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With 415 million people living with diabetes worldwide, we often still feel alone and unprepared. With diabetes bags made for organization and a community of people who are just like you, Myabetic will help you feel connected and prepared for every day with diabetes.

Alcohol and Diabetes

Posted by Jade Venhaus on

You want to drink alcohol, but you’re probably thinking to yourself, how will drinking affect my blood sugar? I have been drinking with diabetes for 5 years, and I’ve learned how to have fun while keeping my blood sugar in range. Here are my 3 tips for drinking with diabetes:


1. Learn the Differences in Alcohol  

Get to know the differences in alcohol content, carbs, and sugar as these are all things that can affect your blood sugar. I have learned distilled spirits (gin, tequila, vodka, etc.), beers, and wines affect my blood sugar the least. This is because liquor, beer, and wine have little to no carbs. However, if you were to mix a liquor such as tequila with a sugary substance (margarita mix) then you want to make sure to carb count and take insulin (assuming your sugar isn’t already low). I have found alcohol can lower my blood sugar, but only if I am drinking low carb drinks. So, when it comes to drinks such as a frozen margarita, I always make sure to count my carbs since it can often be high in carb and sugar content.


2. Be Aware

Keep close attention to your blood sugar anytime you’re drinking! If you have a CGM (continuous glucose monitor) make sure to keep your settings tight. I like to keep mine set between 90-150, so if I am going low or high I will be notified. If you do not use a CGM, then make sure you are testing. I would recommend testing at least once an hour (set alarms on your phone). This is what I used to do prior to having my CGM. I like to keep a small bag with me so, in the case I go low, I have quick acting sugars on me such as fruit snacks, glucose tabs, or candy. I would also suggest not drinking on an empty stomach, as this can be a recipe for increased lows.


3. Get Comfortable  

It’s important to get comfortable in sharing your diabetes with your family, friends and co-workers! All of my friends are fully aware of my diabetes. I had a time where my best friend threw me a surprise birthday party, and I had been drinking. My best friend noticed my words sounded slurred, even though I only had one drink, so she suggested I test my sugar. Come to find out I was 46, and I hadn’t noticed because I was truly enjoying myself in the moment. This is why it’s so important to let your friends know about your diabetes, and what they can do to help you!


You can enjoy yourself while drinking and have diabetes. It just requires some extra awareness. Did someone say happy hour!?


Jade Venhaus @vibrantlybalanced

Living with Diabetes Since 2000

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  • Vodka tonic is my go-to low carb drink!

    Caitlin L. on

  • Hi Nicole,

    I used to struggle with this too! I was so worried my friends wouldn’t understand, but I was completely wrong. I would recommend you having a conversation with your closest friend(s) about your diabetes. Let them know you’re happy to answer any questions they may have, and would love their support in this matter!

    With Love,

    Jade on

  • I’ve only had diabetes for a few months, and I really don’t know how to open up to my friends about it. What would you recommend?

    Nicole on

  • This is so helpful, thank you!

    Stacey L. on

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