Wednesday, November 19, 2008

A Question Of Cocktails

I was going to blog about World Diabetes Day, but really, all I have to report is I saw a couple blue lights, but not nearly enough considering I live in a city full of skyscrapers who can manage to light up with green and red for Christmas (BEFORE Thanksgiving, mind you). Suffice it to say I’ll be doing some letter writing before the next WDD…

So on to other, more pressing, more curious topics. Alcohol. Cocktails. Beer. Wine. Champagne. Ouzo. Vodka.

I did my fair share of drinking when I was in high school and college; I would say no more than the average teen and no less than the usual 20-something. When I was diagnosed with diabetes in my 30s, I was in the habit of being a social drinker—wine with dinner, a cocktail at the appropriate cocktail hour and beer with burgers at the bar. Occasionally I would misjudge (sometimes on purpose, sometimes accidentally) and I’d wind up tipsy, or even downright drunk. I never abused, but enjoyed. After all, they say a glass of red wine can even be healthy, like popping a vitamin (don’t ask me who “they” are. I’ve seen the news, I’ve read reports, and while posting a link would be the good-Samaritan thing to do, I’m hoping everyone out there has heard the same information so I don’t have to).

When I was diagnosed, I took the literature and pamphlets very seriously that said a little alcohol was okay once in a while, but no alcohol ever was better. I became alcohol-free as well as sugar-free all at once. Not even a good-bye champagne toast.

Well, just as I lightened up on the “no sugar ever” policy, I lightened up on the “no alcohol” policy. It started with just a drink on special occasions, then it went to maybe once a month, and now it’s about once a week. My usual choice is a vodka martini (dirty, with three olives, in case you’re curious), which basically has no carbohydrates. Sometimes I drink a beer, maybe two (Amstel Light is my preferred choice, but any light beer will do).

I don’t get drunk (that’s a lie; sometimes I do, but it’s more like the accidental once a month here and there, and less often more than more often). I do have more than one drink at a time, but generally no more than two. I watch my sugar when I’m drinking and I count the carbs in the drinks when they have them.

Even though I’m taking everything in to account, I still flash back to the “no drinking is best” idea I was originally handed. Am I messing something up by having a martini or a beer once a week? Do other diabetics drink? Have you had problems or complications because of it? What do your doctors say about it? Your diabetes educators? Any and all advice and comments are welcome. I just want someone else’s thoughts on the subject, since I’m so conflicted. In fact, I’m so conflicted, I may have to have a martini tonight…

As always, more to come (with three olives, please)…


Araby62 (a.k.a. Kathy) said...

Sorry, but I'm an old-school hardliner on this one: no alcohol, ever. The few times I've had red wine it sent my numbers plummeting, so that was enough. And I've never heard drinking was OK from *any* medical provider. I'm from a family of quasi-alcoholics, so there was never anything attractive about drinking to me. I'm sure others work it into their plans with some success, but I personally don't indulge.

Amalas said...

I wasn't much of a drinker before, so I don't really have major problems with drinking and diabetes. I do know that I definitely need to bolus when/if I have a beer and I keep it to only 1 beer (I'm also pretty small, so regardless of diabetes, I don't want to over-drink). I generally stick to rum and diet, though, since I know those are carb-free!

k2 said...

I do drink every now and then, not copious amounts - 1 or 2 tops.
I'm a big fan of Vodka based drinks for several reasons.
1. Vodka is the drink of my people
2. rumor has it I was conceived under a Martini moon
3. it's low in carbs
4. you can dress it up all nice like & stuff.
I think moderation is the key to many things in life, including drinking.
Everyone in dblogville has different rules regarding the "Fire Water,"and you need to find out what works for you.
What works for me is a rasberry Stoli with club soda and lime on occasion ;)

Cath said...

Being a newly diagnosed type II, my educators have only said to tread lightly and that alcohol can really lower your numbers, so don't be fooled and check more often if you drink. So far I have only had one glass of plum wine as a treat for following all of my other goals. It was delicious and everything I needed it to be. Thank you Benihana.

Anonymous said...

I developed high Cholesterol as well as High Blood pressure with my Type 2. my A1C was always just a little over. I agreed to one of those studies and it was about alcohol vs. none. I will also add I was having circulatory issues and was hobbling around like an old man at 42. Well I am a large man 6'6" and 290 (down from a liftime high of 385) The idea was to take for my weight 12oz of wine with a meal daily for a month.

My Glucose went down to regular levels I was having less and less spikes and dips. My Blood Pressure was also going down to where I was taken off of one medicine and the dose cut in half of the other (6 months prior I had been taken to the ER twice for BP issue) and People at work noticed I wasn't hobbling as much, and I started walking again and the pain has eased enough I can get out and do more.

I'm not saying it's right for everybody but there seems to be a little merit toward moderate alcohol. I can honestly say I keep a cheap box of wine in the fridge I have a 12oz glass (4oz per 100lbs roughly of body weight) and I'm feeling better as a whole.

My Dr works in the forefront of Diabetes care in the Northeast US with a large research hospital. He has never discourages alcohol in moderation, in fact he reccomends it. It's all in where you care.. but I'm happy as can be and can enjoy my wine with friends when I go out.

Anonymous said...

I enjoy my scotch on the rocks a few times a week.......generally just one. Sometimes two. I feel better and do not feel that my numbers plummet.
Having a cocktail makes me feel like I am living a normal life....going about my life and enjoying it.

tronface said...

This is so overblown as to annoy me. Friends and my girlfriend caution me about drinking. I test constantly. Provided I stick to whiskey cocktails (manhattan, old fashioned, whiskey sour) and beers my blood sugar is ABSOLUTELY NORMAL.

tronface said...

This is so overblown as to annoy me. Friends and my girlfriend caution me about drinking. I test constantly. Provided I stick to whiskey cocktails (manhattan, old fashioned, whiskey sour) and beers my blood sugar is ABSOLUTELY NORMAL.