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alcohol at college

Discussion in 'Parents of College Kids and Young Adults with Type' started by rita, Jan 15, 2011.

  1. rita

    rita New Member

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    anyone have experience with drinking at college and your child going low? how do you handle it, have you talked with friends, roommates, how much do you nag?
     
  2. obtainedmist

    obtainedmist Approved members

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    I think that education is the key. When they go to college, most will drink whether they are 21 or not...it's the college culture. From what our education told us, it's just important to keep a few things in mind:
    1. Eat while you drink. Alcohol disables the liver from being able to secrete glucose...it's too busy trying to get rid of the toxic alcohol.
    2. Watch out for lows hours later because of the consumption.
    3. Always go with a friend who knows that you have T1 won't let people step over you assuming you've passed out drunk when you are actually too low. I know it's harsh to hear this...but it could be a reality.
    4. Wear med alert bracelet.

    Our daughter went to a concert and took some peanut butter crackers with her in case she decided to have a drink. She did, she ate and it went okay. Are we thrilled that she drank...of course not...are we happy that she planned for it...YES! So, that's basically our philosophy right now.
     
  3. Mody_Jess_Pony

    Mody_Jess_Pony Approved members

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    EAT and EAT something with protein.
    I'm a light weight and legal in Canada where I live, so three shots and I'm done, 1 glass of wine is enough, and I BELIEVE strongly in teaching that hard liqour is not something you drink straight out of the bottle. I always mix it with juice, and eat when I drink so I can bolus for the carb to kinda combat the low.
    AND make sure you consume MORE water then alchohol I've never been hung over, FOOD and WATER are the keys to decent, safer(it's not safe) drinking....
     
  4. emm142

    emm142 Approved members

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    I need to eat about 25-30 uncovered carbs before bed if I've been drinking, and lower my basal rate to 85% of normal. Pizza is a really good thing to eat when you're drinking, because (for me) the pizza spike and the alcohol low balance each other out almost perfectly. ;)

    ETA: I'm not at college so haven't spoken to roommates. I ALWAYS wear the CGMS if I'm drinking, and if I'm sleeping with friends afterwards I ask them to wake me up if they hear the CGM alarm going off overnight.
     
  5. obtainedmist

    obtainedmist Approved members

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    Great infor Emma! I'll pass the pizza suggestion on to my daughter!
     
  6. emm142

    emm142 Approved members

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    Wanted to add, I'm legal for drinking over here. And I don't drink as heavily as my last post might have made it sound. :p
     
  7. Amy C.

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    I didn't think you were drinking very much -- you didn't say how much you drank in the posting.
     
  8. Tricia22

    Tricia22 Approved members

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    This may be a bit controversial... in fact, I'm sure some people will look down on it, but this is what me and my parents did before I went away:
    I was never a partier in high school, I didn't plan on drinking before I was 21, but I was also going to one of the ABSOLUTE top partying and drinking schools in the US.
    We made some rules. The rules included wearing a medic alert at all times; telling my RA (who asked that I let her know if I was ever going out with the chance of drinking) where I was going, who with, she had my cell #, and I was to also come see her when I got home that night, or call if I was staying somewhere else besides my dorm room; always having a big meal with a fair amountof protein or fat, or both before comsuming any alcohol; drink at least 1 glass of water for every serving of alcohol; check BG every hour I was out (this was before I got my CGM); only go with people I trusted and who knew what to do about my diabetes in case something happened; at least 1 person in the group had to remain sober; someone had to stay with me that night; no more than 2 drinks a night...
    The other thing we did, was that the summer before I went away, my parents and I planned on having 2 - 3 pizza nights with wine, beer,some kind of alcohol at the house, so I could have 1 - 2 drinks that night so I would know how it affected me both with BGs and in every other imaginable way alcohol affects you... I did a fasting BG before dinner, and had 1 - 2 drinks with dinner, and checked every hour the rest of the night so I would know what to expect with BGs for wine, beer, and mixed drinks... if I remember correctly, I did 3 nights, 1 for each kind of beverage that I would likely encounter... 1 night of wine, 1 of beer, 1 of mixed drinks.
    This way, I could plan on what my BGs were likely to do for whatever drink I was likely to have, and eat accordingly, or turn my pump up or down accordingly. My parents and I were then comfortable that I knew how alcohol affected me personally, and affected my diabetes.
    The scariest thing is the unknown... this is always a constant with diabetes, but with doing these trials, we could try to eliminate some of the unknown of the diabetes and of how altered I may get with 1 - 2 drinks.
    I hate feeling like I'm not in control, and I don't trust anyone else (even my parents) to take care of my diabetes, so I still have similar rules for drinking, and I'm 24.

    Any questions or anything, feel free to PM me.
     
  9. JeremysDad

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    You sound extremely responsible and I applaud you for it. It's true about the fact that our kids, like it or not, will consume alcohol when they get to college and we, their concerned parents/caregivers, will not be there to hold their hands and tell them to check their BG etc.

    We need to make them understand how important it is to be in control and for them to be responsible for their actions because what non-D kids could do and get away with, D kids could endanger their lives doing the same thing.

    Luckily, in my case, I have a few more years before this issue comes up.
     
  10. Amy C.

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    Wow, that is some proactive training! My son has zero experience in drinking and has no idea how to deal with alcohol. I will definitely be thinking about doing something like this within the next couple of years.
     
