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Vodka + ???

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#1
Ryan

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I'm going on a drinking binge tomorrow and I was looking for low-sugar things with which I can mix Vodka.

I've heard that vodka can lower blood sugar though, so is it good to mix it with something that has some sugar in it? Does it balance out? Does it even work that way?

#2
Lee73

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Hi Ryan,

Maybe I am out of the loop, but doesn't all alcohol break down as sugar? I haven't heard anything about vodka lowering blood sugar. Fill me in.

Thanks,

Lee

#3
DeusXM

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[yada yada yada insert 'you shouldn't go on a drinking binge' here]

Right, now we've got the sermonising out the way, time for some real world advice....

Alcohol CAN lower bg levels, although usually this is delayed severely until much later on in the night. This is because alcohol inhibits your liver's ability to release glycogen into your blood. Therefore if you're drinking it makes sense to have a starchy snack before you pass out - and indeed, if you're having an unpredictable night, try to have one before going out. Pizza usually works well.

If you're drinking heavily then you're going to have to accept that your bg levels are going to be all over the place. Therefore carry glucose tablets and some kind of ID. You can also carry insulin if you wish but from personal experience DO NOT inject any during your night out. I've always found that I inject too much, causing a hypo, or even more fun, get caught by bouncers who assume I'm a drug addict which leads to all sorts of joy explaining that you're not breaking the law which usually involves the police being called. ID usually helps then.

As for what you mix with your vodka - well, that's really up to how you feel and what you're doing. I'd stick with diet soft drinks for most of the night, but if you're out clubbing and therefore dancing, you will be burning off sugar at quite a rate so you may wish to drink regular soft drink and vodka as part of your evening every now and again. My personal tip (as cultivated from 3 years of being a student) is to only mix vodka with diet drinks, and if you feel like you're running low on blood sugar, drink regular soft drinks without the booze until you feel better again, and then get back on the hard stuff.

There's a heck of a lot of misconceptions about diabetes and alcohol that tend to be spread by people who seem to think booze is the devil incarnate and are neither helpful nor productive when it comes to drinking. As always, only you know how your body reacts so it's largely up to you. However I would suggest that if you are binge drinking that it is far better to have higher blood sugars than lower for the simple fact that a hypo can really ruin your night. If you pass out as a result of a hypo, others may mistake it for an alcohol induced torpor which means you won't get the clinical attention you will need, which can be very dangerous. A temporary short-term elevation of bg levels isn't going to kill you straight away so I wouldn't worry too much if you're drinking regular soft drinks. Just expect to feel very tired and going to the toilet every 5 minutes. Therefore I'd try to strike a happy medium if I were you. Drink vodka with diet mixers at first, and if at any point you feel slightly 'wrong' then have some regular soft drinks to make you feel better.

If you can, then test your BG regularly, though I recognise this is pretty much nigh-on impossible to do on a proper night out. Therefore just try and test at least before and after you go out and take the necessary action.

As a final 'sensible' point - if you're highly confident about managing your diabetes then feel free to get drunk, providing you maintain the same level of responsibility towards your condition. If you're still uncertain about managing your BG then I really would recommend that you wait until you're more confident before getting really fitshaced. And always, always have something starchy to eat before going to bed, be it pizza, kebab, chips, bread, whatever. Waking up with a high BG the next morning is a very small price to pay when the alternative is not waking up at all.

When you wake up with a hangover, check your bg. If it's high then I suggest giving yourself a compensatory bolus dose of a couple of units - you'd be amazed how much this will make you feel better. You will probably want to test your BG hourly as well in these circumstances. Keep some Lucozade and paracetamol by your bed to deal with bg fluctuations and headaches. You may also find that drinking Resolve or a similar over-the-counter hangover 'cure' before going to bed very helpful.

And I guarantee that these recommendations comes from someone who know what they're talking about when it comes to getting drunk. But remember, only you can take responsibility for yourself, so when getting drunk, don't do it to the point that you cannot look after yourself. This does still give you a fair bit of leeway, mind you.

Diabetes needn't stop you having fun - I myself have done 16 hour sessions without killing myself, so it's more than possible. The key, however, is forward planning, and trust in yourself.

Hope you have a good night that is diabetes-incident free.

#4
Ryan

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What I read said that certain alcohols immobilizes the production of sugar, so when people drink it without eating their sugar drops. I'll see if I can quote my source.

#5
DeusXM

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As I said, alcohol inhibits the liver's ability to release its glucose stores, resulting in hypos several hours after drinking - hence the recommendation to eat something starchy before retiring.

You will also find that less strong drinks such as lager and cider will also contain a significant amount of sugar that can affect your bg. In my experience I have found that lager and cider can raise my bg to quite high levels but these also tend to drop off rather quickly too. Vodka is very unlikely to raise bg levels but I still recommend sticking to diet mixers throughout the night, and resorting to regular soft drinks as and when you need to.

#6
Zokes

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[yada yada yada insert 'you shouldn't go on a drinking binge' here]

Right, now we've got the sermonising out the way, time for some real world advice....



