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Becoming A Young Adult Series: An Evening Out When Living With Type 1 Diabetes

« WeCare Blog | March 24, 2023 |
Tips & Tricks
Becoming A Young Adult Series: An Evening Out When Living With Type 1 Diabetes

When the night falls, the city comes alive, so they say. Depending on where you live, your town might have a vibrant nightlife. Alternatively, the streets may fall quiet as soon as the sun sets. As a young adult, night time might be when you’re feeling the most adventurous. Work or university is over for the day and you only have so many hours to live your best life until it starts all over again. Living with type 1 diabetes shouldn’t dampen your nightlife. However, there are some considerations to keep in mind to ensure you get home safely that night (or early the next morning).

When You Leave The House

Wallet? Check. Keys? Check. Matching shoes? Check. Diabetes supplies?
Whether you’ve been living with type 1 diabetes for a long time or were recently diagnosed, it’s likely you know the importance of being prepared. A hypoglycaemic episode (hypo) can ruin an otherwise fantastic night out – but not so much if you’re ready for it. In addition to packing your hypo kit into your very trendy bag, be sure to double check that it actually has all your supplies in it. Do you have enough glucose tablets, extra tape, glucose test strips, or a spare battery cap for your Medtronic insulin pump? The contents of your kit will depend on the strategies you use to manage your diabetes.

When You’re Eating

What’s an evening out if you don’t get to munch on something at some point? Perhaps your night out involves a restaurant reservation. There is some forward planning you could do to support your diabetes management while still enjoying your meal. Many restaurants have their menus available online. This can allow you to peruse beforehand, and plan your insulin dosing accordingly

A couple of other tips for dining out include:

  • Watch the portion sizes. Restaurant portions can often be larger than your typical serving at home. If this is the case, you may need to be more generous with your carb estimations (and modify your insulin dosage accordingly).
  • Don’t be afraid to ask for modifications. If you’re not keen on the side of fries that comes with your steak, ask your waiter if it can be substituted for something with less of an impact on your blood glucose (BG) levels, like steamed vegetables. Remember that low glycaemic index foods will be gentler on your BG.1

When You’re Drinking

For some, a night out isn’t a night out unless there’s alcohol involved. It is possible to live with type 1 diabetes and enjoy a glass or two. To keep yourself safe, remember these tips:

  • Heavy drinking can increase your insulin resistance,2 so try to keep your consumption within reasonable limits.
  • Drinking alcohol can increase your risk of a hypo.2 Due to this, ensure you keep a close eye on your BG.
  • The drop in your BG may be delayed by up to 24 hours after your last drink,3 so remember to remain vigilant about your BG even the day after.
  • Try to have a carb-containing meal before (or during) an alcoholic drink.3

Final Thoughts

If your night out involves some friends, it could be a good idea to let them know you’re living with type 1 diabetes. If you do experience a hypo or any other incident, it will make it easier for them to know how to help you. Once you’ve gotten yourself sorted for your after-dark adventure, go ahead and dance the night away! (Just remember that dancing is exercise and can affect your BG too!).


  1. NDSS. Eating Out. 2021. Available at: (Accessed October 2022).
  2. White ND. Alcohol Use in Young Adults With Type 1 Diabetes Mellitus. Am J Lifestyle Med. 2017;11(6):433-435.
  3. NHS. Alcohol and Drugs. 2021. Available at: October 2022).