How alcohol affects blood sugar: increases or decreases sugar alcohol

Any adult makes his own decision regarding the use of alcoholic beverages. After all, the main thing is that a person who occasionally drinks alcohol is healthy, and has no chronic ailments in his anamnesis. In this situation, alcoholic beverages within reasonable limits will not harm his health.

The picture is completely different when a person has poor health, and there are various chronic diseases. Alcoholic beverages, in particular alcohol, are of considerable danger if the patient has diabetes mellitus.

Such a disease rarely goes unnoticed for health, therefore, against its background, the full functionality of the body is disrupted. In this case, the use of alcohol will negatively affect the already affected internal organs, as a result of which their damage will worsen.

Need to understand how alcohol affects a person’s blood sugar? Is it able to lower or increase glucose concentration?

Effect of alcohol on blood glucose

People with high blood sugar should know how alcohol affects blood sugar, and be fully aware of this information. This issue has been repeatedly studied by doctors, more than one study was conducted to conclude that alcoholic beverages with diabetes can not only lower glucose, but also significantly increase.

It is worth noting that different types of alcohol have different effects on blood sugar. One alcoholic beverage can significantly lower the reading, while another alcohol will increase it.

Increases blood glucose, usually liquor, wine and other drink that contains a high concentration of sugar. Stronger alcohol lowers blood sugar – vodka, whiskey, cognac.

It is also important how much alcohol a person drank, and how much he consumed at one time. It is proved that the more the dose of alcoholic beverage was consumed once, the more actively alcohol lowers blood sugar. It is worth noting that if the glucose indicator drops sharply, then the likelihood of hypoglycemia development is not excluded.

Other factors that can affect blood sugar levels while drinking:

  • The presence of chronic diseases other than diabetes mellitus.
  • Pathology of the liver, pancreas.
  • The body’s susceptibility to alcoholic beverages.
  • Individual characteristics of the organism.
  • Excess weight.

As all of the above shows, not only the direct dependence of the change in sugar on alcohol is visible, but also an indirect one, when other factors in addition can affect the blood sugar level.

Therefore, it is not always possible to say for sure whether the sugar will decrease or increase.

Prohibition of alcohol in diabetes

The doctors of their patients always warn that alcohol and sugar in the blood of a diabetic are incompatible concepts, therefore it is recommended to exclude alcoholic beverages from consumption.

It is known that alcohol entering the human body has a negative effect on the liver, which provides a normal state for diabetics. To be more precise, it is the liver that is able to process glycogen, and prevent the concentration of glucose in the blood from becoming extremely low. It is especially important for diabetics to be aware of the blood sugar rate by age. 

The pancreas also suffers from alcohol. In addition, it is worth knowing that pancreatic cancer in the overwhelming majority of cases results from the abuse of alcoholic beverages.

It is the pancreas that is responsible for the synthesis of insulin in the human body, which is vital for every patient with diabetes. Disorder of the functioning of an internal organ is difficult to treat, and leads to a serious condition.

The harmful effects of alcohol in diabetes mellitus:

  1. Alcohol affecting the central nervous system complements the already developing disorders due to diabetes mellitus, therefore the situation is aggravated, and the disease begins to progress.
  2. Alcoholic drinks negatively affect the cardiovascular system, the heart muscle wears out quickly, the blood vessels lose their former elasticity, which together leads to heart pathologies.

From all this, it can be unambiguously concluded that blood sugar after alcohol can be high, but it can also be low.

However, it is not recommended to “play Russian roulette” with alcohol, you never know how such a “game” will turn out in its consequences.

What alcoholic drinks are acceptable for diabetes?

Any celebration, holiday, birthday and other events are not complete without the use of alcoholic beverages. A diabetic is also a person who wants to be indistinguishable from others and drink a small amount of alcoholic beverage.

That is why it is necessary to clearly know which alcohol lowers blood sugar and which drink can increase glucose.

When choosing a drink, a diabetic should pay attention to the concentration of sugar in the liquid, find out the percentage of alcohol strength, and calculate the calorie content of the drink.

There are alcoholic beverages that, in small quantities, will not harm diabetes mellitus:

  • Natural grape wine. It is desirable that the drink be made from dark grape varieties, because it then contains certain acids and vitamins that are useful for diabetes of any type. The patient can drink no more than 200 ml.
  • Vodka, whiskey, cognac and other alcoholic drinks of high strength. There is no sugar in these liquids, so they are acceptable for diabetes. However, you need to remember that they are high in calories, so they drink no more than 50 ml.
  • Fortified wine, liqueur, martinis and other light alcoholic drinks. It should be noted that these drinks contain a lot of sugar, so they are undesirable for consumption, and from them blood sugar can rise sharply.

Many patients believe that beer is a light alcoholic beverage that will not have a negative effect on the human body. However, in diabetes mellitus, beer is an insidious liquid with a delay in its effect.

The fact is that if a diabetic drinks a significant amount of the drink, his blood sugar test will not change, but after a short period of time, a sharp decrease in sugar may occur, as a result, delayed hypoglycemia.

It is worth noting that while drinking even a small amount of alcoholic beverages, a diabetic must control his glucose. And a blood test using a special measuring device like a glucometer will help him with this.

In conclusion, it should be said that for some, one type of alcohol is a sugar-increasing drink, but for another, the same drink will lower blood glucose. In this connection, it will not be possible to guess how the body will react in a given situation until everything is figured out in practice.

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