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Hi, I am a twenty three years old woman. I have been diagnosed with type 1 diabetes when I was thirteen. Since then I have followed my doctor's orders to the letter. Now I have a question that my doctor and I have not discussed. It regards alcohol drinking. What I would like to know is am I allowed drinking alcohol when I have type 1 diabetes?

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Hi, I can understand that you had to give up a lot while you were growing up because of your diabetes. Having to deal with such serious condition at such a young age must be an overwhelming experience. Now that you are older you would like to enjoy some moments of relaxation. And I believe that you feel that a glass of wine might help you to do that. And if you have it at proper time it may just do that. The thing is that alcohol drinking can have serious side effects on people with diabetes if they are not careful with it. If you have too many drinks you could end up with hypoglycemia. This happens because the liver starts to break down the alcohol. While this is going on the liver is not doing anything else. If your blood glucose levels fall, your liver will not be able to break down storage glucagon and supply you with glucose. And if you had insulin shot prior to alcohol drinking, than the glucose levels can get really low. This does not mean that you may not drink alcohol, you just have to be more careful. A glass of wine after a nice dinner wouldn't have this effect. However, you should talk to your physician about your concerns. He will be able to give you more advice on this subject.
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Here's a good rule of thumb for alcohol and just life in general as a diabetic - MODERATION.  Yes to a glass a wine, and even the occassional beer.  STAY AWAY from mixed drinks - not only the alcohol will raise your bs, but they often add liquid sweetner - so that is a definite no.  You don't want to get drunk, because that will put your guard down to the point that you're not monitoring what your eating any longer, but you can relax with a drink and socialize with a drink, and even fake it when you need to with a diet coke & lime... You're fine.  Stop thinking of things as what you're ALLOWED to do - you can do anything if you really WANTED to, but you don't want to because you know you'll feel awful and there are consequences.  I've asked people a long time ago to stop asking if I'm allowed to have cake, etc.  I can have it - I CHOOSE not to.  I don't want to balance it with an additional shot of insulin, I don't want to feel awful after eating it, and after being diabetic for 40 years, I don't even like how sweet things taste!  
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