Effects Of Alcohol On Diabetes

Medically reviewed by Dexter Macalintal, MD

Written by Hello Bacsi · Updated Jun 03, 2022

    Effects Of Alcohol On Diabetes

    Diabetes and alcohol, what’s the connection. If you have diabetes, drinking a lot of alcohol can affect your blood sugar, making it worse. So what is the effect of alcohol on diabetes?

    Diabetics should pay special attention to the consumption of alcohol, because they are the cause of serious complications for the disease. Alcohol adversely affects the liver, thereby altering blood sugar levels in the body. Alcohol can also interact with certain diabetes medications.

    To better understand diabetes and alcohol, read on.

    Effects of alcohol on diabetes

    Alcohol can interact with diabetes medications

    Heavy drinking can cause your blood sugar to rise or fall abnormally. When you have diabetes, your doctor usually prescribes certain medications to lower your blood sugar. While taking these medications, drinking too much alcohol can lead to severe hypoglycemia or “insulin shock,” which are medical emergencies.

    Diabetes and Alcohol: Important Reminder

    After drinking alcohol for a few minutes or hours, your blood sugar will tend to drop. So you need to check your blood sugar soon after. If the glycemic index drops to 100 mg/dL, start with some food to somewhat correct it.

    Alcohol interferes with liver function

    The main function of the liver is to store and regulate sugar levels in the body. When you drink alcohol, your liver will have to work hard to remove the toxins in alcohol from the blood, significantly reducing its blood sugar regulation function. Therefore, if you find that your blood sugar has lowered, you should absolutely not drink alcohol.

    Tips for drinking alcohol

    Do not drink alcohol when hungry

    Food helps reduce the rate at which alcohol is absorbed into the bloodstream. So when you are hungry, you absolutely should not drink alcohol. Instead, if you want to drink alcohol, drink it with your main meal or have some snacks while drinking.

    You must take care of your blood sugar before using alcohol

    Alcohol affects the liver’s ability to produce glucose in the blood. Therefore, to ensure that your blood sugar is always at a stable level, you should avoid drinking alcohol or other alcoholic beverages. If you must, understand your blood alcohol content.

    Practice drinking alcohol slowly

    Drinking alcohol at a moderate rate will reduce the bad effects on your body. Depending on each person’s weight and the time it takes to absorb alcohol, the rate of alcohol consumption varies from person to person.

    Drinking too much alcohol at once can make you feel lethargic and drowsy. This is a symptom of low blood sugar. When the symptoms of hypoglycemia start to flare up, you need to eat something right away or eat sweets containing glucose to raise blood sugar again.

    Need to know what is your limit

    Everyone has their limit when it comes to alcohol. You need to discuss with your doctor to determine your medical condition and limit the amount of alcohol to drink. In some cases, women with diabetes should not drink alcohol more than once a day, while men should have no more than two servings a day.

    When it comes to diabetes and alcohol, adjust your drinking habits appropriately and effectively reverse the risk of developing diabetes.

    Learn more about Diabetes Complications here.


    Hello Health Group does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.

    Medically reviewed by

    Dexter Macalintal, MD

    Written by Hello Bacsi · Updated Jun 03, 2022


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