Alcohol and Blood Sugar

Sep 2021 Alcohol and Blood Sugar

Alcohol and blood sugar are closely related by how alcohol directly affects blood sugar levels. Your body needs sugar, but too high a concentration can be as equally fatal as having too little. 

Cells called glycogen and hormones called insulin are the body’s regulatory response to keep the scales centered so to speak. Insulin and glycogen are the harmonious balance that keeps the teeter from tottering too far in one direction.

Glycogen cells are released when our blood sugar content is too low. Insulin is released to help store sugar when the concentration is too high. Alcohol adversely affects blood sugar. If you’re having trouble resisting the drink, understanding the relationship between alcohol and blood sugar should change your perspective. This life-altering article will help you better understand why it is important to completely remove alcohol from your life. 

What is Blood Sugar?

Blood sugar, simply put, is the concentration of sugar present in your bloodstream according to the recovery village. Everything you eat and drink has an effect on your blood sugar levels. High in fat contents and sugars from alcohol, meat, sweets, etc contribute to higher sugar concentrations in your bloodstream. On the other hand, foods such as fruits, whole wheat, and most nuts, have low blood sugar content. The following facts outline why alcohol and blood sugar work against each other in many ways.

How Does Alcohol Affect Blood Sugar?

Alcohol’s effect on blood sugar levels is a direct bi-product of its impairment on liver function. As informed by Recovery Village Center, a 24/7 alcohol abuse hotline, alcohol affects your blood sugar between 1-2 hours. During this time frame is when alcohol and blood sugar struggle to balance themselves. When alcohol is consumed, it slows the liver process, preventing those vital hormones and cell stabilizers that keep your sugar concentration where it should be.

Does Alcohol Lower Blood Sugar?

Alcohol does lower blood sugar significantly. Very Well Minded confirms that alcohol limits the release of the insulin hormone, leading to significantly low blood sugar levels. Thus, the unhealthy rollercoaster effect that alcohol can have on your body’s blood sugar regulators can go from extreme highs to extreme lows. While small amounts of alcohol raise blood sugar levels, large amounts can cause those glucose levels to drop to dangerously low levels.

This happens because an increased presence of alcohol impedes the liver’s ability to release sugar into the bloodstream. But it doesn’t stop there. Alcohol’s slowing effects on liver function trickles down into affecting the main regulators of insulin and glycogens. More specifically, it inhibits the trigger of glycogen cells that keep your blood sugar from dropping below the danger zone.

What are the Health Effects of Low Blood Sugar?

Low blood sugar, known as hypoglycemia, poses an immediate danger to those who already experience low blood sugar. Also, alcohol effects on diabetes can bring on lethal consequences. 

Low blood sugar induces but is not limited to causing heart palpitations, seizures, and unconsciousness, better known as diabetic coma. In addition, such drastically low blood sugar levels can and will cause permanent damage to your liver or other vital organs. Any of these symptoms can ultimately lead to death.

What are the Health Effects of High Blood Sugar

High blood sugar is equally dangerous as low blood sugar, if not more so because of the system’s reaction to blood sugar overload. Persistent high blood sugar levels greatly increase your risk of heart disease and kidney disease.

 Even worse, when your bloodstream is overwhelmed with high sugar content, this overload can cause cardiac arrest, stroke, or other life-threatening factors. Thus, like with low blood sugar, high blood sugar can cause permanent damage to one or more of your vital organs. 

What are the Effects of Alcohol on Diabetes?

Alcohol and blood sugar are already contrary to one another. But the effects of alcohol on diabetes make it a dangerous and potentially lethal mixture. To worsen matters, medications, especially meds to treat diabetics, make any alcohol infusion a fatal combination.

Think of your blood sugar levels like the stock market, which fluctuates sporadically in response to the smallest discrepancy. Alcohol has a “stock market” effect on diabetes, causing blood sugar to go from one extreme to the next. That is, high sugar content in alcohol causes a monumental spike due to the alcohol’s inhibition of insulin release.

