerned about the complications of drinking alcohol and having diabetes.

I have always been told that it is O.K to consume alcohol with my diabetes, of course there are precautions that must be taken and getting absolutely drunk is not good for anyone, diabetic or not. However, I was diagnosed with diabetes heading into college. Not that I drink a lot, because to be honest I rarely ever do considering I have gone through almost five years of post secondary. However, on occasion I do drink.

I have discovered a few things about drinking and diabetic'ing and of course it is always going to be different for everyone so as a precaution PLEASE know that what works for me, works for your neighbour, works for your Aunt and what works for you, can be completely different.

For me, I am ultra-aware of the fact that I am diabetic. I think that just like when you go drunk-texting your ex boyfriends, I go drunk-mouthing about my diabetes.  I know I have diabetes, I talk about diabetes and I 'hate' diabetes.  Well, at least the last time I drank I was becoming very annoyed with the fact that I had diabetes, as I ran out of test strips and sober-Vince had to drive me home to test my blood sugar.  (So, another thing, it is extremely important, to have someone with you that CARES about you, KNOWS about you and is willing to do WHATEVER for you.)  

Second thing is that the next day my blood sugars are awesome. Now, as much as it sounds like I found a good remedy for diabetes, other effects of drinking alcohol outweigh the fact that it gives me good blood sugars. I rather work hard for good blood sugars than have good ones, while feeling sick (hungover).  

Lastly,  it is easy for forget thing when you are drinking but with any attempt possible, I try to make sure I always have my things.  Now, yes previous I just mentioned that I ran out of test strips. However, I had been checking a lot that night, and didn't predict I would be a Tammy Tester and use all my test strips that fast.  However, I try to remember to have all three important parts of blood sugar checking, my meter, my pricker and my strips as well as glucotabs and cash in case I need to buy food.

Drinking and diabetes may seem like a hassle and for some people it totally is. However, if you attempt to be as responsible as you can, drinking and diabetes can work.  But, like I said everyone is different in how the manage their diabetes and drinking alcohol and over consumption of alcohol can be dangerous for anyone, diabetic or not.



  1. When I graduated from high school and went to a good friends graduation party, her mother came running out of the house yelling "LRM you can't drink any beer because you're a diabetic and it'll do something to you! I don't know what it'll do, but I think it's bad." I just laughed and laughed. First of all, I hate beer and wouldn't touch the stuff anyway. Secondly, I was driving so I wouldn't touch the stuff. Thirdly, I hate beer. My friend had to pull her mother away from me. I walked into the house and told my friends mother that I appreciated how worried she was about me, but I didn't drink beer, I liked sweet stuff, besides I was driving.

    But like you said, everyone is different. I don't drink alcoholic beverages too often because I like the sweet ones and it is difficult to figure out how much insulin I need to have to cover what I'm having. Each bartender makes the drink differently so you never know how much juice, soda pop and alcohol is in a drink. Add to that, I go from sober to sick quite quickly. I've never been drunk, never been tipsy. I guess I'm lucky in that respect.

  2. On the rare occasion that I do get drunk, my wife always tests my blood sugar for me after I pass out.