Tips for surviving New Years Eve

There can be a lot of pressure to have a good time on New Year’s Eve. Everyone wants to have a fun and alcohol often plays a big role.  You are still able to drink alcohol if you have diabetes but there is a risk that your sugars will go out of control.  Some drinks such as alcopops are very high in alcohol and sugar and can send your levels high. However alcohol can also drop your blood glucose levels, and if you have a hypo due to alcohol your body’s ability to help you is severely reduced.  Below are some tips to help you survive your big night out.


If you are drinking – pace yourself

Aim to drink no more than one alcoholic drink an hour.  Our bodies absorb alcohol faster than our liver can metabolise it.  The more you drink, or the faster you drink, the higher the level of alcohol in your blood and the longer the alcohol will remain in your system.


Have something to eat before you drink

Having some food in your stomach will help delay the absorption of alcohol, thereby giving your liver more time to do its job.  It will also help prevent your blood glucose level dropping too low while you are out.


Alternate alcoholic drinks with water 

Alcohol is a diuretic so the more you drink the more you have to urinate.  You can reduce the risk of becoming dehydrated, and getting a hangover, by drinking one glass of water for every glass of alcohol you drink.


Don’t inject insulin for alcohol

You might even need to take slightly less insulin than normal. You should discuss this with your diabetes team or feel free to contact us through PM.


Consider having a snack before you go to bed

Having a snack before you go to bed can help reduce your risk of an overnight hypo.   A cheese sandwich or a glass of milk and a piece of fruit are good post alcohol snacks.


Most importantly, remember to have a good time. 


Written by Jane Overland

Living with Diabetes at Christmas time

Christmas is a time of celebration not deprivation.  Eating delicious food is part of the fun, and there’s no need for you to miss out just because you have diabetes. Luckily Christmas comes but once a year, so don’t worry if you happen to have a couple of high readings – this shouldn’t affect your long-term diabetes control and you can always get back on track on Boxing Day or the day after. You may even like to give yourself the day off checking your blood glucose levels.


If you are carrying some extra weight you might like to consider having healthy Christmas dishes. Many Australians now celebrate Christmas with a seafood feast and it is hard to think of a healthier meal than that.  Aim to fill half of your plate with salad, a quarter with seafood and the remaining quarter with some form of carbohydrate, perhaps some potato salad or some lovely crunchy bread, and you have just served yourself a healthy meal. A bowl of perfectly ripened summer fruit, luscious berries, fragrant mangos or juicy nectarines, served with a scoop of your favourite ice cream is a great way to round off your meal. You might even like to have a square or two of chocolate, washed down with a nice cold glass of wine or beer. On the other hand, you may choose to have a less healthy version of Christmas lunch.  Think crispy roast potatoes, succulent turkey, honey glazed ham or roast pork with crackling, followed by plum pudding with cream. It is unlikely to do you much harm, especially if you have a moderate size serve and finish your day playing backyard cricket or some other fun activity.


If you have type 1 diabetes, and are using an insulin pump, you might like to think about using a combo or dual wave bolus when you sit down to your Christmas feast.   A combo or dual wave bolus allows you to deliver part of the bolus up front and part of the bolus over an extended time. This works really well if you are likely to be eating a leisurely meal or the food you are eating is very high in fat, for example the Christmas Day roast or pizza, as these foods are digested more slowly. Using a standard bolus with these foods can mean the insulin is delivered before digestion has occurred, resulting in a delayed meal rise, sometimes 5 to 8 hours after your meal. Generally the higher the fat intake, or the longer you are sat at the table grazing on food, the longer the extended insulin delivery period should be, often somewhere between one to two hours.  You should discuss this with your diabetes team or feel free to contact us through PM.


To our valued clients and Facebook friends, we wish you a very merry Christmas. Enjoy the festive season and travel safe if you are heading away.


The Total Diabetes Care Team


Written by Jane Overland

Total Diabetes Care