Diabetes and alcohol

Drinking and enjoying alcohol safely

diabetes federation ireland

NB: It is illegal in Ireland for persons under the age of 18 to purchase or consume alcohol.

Drinking alcohol

Remember to eat your regular meals if you plan to drink alcohol. If you are going to a party, eat beforehand or bring extra food. If no regular meal will be served, you may eat salty snacks.

Eat or drink extra carbohydrates when you are drinking alcohol, especially if you drink spirits or if you are dancing. If you drink large amounts of alcohol, choose sweet wine or normal beer. You can also dilute the alcohol with sugary lemonade or juice.

You may need to reduce your insulin dose at bedtime after you have been drinking. If you have a hangover the next day, you may have to adjust your morning insulin dose, too.

Never go to bed after drinking alcohol without eating a carbohydrate rich snack such as bread!!!!

You must, of course, remember to test your blood sugar before going to sleep.

If you drink too much

  • You will not be able to recognize your normal symptoms of low blood sugar.
  • Your friends may think that unusual behavior, such as staggering, is the result of drunkenness. Tell them in advance that unusual behavior may signal low blood sugar and that they must call for help.
  • Always be careful when drinking alcohol. Carry your diabetes identification with you, and tell your friends how to help you if necessary.
  • Plan in advance how you will be awakened at your usual hour the next morning. Do not oversleep!

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