 After this initial spike, the liver’s slowed response also reduces the necessary glycogen energy cells, causing a crash in blood sugar levels. For diabetics, this means an imminent risk for fatal imbalances.

Health Risks of Excessive Alcohol Consumption

Alcohol overconsumption brings about numerous immediate health risks. Persistent use can even lead to permanent health conditions. Thus, the CDC clarifies moderate alcohol use to be no more than one beverage per day in women and no more than 2 a day for men. Anything beyond that is considered excessive. The detailed risks below when drinking in excess are both immanent and long-term health risks associated with alcohol abuse.

Alcohol Poisoning

Official CDC statistics attribute over 95,000 deaths per year to excessive alcohol consumption alone. To put it in perspective, that is an average of 261 deaths per day. Those records corroborate an estimated 2.8 million years of potential life lost per year.

Increased Risk of Diabetes

If you have not yet contracted diabetes, it’s not too late to quit consuming too much alcohol. The fact is that if you consume alcohol regularly, you are on a fast track to developing diabetes.

Alcohol can stress your body to the point that it cannot be stressed any longer due to the fact that alcohol and blood sugar do not mix well. As stated prior, persistent inhibition of insulin(hormones preventing high blood sugar) and glycogens(cells preventing low blood sugar) accelerate this development.

Worsening Mental Illness

Some people suffering from mental illness, vainly add alcohol dependency as a coping mechanism. However, the Alcohol Rehab Guide posted a conclusive study to show that alcohol exacerbates mental health conditions considerably. Their data even determined that 33% of mental health sufferers also struggle with alcohol dependency. Therefore, removing alcohol from your life medically substantiates immediate symptom improvement of mental health.

Liver Disease

The alcohol and blood sugar-related link to the reduction of liver function can also evolve into permanent liver damage. Liver disease is any chronic condition that permanently prevents the liver from functioning correctly, whether acute or severe. Long-term alcohol abuse does progressive damage to your liver which can ultimately result in liver disease. 


Damage to your liver means damage to DNA cells. Damage to DNA cells put simply is cancer. officially labels cancer as a human carcinogen, the basic formation of cancer cells. Regular consumption of alcohol can magnify your risk and exposure to most cancers up to 5x. 

Nerve Damage

According to,  66% of chronic drinkers have a condition known as peripheral neuropathy. Peripheral neuropathy is damage to the nerves that line the spinal cord and brain. This condition is commonly referred to as alcoholic neuropathy because of the known permanent damage to these nerves. Each day you give in to alcohol abuse is another day you risk being another statistic to the majority.


According to, pancreatitis is a common result of long-term alcohol abuse. This is not surprising considering your pancreas is responsible for producing and releasing the hormone insulin into your bloodstream. Pancreatitis is a persistent inflammation of the pancreas. 

Since the alcohol and blood sugar mixture causes a sugar imbalance, pancreas function is directly affected. This is just one of the numerous examples of how alcohol can cause permanent damage to vital organs.

High Blood Pressure

Frequent alcohol consumption significantly raises blood pressure and could cause the heart to progress to hypertension. If you take blood pressure medication, alcohol will increase your blood pressure to a potentially fatal degree. 

The Cold Hard Facts

Whether you are diabetic or not, alcohol and blood sugar do not produce positive health effects in any way. Alcohol abuse and addiction is a serious matter that takes years off your life the longer you refuse treatment. Your road to recovery is in your hands. Seize the opportunity presented to you in this article by taking control of your addictions now. 

The false relief you think you feel from alcohol is not worth the physical and mental toll it causes on your body. More importantly, it’s not worth the toll it takes on the friends and family members who love you most. Allow Phoenix Rising Recovery to ascend your life from the ashes of alcohol addiction today. The only thing standing between you and alcohol recovery is the single most detrimental substance to your life and body.

 Phoenix Rising Recovery provides the first-rate support you need to take control of the substance that has controlled you. With the aid of experts who care, Phoenix Rising Recovery is eager and happy to be your passionate friend in recovery.


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