Drinking with type 1 diabetes

Your social life doesn't need to stop when you have type 1 diabetes

Can I drink alcohol when I have type 1 diabetes?

You don’t need to stop drinking, but it is best to avoid drinking excessive amounts of alcohol, as it could cause you to have a hypo. That’s because when you drink alcohol, the liver has to stop work to break down the toxins and remove it. While your liver is doing this it can’t do all the other jobs it normally would, such as releasing stored glucose if your levels start to fall. This effect can last for many hours after you have been drinking and may continue overnight and into the next day.

How should I manage drinking with type 1 diabetes?

It is recommended that you don’t drink too much in one session and have some carbohydrate to eat before or while you drink. You should also test your blood glucose level before you go to bed and eat a snack if your level is normal to low.

On occasion, you may find that your blood glucose level rises too high after drinks that contain carbohydrate, such as spirits mixed with regular soft drink or large amounts of beer. Where possible, choose a diet drink as a mixer.