If you drink alcohol, you must be aware of the effects alcohol has on your blood sugar and make sure that someone always knows that you have diabetes. It can be very dangerous to drink and not take care of your sugar correctly, and you should always drink in moderation. If you never drank before, make sure that you start slowly so that you do not drink too much.
  • If you do not drink alcohol, be careful of snacking. That can raise your blood sugar.
  • When you drink, make sure that you ALWAYS have extra supplies with you in case something happens. Always have extra juice or snacks.
  • Alcohol will make your blood sugar very high immediately, but it also will always make it go low over a long period of time.
  • If you are dancing, that can also make your sugar go low. If you are eating or snacking, this can make your sugar go high.
    • This makes it very hard to deliver the right amount of insulin.
  • You have to check your blood sugar more often when you are drinking any amounts of alcohol. If you go too low or high, you will be sick and not have fun. It is also very dangerous to go too low or high if you are drunk.
  • Test your blood sugar before bed and have a snack if you drank alcohol. Since alcohol makes your sugar go low over a long time, it is common to have a low blood sugar in the middle of the night if you go to bed after drinking. That is why it is so important to drink water, eat food, and test your blood sugar before bed.
  • Being too drunk can look similar to a low blood sugar. Some symptoms that are the same are dizziness, stumbling, slurring your words, confusion, and being tired. You can tell that you are having a low blood sugar while you are drinking if you start shaking, among other typical low blood sugar symptoms.
  • Glucagon will not work if you go low while you are drinking. Glucagon works by making your liver release sugar, but if you drink alcohol your liver is too focused on cleaning the alcohol out of your body rather than releasing the sugar.
  • If you throw up or cannot keep food down after you drink, make sure to keep checking your blood sugar and try to eat food or drink juice. If you go low, call the hospital. If you go low but throw up and cannot eat food, you will not be able to raise your blood sugar.


Information and images from are from or inspired by Living the Sweet Life with Diabetes: The Art of balancing insulin, diet, and exercise by Dr. Santosh Gupta, MD, MRCP (UK), CDE.  You can access the book here:

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