Can quitting alcohol reverse diabetes

Can quitting alcohol reverse diabetes?  

Can quitting alcohol reverse diabetes?

Diabetes is a long-term medical illness that can negatively impact your health and well-being. It may be a good idea to quit or limit your alcohol consumption depending on the severity of your diabetes and other linked health concerns, as alcohol has a significant impact on your blood sugar levels.

Alcohol use has been demonstrated in a few studies to alter blood sugar levels. Most people, however, are doubtful about how alcohol consumption can affect blood sugar levels. Is drinking linked to diabetes? OR does quitting alcohol completely reverse diabetes?

This article will teach you more about diabetes and the effects of alcohol on diabetes, such as how alcohol affects blood sugar and whether or not quitting alcohol can help you reverse diabetes.

Is it safe to drink alcohol if you have diabetes?

Alcohol can make regulating your blood sugar more challenging if you have diabetes in a variety of ways.

Alcohol is not fully safe for those with diabetes, according to various scientific research. According to experts and medical professionals, the link between alcohol and diabetes has never been beneficial, particularly when consumption is high. However, moderate drinking on occasion has no significant effect on blood sugar levels.

People with diabetes who consume alcohol and eat a healthy diet, for example, can have dangerously high blood sugar levels. People with diabetes who drink alcohol and are malnourished, on the other hand, can have dangerously low blood sugar levels.

In addition, chronic heavy drinking can interfere with a variety of metabolic processes and may be a risk factor for developing type 2 diabetes later in life. Drinking increases the risk of a variety of other diabetes-related health problems, such as major cardiovascular and neurological problems.

Can quitting alcohol reverse diabetes?

Diabetes is a disease that requires monitoring (a good diet, medicine, and regular exercise) to control it. While abstaining from alcohol for a short period of time cannot completely reverse diabetes, it has been shown to improve insulin resistance and lower blood sugar levels in moderate drinkers.

Abstinence from alcohol or quitting alcohol lowers the likelihood of obesity, which helps to keep blood glucose levels stable.

How dangerous is alcohol for diabetes?

In diabetics, alcohol has an indirect effect on blood glucose levels. The glycemic index of most alcoholic beverages is extremely high (GI). As a result, these drinks can significantly raise and spike blood sugar levels. It’s induced by the artificial sugar in alcoholic beverages.

Heavy alcohol use, defined as 16 standard drinks or more per day, can raise the risk of ketoacidosis in diabetics, providing severe health hazards for heavy drinkers with diabetes.

Ketoacidosis is a dangerous and potentially fatal diabetic complication. This condition, characterized by high amounts of specific acids known as ketone bodies (such as acetone, acetoacetate, and -hydroxybutyrate) in the blood, can develop when your body does not produce enough insulin to allow blood sugar into your cells for use as energy.

To compensate for the lack of insulin and energy, the liver may convert circulating fatty acid molecules into an excess of ketone bodies, which can have serious health repercussions.

Ketoacidosis can cause symptoms such as

  • thirst,
  • frequent urination,
  • dry skin,
  • flushed face,
  • nausea,
  • fatigue,
  • stomach pain and headache.

Moreover, heavy alcohol consumption can exacerbate lipid problems caused by diabetes. Alcohol intake, for example, can lead to higher triglyceride levels, lower levels of low-density lipoprotein cholesterol (LDL), and higher levels of high-density lipoprotein cholesterol (HDL).

Hypertriglyceridemia has been linked to an increased risk of heart disease and pancreatitis. Inflammation of the pancreas can be uncomfortable, but it can also decrease insulin production, making blood sugar management even more difficult for those with diabetes.

Diabetics who consume a lot of alcohol may develop cardiovascular disease. In those with Type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular disease is one of the primary causes of death. Relatively heavy alcohol use can raise blood pressure, which increases the risk of cardiovascular disease.

A person’s chance of acquiring diabetic eye disease may also be increased if they consume a lot of alcohol. Diabetic retinopathy is a common diabetic condition that leads to blindness in those who get it.

Retinopathy has the potential to cause permanent visual loss.

The two most common underlying causes of peripheral neuropathy are diabetes and alcohol usage. Damage to fragile nerve fibers necessary for muscular function as well as diverse senses such as touch, pain, vibration, and temperature causes peripheral neuropathy.

It can cause unpleasant sensations including tingling, burning, soreness, and numbness, which usually affect the legs or feet and get worse at night. Neuropathy can be dangerous for sufferers, as it increases the risk of limb cuts.

What Is the alcohol safe limit for diabetic patients?

Diabetic men can consume up to two alcoholic beverages per day, but diabetic women can consume only one. A drink is defined as five ounces of wine, 112 ounces of liquor, or 12 ounces of beer. Also, avoid mixing alcoholic beverages with sugary liquids such as soft drinks or sweet wine.

Diabetics’ alcohol consumption precautions

For people with diabetes who still want to consume alcohol, below are some precautionary methods you can apply to keep your diabetes in check.

  • Do not consume more than 30 mL of booze in a single day.
  • Alcohol should only be consumed with meals because carbohydrates limit the pace at which alcohol is absorbed, minimizing blood sugar swings.
  • To avoid glucose spikes, stay away from sweet mixed beverages, sweet wines, and cordials.
  • Combine alcoholic beverages with water, club pop, or sensitive diet drinks.
  • Drink slowly

Which alcohol Is the healthiest for diabetics?

Alcoholic beverages with a low sugar or carb content are the safest for diabetes. As long as you avoid sweet squeezes or syrups, this includes light beers, red and white wine, refined spirits, and low-carb mixed drinks.

Sugar content in traditional mixed beverages, dessert wines, and cream alcohols is typically higher, potentially spiking glucose levels.

How often can diabetics drink alcohol?

Men with diabetes can drink twice a day, whereas women can only drink once a day. Blood glucose should be closely monitored, and basic, unsweetened liquids should be consumed alongside food.


Diabetes is a disease that requires careful management. Quitting alcohol cannot reverse diabetes. However, short-term abstinence from alcohol has been found to reduce insulin resistance and lower blood sugar levels in moderate drinkers.

Abstinence from alcohol helps to maintain blood glucose levels steady by lowering the risk of obesity.


Michael Sarfo
Content Creator at Wapomu

Michael Sarfo is a graduate of the University of Ghana, Legon. He is a content creator for and a writer for Wapomu

Dr. Ehoneah Obed is a registered pharmacist and a member of the Pharmaceutical Society of Ghana. He has a Doctor of Pharmacy degree from Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology and has experience working in a Tertiary hospital as well as various community pharmacies. He is also a software engineer interested in healthcare technologies.

His love for helping others motivates him to create content on an array of topics mostly relating to the health of people and also software engineering content.

He is knowledgeable in digital marketing, content marketing, and a host of other skills that make him versatile enough to uplift any team he joins.

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