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What about Near-Beer??

Discussion in 'Parents of Children with Type 1' started by Mike&Dans.Mom, Sep 6, 2010.

  1. Mike&Dans.Mom

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    We all teach our children not to drink beer, that it could do awful things to a diabetic. But what about near-beer? I don't want my kids to ever risk drinking, but at some point they grow up. Can they have near-beer.

    Please, this is not a thread about underaged drinking. I just want to be able to tell my kids that when they turn 21 they can or cannot have near-beer.
     
  2. wilf

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    Is that low alcohol beer (like 0.5%)?
     
  3. Mike&Dans.Mom

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    yes, the low alcohol beer.
     
  4. swellman

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    I have a 10 year old so I can't say I've given much thought to alcohol and diabetes but, there's about as much alcohol in a LA beer as in orange juice. I promise I will Google that but that's my understanding. In any event the carbs are listed and, if covered, shouldn't be any more problematic than any other carb-containing drink.
     
  5. Christopher

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    There are about the same amount of carbs in a "non-alcoholic" beer as there are in a regular beer.
     
  6. Mike&Dans.Mom

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    I am more concerned about the alcohol - even in such a tiny, tiny dose, then the carbs.

    Since my son started high school we've had the talk at the endo about what happens when a type 1 has alcohol - kinda scary stuff :eek:
     
  7. swellman

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    Please elaborate ... we haven't had that discussion yet.
     
  8. RomeoEcho

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    My endo took the exact opposite approach. He taught me very early on that drinking (like anything) was dangerous if I ignored my diabetes, but that he knew I was going to drink at some point and he wanted me to be open and honest with him so that we could figure it out together. Alcohol does complicate diabetes more than sitting quietly and reading a book, but so does everything we do in a day. Your CWD can have low alcohol beer, or regular alcoholic drinks as long as he remembers that he always has diabetes even when he drinks. It is helpful especially in the beginning if someone knows he's been drinking and can make sure he checks before bed and during the night. But I would also encourage the idea that drinking alcohol is an adult decision and he needs to be responsible for his diabetes including the overnight checks afterwards.

    I am not condoning irresponsible drinking, quite the opposite, but scary stuff happens to non-d teenagers who drink irresponsibly too. "Diabetics can't drink" is similar to "diabetics can't eat sugar." It's more complicated, but far from impossible.
     
  9. wilf

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    While the liver is processing alcohol, the normal basal emission of glucose into the bloodstream is suppressed. The more alcohol is consumed, the stronger this effect.

    The result is that the person with diabetes has their basal insulin (whether from a pump or a long acting insulin) pulling them down steadily, because the glucose production from the liver which the basal is meant to cover is suppressed. So you need to be measuring BG, and using your judgement on the basis of calculations to decide how much to eat to keep BG up for the whole time your body is processing the carbs.

    Problem is, judgement and the ability to make those calculations become progressively impaired as more alcohol is consumed.

    Moreover, the symptoms of being drunk and being low are indistinguishable - and there is a real risk that those around a drinking person with D will misinterpret low symptoms even as they are in desperate need of assistance.
     
  10. wilf

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    Unless they're chugging the near beers, there should be no issue. The carbs in the near beer will more than compensate for the slight basal suppression while the small amount of alcohol is processed by the liver.

    Note that if your child is going to drink, the lower the alcohol content of the drink being consumed the better.
     
  11. sarahconnormom

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    First off, let me say we are not really drinkers at our house. I don't want this reply to come across that way. Just giving our experience from 20 years of living with T1.

    My dh is a T1 and he does, on occasion, have a few drinks with my BIL when they are up for the weekend or when we are visiting them.
    What we have found is that whiskey causes huge problems, as in major overnight drops leading to seizures a few times.
    Beer is not so bad when he drinks a few. The carbs in it seem to balance things out a bit. His fave beer to drink (when he does decide to have a few) is the new 55 calorie ones since they are lower in carb and alcohol.
    Fruity mixed drinks (pina coladas, orange dream, mudslides) tend to send him high fast so he usually has to take some insulin to cover if he chooses to drink something like that.
    A glass of wine has only a small impact on his blood sugar by raising it a bit.

    Hopefully this helps a bit. We only have drinks a few times a year but this info has been gathered over 20 years of dealing with this.
     