  11. Mody_Jess_Pony

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    Just wanted to add I've only drank once since coming to university and it wasn't even anything substantial....
    I am not a heavy drinker 0_0
     
  12. jilmarie

    jilmarie Approved members

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    I drank in college with diabetes - sometimes more heavily than I should have.
    I think the tips above are great. When I was drinking in college, I would stick to light beer (about 8 carbs, but I didn't bolus) or diet drinks mixed with hard alcohol. It was important for me to have an uncovered snack before I went to bed if I was below 200. The best option was something like pizza with fat and protein - perfect for college ;) I was always with someone who knew that I had diabetes - my close friends and boyfriend would remind me to test throughout the evening.

    I'll also say that I knew several other college students with type 1 diabetes and all of them drank more than they should have occasionally. Please discuss alcohol and diabetes with your kids, do not assume that they won't drink. If you're not comfortable having the conversation with them, make sure that it's discussed at an endo appointment. My parents were always very open and honest about drinking. I always knew that I could call them for help or a ride home at anytime during the night without consequences. I didn't ever need to, but it was a relief knowing that I had that option.
     
  13. thebestnest5

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    My DD is 11 years old and I don't plan for her to drink for a LONG time--that being said. I have and will continue to talk to her about alcohol and what it does to a person's body and what it does to a person's body when they have T1.

    We talk about how young adults and teens can be at risk for dangerous lows because they don't understand how alcohol can affect them. She knows of a story about a teen boy with T1 who had a serious alcohol incident.

    In general DD knows--at least I think she knows.

    -a person with T1 should never bolus for alcohol
    -should eat food with alcohol
    -best practice is no more than 2 alcoholic drinks
    -liver will be "paralyzed" not able to release glycogen
    -overnight lows are the big danger--reduce insulin and eat something
    -people around you need to know you have diabetes
    -don't drive or let another person drive (who's been drinking)
    -and don't leave your drink unattended
     
  14. emm142

    emm142 Approved members

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    I'm not sure this is strictly true. Although I would never bolus for, say, wine, I need to bolus for cider and cocktails. If I had a couple of cocktails containing fruit juice and didn't bolus, I'd go HI on the meter. Same with cider, although not quite so extreme. I need to prebolus for these things, but then eat later on to prevent a low later. Basically, I could either go HI and then drop back down to normal or I could stay normal-ish and eat later to prevent a low, and I choose the latter.
     
  15. emm142

    emm142 Approved members

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    Oh, I definitely wasn't saying that you shouldn't tell your DD this. I made my comment more for the benefit of other older teenagers with T1 who might need practical advice on drinking with diabetes. I would certainly advise bolusing very conservatively at first (and only drinking small amounts), until you are able to judge the effects of alcohol.
     
  16. 2type1s

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    True story: first job I had, I worked in a Neurobehavioral unit for people with traumatic brain injuries. One of the patients I had on my caseload was a freshman from UT (Tenn, not Texas!). she was a type 1 diabetic who had been at a frat party, partied too much, but found her way back to her dorm room. Her roomate was gone for the weekend. Parents tried to call her several times the next day, but go no answer (this was 17 years ago, so cell phones were not typical). They finally got the university to go check on her late the next afternoon. She had been passed out for many hours, and suffered many seizures. Enough to cause permanent brain damage. She was a beautiful, talented music major, who could not only never sing again, but couldn't even perform her own daily care. She was only a few years younger than me at the time, and I remember being affected so much by her story and her family. When my own daughters were diagnosed I thought of her so many times. So I've told my daughters in the past they CANNOT drink with diabetes. I have done EVERYTHING perfect so many times and still come up with wonky numbers and things out of control, why would you throw alcohol into the mix? I have softened this approach somewhat as my middle one gets closer to college age, and told her many of the rules above. I've even let her have sips of things to see what they taste like, all of which she hates. The fact is, the thought of something like this happening terrifies me. Please share this story with your loved ones....maybe it will help them think twice about that 3rd or 4th drink...
     
  17. Tiana

    Tiana Approved members

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    Love your list! Things I hadn't thought about you listed. Did you find your child adhered to most of things you mentioned? Are there staff that have expertise in diabetes? Are they on site? Thanks for any information.
     
    Last edited: Aug 8, 2011
  18. misscaitp

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    I have decided not to dabble in alcohol while I'm at college, I just don't want to make bad decisions or be caught up in drama. Which would probably happen at my tiny LAC. I'm also concerned about my health as is and can't mix alcohol with the medication I am on, so I decided it would just be better if I make the point known that I don't drink or smoke up front. Yes they hassle me to go to just enjoy their company, but still I'm not getting in a car with a drunk driver.
     
  19. Stacey Nagel

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    I agree with you 100%.
    I've been honest with Jesse, and he has gotten drunk at college,
    I don't really approve , have discussed it with him , and have tried to help him figure out the best way to deal with it. .
    Better to speak than to deny that it will happen...
    his after drink snack at school is called a mashed potatoe bowl, served at the after hrs dining hall. mashed potatoes, chicken, corn, cheese, bacon all in a bowl... It sounds gross and isnt healthy but it keeps him from going low
     
  20. Miike

    Miike Approved members

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    Big risk

    I did not attend college but I did drink. The 3 times I was taken to the ER was after nights of drinking. I was lucky in all 3 cases I was found in time. The action of the liver can release sugar into the body but that will not happen when the liver is busy taking care of the alcohol.
     

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