Turning 21

so I have a question...I'm turning 21 in a few days and I was wondering how bad it is to drink alcohol being a type one..obviously this isn't the first time I've thought about this, its just the first time I'm addressing I may not be doing the right thing. Everyone tells me I shouldn't be drinking alcohol at all but I guess you can say I'm a huge partier but I usually keep my numbers pretty good.. is it ok to drink ( let me remind u i will be turning 21 and going to vegas) alot as long as my numbers are kept at a good range?? any advice or experience you could share with me would help alot =]



People will probably have more advice here, but there have also been some good threads on drinking w/ D if you do a serach...

e.g., http://juvenation.org/forums/p/7226/74465.aspx#74465

Happy Birthday!!

thankyou! that helps a lot!

Hi Megan,

First, happy Birthday!

"you can't drink" is just like "you can't eat sugar" - It's BS (and I don't mean Blood Sugar). Yes, you have to be more careful about monitoring what alcohol does to your blood sugar, because just like everything else about Diabetes it's different for everyone. Some people need more insulin, some need less, and some none at all. Lastly, if you have a group of friends you will frequently be drinking with, make sure they know about your D and don't just assume your acting drunk or passing out is from drinking, because it can always be from a low blood sugar.

Have fun, live life the way you want to, and figure out how to make the diabetes fit.

Good luck!


For my 21st, I went out with friends who all knew I have the D.

If you remind yourself to check yourself throughout the night, you'll see how alcohol affects your sugars. Whenever I go to bars, I'm always checking--like every 2 hours or so. 

.Make sure you have a high carb/high protein meal prior to going out (maybe get all your friends together for a nice meal and then hit the town)


Most of the time, mine go up for a bit and then drop about 6-8 hours later. Also, I try to stay clear from anything high sugar because that will make you bounce up and then down again--fast. and believe me, thats not fun. I mean, you can have that stuff but its tricky to carb/count it sometime. I'm lazy and just stick to red wine, lite beer, and diet drinks. Those don't seem to mess with me too bad--bloodsugar wise.

Have fun and happy 21st!

Have fun but be careful!

Sharing my experiences may help. Whenever I go out which is often these are some precautions I take. First, I make sure to eat something with my first drink or prior to going out and I bolus for less than I would if I wasn't drinking. Alcohol speeds up your metabolism causing a low, especially the next morning after drinking, at least for me. When I am out having fun, I test again when I start to feel the effects of the alcohol. Then most importantly, test before bed! If I am below 110, I eat a snack.

It sounds like you will be surrounded by good friends but I wanted to share the routine that I go through. Have a great birthday! :)

Happy 21st  Birthday !!!

Just wanted to say "Happy Birthday!!!!" Nothing to help though as I got to drink for 30 years before being dx;ed. LOL

As someone who has to deal with D and just woke up from being out until 5 AM, I feel as though I can give you some advice. Here are a few things I would suggest:

1.) Always carry around some glucose tabs or something. You probably already are doing this even without drinking but just make sure you do it while you are drinking too. 

2.) Test often. I try to test my blood every hour or two. BS's will kind of go all over the place and you should be testing to pick up any lows.

3.) Try to develop an idea about what different types of alcohol does to you BS. As a general rule I never bolus while I am drinking. However, if I was drinking margaritas all night with that super sweet mix, I would be a little more inclined to maybe bolus a little. Knowing how alcohol can affect your BS will help you plan your night out a little better. For example, should you get your next drink with diet coke or with regular because maybe whiskey makes you drop pretty fast. 

4.) Most important in my book, tell your friends what to look for. Sometimes, you can get caught up in the moment or perhaps even overserved. Having a friend be able to tell you that you should test because you look funny can be a lifesaver. This past weekend a good friend of mine was able to catch that I was pale. I tested my BS and I was getting low. Thank God she was there, because I would have probably gone on drinking if she hadn't said anything.

I hope this helps in some way. Diabetes is essentially a simple measuring game. You have to know what goes in your body and what you need to counteract that. As long as you are aware, drinking is not a problem. My last two bits of advice are more general, have fun and carry asprin.



hi megan!

everyone is giving you awesome advice. alcohol can treat any diabetic differently from the next. depending on what i drink i can go low or go really high. im a big beer drinker- and beer makes my sugar run low... however, if i have a few cocktails with juice- i spike very high because of all the sugar in the mixer. 

best thing to do- is go out, have fun... but be careful. stay with your friends all night- make sure they know how to take care of your lows... keep your meter in your purse. over time you will know what alcohol does to you personally. my best suggestion is to eat something with your first drink- then before you get too drunk (haha) check your sugar to see where you stand. dont let yourself get TOO high, or TOO low... 

have fun- and be safe!! :)

Happy Birthday!

Most of what I would add has been said.  I would reiterate that you can drink, and even if you drink more than you "should" - and, especially after this birthday, that's a goal that only you can set for yourself - most people, including those of us with diabetes, have done that at one time or another and lived to tell about it.

I do want to stress that, in learning how alcohol affects your body, the most important thing is not to become impaired to a point where you can't manage your blood sugar.   For that reason, I would say pace yourself to begin with until you know how much you can handle, but as long as you're conscious and functioning you can deal with highs or lows.  Obviously, lows are a more immediate concern, so especially upfront and if there's any doubt, err higher.  Once you know more about how you react to alcohol, you'll have plenty of time in your life to figure out ways to mitigate the highs when you're drinking.

Also, if you're not aware, glucagon doesn't work when you've been drinking.  It works by triggering the liver to release glucose, but if the liver is metabolizing alcohol, it won't respond to the glucagon soon enough in an emergency.  Obviously, glucagon is an extreme measure under any circumstances (but it's not even the last resort...if you were unconscious, 911 could be called and the paramedics could inject glucose directly into a vein) but just FYI.  Best to test often before it gets to that point, and if you feel like you're having any trouble staying awake, drink some water and take a break.

One last thing...it goes without saying that alcohol impairs judgment, but if you don't have much experience with it, it might not strike you that that also applies to your judgment about how much alcohol you want to be drinking.  It might be helpful to keep that in mind, so if you find yourself thinking, say, "Oh, I've only had X number of drinks, I can have one more..." don't trust your judgment as instinctively as you otherwise might without analyzing that thought further.

Just my two cents. I always test before bed. If you are high before bed, you may not want to correct. My BS drops DRASTICALLY after I've been drinking. For me it doesn't matter if I've been drinking wine or beer. I don't drink cocktails. Just know that if you treat a high before bed, you may end up too low.

That's my biggest tip. Above all - Happy Birthday, Have fun, and Be Safe!

It sounds like you know the "official" answer, but I think the "real life" answer is to use caution, never drink so much that you can't do what you need to do to manage your blood sugar, and make sure a friend knows that a low blood sugar can look like drunkenness, so they should tell you to test if they have even the slightest doubt.  (My husband is my safety net, on this one.)

I have personally found that drinking is OK for me as long as I eat first and don't go beyond what I'd call "tipsy."  Everyone's different of course, but that seems to mean I'm sober enough to really watch my numbers and snack (and I always need to snack).  I do usually have to watch for lows the next day, too.