  12. TheFormerLantusFiend

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    Most adults with type 1 diabetes consume alcohol. This is a lot more problematic when it is more than a drink or two, and when it's not with a meal.

    Here are two studies that say drinking is associated with a lower A1c in adults. The first study looked at 175 t1 adults, the second at over 40,000 adults with any type of diabetes.

    I have not consumed alcohol since my diabetes diagnosis but I do not assume that drinking is necessarily a bad idea because of diabetes. Getting drunk, yes, drinking one drink with a meal while wearing a CGMS... one of these days I'll try it.
    All of the type 1 adults I have talked to about it have at least tried drinking.

    The ADA says:
    Beyond all the health and safety concerns about alcohol, if you have diabetes and are on diabetes medications that lower blood glucose, you need to practice caution.
     
    Last edited: Sep 6, 2010
  13. hawkeyegirl

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    This was a very helpful and informative post. We're (obviously) more than a few years away from hopefully having to worry about this, but I have to admit, it is in the back of my mind.
     
  14. TheFormerLantusFiend

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    I thought I'd read some more studies on alcohol and T1 as my curiosity was piqued.

    This survey of 582 type 1 diabetics (diagnosed before age thirty with insulin started within a year of diagnosis) and 724 non-diabetics, included statistics on drinking.
    In response to the question, have you had 12 or more drinks in your lifetime, 90% of the diabetics and 96% of the nondiabetics said yes (and I admit, I would say yes to that question even though all 12 were pre-dx, so this is not proof).
    But they were further asked how many drinks they had drunk in the past month. The average diabetic said 13.8, vs 18.4 for the nondiabetics. Diabetic men said 20 drinks vs 9 for the diabetic women in that month.

    Alcohol use was associated with smoking, which is associated with complications; but aside from that, alcohol use was not associated with complications.

    In this study, the authors got 10 type 1 diabetic adults on Lantus and Humalog or Novolog to consume 600 calorie meals with wine that was alcoholic or non-alcoholic. They monitored lots of things during and after the meal, and found no difference when the wine was or wasn't alcoholic, except for ketone levels. Although, when I look at the blood sugars over two studies, it looks to me like the blood sugar took longer to go up from eating when they drank alcohol.
    The authors, who are doctors, believe that drinking some alcohol will have benefits for diabetics, which is why they did the study. The subjects of the study reported an average of thirteen drinks per month, which is consistent with the study above.
     
  15. wildemoose

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    This is entirely anecdotal, and probably Advanced Adult Diabetes Management, but if I'm 170-180 at 5 pm or so, I will have a glass of white wine and it brings me down to a nice 90-100 by the time I'm ready to eat dinner. (Obviously I am not advocating this for anyone not of legal drinking age!) If I drink wine with a meal or snack, however, it has no effect on blood sugar. I am not sure where the idea comes from that T1s cannot drink--is this something that medical professionals are telling you? I have never heard that from any doctor I've had. I know quite a few adult T1s in real life and we all drink in moderation.
     
  16. shekov

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    I think his endo is more concerned with binge drinking or drinking to get drunk which, honestly, is what teens usually do. They don't sit around with a glass of wine before dinner discussing their day. ;)

    I'm with Wilf on this one. I believe the real danger is not eating (to get drunk faster) and then being unable to distiniguish the lows from a buzz.

    I'm no expert since my dd is 5 but I did grow up with a teen D and adult D in the house so have witnessed a thing or two.
     
  17. saxmaniac

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    I recuse myself. When they are 21, they can certainly make that decision for them self.

    I mean... people have to be 21 to drink non-alcoholic drinks now?? I don't get it.
     
    Last edited: Sep 6, 2010
  18. wilf

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    It's like any other aspect of your diabetes - you learn how it works, and then you work with it.

    I love your white wine pre-supper correction, and will file that away in memory for DD when the time comes. :)
     
  19. PatriciaMidwest

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    Agreed.

    I also heard that the glucagon shot may not be effective in someone who's gone low from drinking because the liver is processing the alcohol and doesn't respond or doesn't respond quickly to the injections. Can anyone else confirm this?
     
  20. Heather(CA)

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    I'm not sure about an actual glucagon shot not working. But I do believe the ability to have a natural rebound WOULD be impaired because the liver is busy processing the alcohol...
     

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