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Everything You Need to Know About Diabetes and Alcohol

30.3 million people have diabetes. 1 of 4 dont know they have it

When drinking alcohol, people with diabetes should take extra measures as there can be complex repercussions to health if drinking with diabetes gets out of control. Before going for an alcoholic drink, ask yourself, “Am I sure my diabetes is under control?” or “Am I aware of the long-term implications of alcohol?”

An individual may experience high blood pressure, nerve damage, and vision problems as a result of diabetes. If you don’t manage the condition well, diabetes can become significantly worse. Having alcohol can make it challenging for you to handle diabetes and control it how it should be. 

Chronic diabetes has to be treated as a priority since alcohol abuse can increase the complexities. Beer and sweet wines have carbohydrates that make sugar rise. Alcohol increases your appetite, which can also result in uncontrolled sugar levels. 

People who face diabetic neuropathy risk hurting themselves with pain, tingling, and numbness, even if they take moderate amounts of alcohol. A professional detox can help eliminate alcohol abuse with significantly less severe withdrawal symptoms. 

Blood Sugar Levels with Alcohol

Your blood sugar levels may plummet when you drink alcohol while taking insulin or another diabetes therapy. Drinking alcohol can malfunction your nutrition and result in extremely low blood sugar levels, potentially lethal. 

Alcohol consumption may also affect your ability to detect and treat hypoglycemia. Alcohol consumption can cause low blood sugar symptoms such as weariness or dizziness. Diabetes affects around 34 million Americans, according to the CDC. If you do not get treatment for this long-term issue, it could have severe ramifications for your health. 

Many medicines for diabetes aren’t compatible with alcohol. People with diabetes can remain in good health by avoiding alcohol. A glass of wine in a day is considered safe among alcoholic drinks, but it is still controversial as moderate amounts of alcohol aren’t proven less harmful.

An estimate suggests that 95 percent of those with diabetes who consume alcohol lower their blood sugar levels. When the brain doesn’t receive enough glucose, it can get damaged with severe mental health or memory issues. If your body has insulin resistance, it can convert it all together.

Occasional Drinking for Alcohol

At first, it is recommended to check sugar levels, and an occasional drink should not exceed more than two glasses for men and one for women per day. When you quit alcohol, your blood sugar levels will stabilize. When you cease alcohol use, your chances of becoming obese will also lower, and your sugar levels will be balanced and maintained.

Diabetes Can Affect Liver Function

The liver’s primary function is to store hepatic glycogen, a type of glucose that can be accessible when you haven’t eaten. The liver’s role is to detoxify your body; the liver can perform one task at a time. When you drink alcohol, either it can balance blood sugar levels or detoxifies. Your liver has to work more to eliminate ethanol from your bloodstream than it does to manage your blood sugar or blood glucose. If your blood sugar is already low, it is better to avoid alcohol.

Heavy alcohol consumption leads to inflammation of the pancreas, making it unable to secrete insulin, which can make you prone to diabetes. High blood pressure and heart attack are some issues that you can face due to constant drinking habits.

Alcohol’s Effect on Diabetes Patients

A person addicted to alcohol does less than they used to and focuses more on drinking. Individuals may become dependent on alcohol as their bodies adjust to the amount of alcohol they take, and as a result, they may experience other changes. 

Alcohol consumption is highly harmful and can make the complications of diabetes worse. Even moderate alcohol consumption can affect the body’s sensitivity toward insulin. The American Diabetes Association says that when you have diabetes, do not drink excessively or drink with an empty stomach or low sugar levels. Heavy craft bears are terrible for your health as it doubles the risk of altering sugar levels and leaving them imbalanced.

When people with diabetes overindulge in alcohol, their health and sometimes their lives are jeopardized. If you drink a lot, you risk hypoglycemia, a quick dip in blood sugar. If glucose levels go too low, dizziness, confusion, lethargy or drowsiness, and even dangerous condition such as coma may develop along with these health complications.

96 million people 18 years or older have pre-diabetes

Frequently Asked Questions


How does alcohol abuse affect diabetes?

When you overly consume alcohol, it can lead to chronic inflammation of the pancreas resulting in pancreatitis, a condition where the pancreas is entangled and enlarged, leading to chronic diabetes. The ability to secrete insulin gets disabled, and the condition worsens.

Is it common for alcoholics to have diabetes?

Consuming alcohol in excess can lead to chronic illnesses, and diabetes is one of them. When you get a reduced body sensitivity towards insulin, it leads to diabetes. Heavy drinking patterns can trigger type 2 diabetes as obesity increases due to alcohol, and thus it leads to such a condition. 

Should people with diabetes stay away from alcohol?

Alcohol has become part of many lives, and even those who avoid it may drink it in the name of social drinking. Still, there are severe repercussions of alcohol, as it can make some diabetes complications even worse. Alcohol consumption can lead to liver malfunctioning, which regulates blood sugar levels. 

Can I drink alcohol when I have diabetes?

Ideally, alcohol should be avoided altogether if you have diabetes, but if you do drink, it is best to have controlled and selected alcoholic beverages. The alcohol beverage in moderation is only safe when you have maintained your diabetic condition. Heavy consumption leads to adverse and inappropriate results.

The Indiana Center for Recovery Can Help Ease Alcoholism Recovery for Those With Diabetes

If you have diabetes and are experiencing an addiction to alcohol, it is crucial to find the professional help you need as soon as possible. The Indiana Center for Recovery can provide integrated care to make a recovery from alcohol possible. From dual diagnosis to substance abuse rehab, we have your back. 

Our residential treatment program provides patients with everything they need for a safe and secure recovery. Feel free to call us at 1(844)-650-0064 for more information on our services.

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