Excellent post, Dues. Ryan was looking for advice, not a lecture. We are all human and sometimes do things we know we shouldn't do.

I agree the vodka should be mixed with diet soda (I prefer D-7up)
T1 since 1976.
MM 715 Pumper since 3/28/05

#7
Smoky Joe

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Speaking only from personal experience, a night of drinking always gave me a real nasty drop in blood sugar several hours after winding down for the night.

When I was in college and lived alone, I used to set my alarm for every two hours or so, then have a snack when the numbers started going down. Managed to never get myself in trouble that way, but it sure gets ugly waking up after the buzz has gone and the hangover has started moving in.

I don't recall how I handled the insulin dosing, but I'm sure I cut it way back.

No lecture from me either, 'cause ya gotta do what ya gotta do. But be careful about it!

Damn, now you got me realizing how long its been since those days. :mad:

#8
Ryan

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I've never seen my sugar go below 100, so I'm not sure what it feels like. I'll just take my tester with me. The whole time I'm going to be at a friend's house so it should be OK.

I haven't had alcohol at all since I was diagnosed so I'm not sure how it affects me.

But vodka with soda?? I've never heard of that at all. Not coke though, right? Like clear soda? Sugar-free Jell-O shooters sound nice too.

#9
Harold

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Ryan the only thing I might add to Deus's excellent advice would be to make sure that incase you pass out who ever your with knows how to use your meter. Ask them to check it for you a couple of times while your passed out.

#10
DeusXM

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I've never seen my sugar go below 100, so I'm not sure what it feels like.


I haven't had alcohol at all since I was diagnosed so I'm not sure how it affects me.


In that case I strongly suggest you really don't overdo it. If you don't know what a hypo feels like whe you're sober then you're really not going to know when you're drunk. However if you're at a friend's house then you do have a bit of leeway since I'm assuming they're familiar with your condition and you'll also have the ability to test you bg regularly. It should be a good environment for you to find a good routine for when you're drunk.

Again, the best advice I can give you is make sure you eat something starchy, preferably before, during and after the sesh, and at the very least after drinking. Not only does it help prevent hypos, it's also good for stopping a hangover too.

I know I'm making drinking with diabetes sound as dangerous as climbing Mt. Everest but I have never had any serious problems myself. I've had hypos whilst drunk and in clubs, but that's what glucose tablets and Red Bull are for. Potentially being drunk can be very dangerous if you have diabetes but this is only in really extreme cases where you basically forget that you have diabetes and stop paying attention to yourself.

And as some personal advice - don't drink wine and lager in the same night unless you happen to enjoy looking down a toilet bowl the next morning. :)

#11
ang

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i've been known to partake of a few beverages so i'll fill you in on what i do. i haven't actually tied one on yet since i started pumping so this is what i used to do with injections. because when i'm drunk i can't tell when i'm low i purposely run myself on the high side by drinking high sugar drinks (vodka and cranberry juice or regular sprite/7-up or gin and tonic). running on the high side (within reason) for one night here and there isn't the end of the world, but having a serious low can cause quite a commotion. i would eat supper as i normally would and give my evening NPH when i normally would and then test when i got home and have a snack if necessary. i wouldn't correct a high (unless it was super crazy high which it never was) because it would come down on its own through the night because of the effects of alcohol and all the dancing i was doing. if i wasn't going to be dancing that night i would drink drinks that aren't quite as sweet (gin and diet tonic or white wine) and it works out pretty much the same. since you're at a friends place getting your hands on some food probably won't be an issue, but when going out always take some food with you. i like to use a roll of lifesavers, a granola bar, or a dried fruit bar since. since its your first time i would recommend testing throughout the night (both when out and when you get home) and that way you're probably not likely to get into trouble. and don't forget ... HAVE FUN!!! have a bevvie for me! i'm going to be engaging in my first "pumping bender" very soon. plan of attack is to drink and test lots. wish me luck.
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#12
Ryan

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Sounds good!

Thanks for the advice everyone. :D

#13
bac4uw

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Have an excellent binge!!! In case you actually haven't started yet, you might consider mixing a little regular soda in with the diet... like an 80/20 or 90/10 diet/regular split. I've done this back in the college days and it seemed to work out well.

Bryan

#14
Ryan

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Sounds good. I'll let everyone know the results tomorrow ;)

#15
Ryan

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Well, I survived.

I checked my sugar, it was 250. I drank a fifth of vodka on a mostly-empty stomach, checked my sugar a few hours later and it was 180.

70 point drop.. almost more effective as insulin! :-

#16
DeusXM

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And twice as fun too!

Hopefully now you've also got an idea of how your body reacts to alcohol and also now know that the Big D is no reason to not have fun like everyone else.

#17
Ryan

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Not at all. I've learned something today... :smartass:

Replace insulin with vodka and we will be much, much happier.

#18
buzzborne

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Not at all. I've learned something today... :smartass:

Replace insulin with vodka and we will be much, much happier.


ROTFLMAO! :-
~ SchaTzcheN ~

T1 since age 11

Now a qualified Norland Nanny




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