Can Alcohol Withdrawal Cause Low Blood Sugar?

Robert Gerchalk

Robert is our health care professional reviewer of this website. He worked for many years in mental health and substance abuse facilities in Florida, as well as in home health (medical and psychiatric), and took care of people with medical and addictions problems at The Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore. He has a nursing and business/technology degrees from The Johns Hopkins University.

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Can Alcohol Withdrawal Cause Low Blood Sugar?

Withdrawing from alcohol can come with a host of potential side effects, and one of them is low blood sugar. Alcoholics may experience hypoglycemia, or low blood sugar, during withdrawal due to the lack of food and nutrients that their bodies are used to getting from alcohol. It’s important to monitor your blood sugar levels if you’re withdrawing from alcohol, as low blood sugar can lead to serious health complications. If you think you might be experiencing low blood sugar, be sure to seek medical help right away.

Yes, alcohol withdrawal can cause low blood sugar. Alcohol is a depressant and when you drink, it slows down your body’s normal functions. This includes the release of glucose from the liver. So when you suddenly stop drinking, your blood sugar can drop quickly. This can cause symptoms like shaking, sweating, and feeling very hungry. If you have diabetes, you should be especially careful when you’re drinking and when you’re giving up alcohol, because you’re at risk for low blood sugar. Talk to your doctor if you have any questions or concerns.