The holidays are upon us … and we often celebrate with food … and alcohol.  Here is a great article and a resource guide to help those of us living with T1 Diabetes.

Mixing Alcohol and Diabetes was written by Marissa Town for ChildrenWithDiabetes.com, 1 December 2021.  

With the holiday season upon us, you may find yourself being offered more wine, beer, and mixed drinks than usual. If you have diabetes, there’s a bit more to consider than whether you prefer red or white wine. It’s important to understand how alcohol affects the body and what that means for your diabetes care.

When alcohol is processed in the body, the liver stops sending out glucose into the blood stream as it normally does, and, therefore, the blood sugar can drop. In people without diabetes, the pancreas will then decrease the amount of insulin it’s sending out to the blood stream to compensate and prevent low blood sugars. However, when your pancreas is an insulin pump or pen, it’s not getting any communication from the liver to back off on the insulin while it processes the alcohol. Also, if the person with diabetes has consumed a lot of alcohol and are not thinking clearly, they could end up in a very dangerous situation.

Adolescents and young adults with diabetes reported a desire to have unbiased educational information provided to them in the health care setting, and the research supports continued dialogue and education from both health care providers and parents or caregivers. This is something that we at CWD tend to focus on at Friends for Life with teens and adults with diabetes because of the concern that they may not get this information in their clinic. There are many barriers to health care providers having these conversations including time, lack of resources, and inability to have private discussions without the parents in the room. If you are a parent of an adolescent with diabetes, it could be to your child’s benefit to allow them to have some individual time with their health care provider to ask questions that they may be too embarrassed to ask while you are in the room.

There are some great resources available including:

    1. CWD’s document on Diabetes & Alcohol
    2. DiaTribe’s article Drink to That: How to Safely Consume Alcohol with Diabetes
    3. Beyond Type 1’s guide on Alcohol & Diabetes
    4. T1D Toolkit’ section for Teens and Young Adults

Read more:  Mixing Alcohol and Diabetes

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