man holding a glass in one hand and beer in the other

How Long Does Alcohol Stay In Your Blood And Other Questions, Answered

As people continue to get vaccinated and the world reopens, many of us are reflecting on our increased alcohol consumption during the pandemic and its effect on our health. Is it really so bad for your blood pressure? How long does alcohol stay in your blood? Keep reading to learn more about how alcohol affects your body.

Age, weight, and biological sex

Health – especially liver – conditions and any medications you may be taking

How much you drank, what type of alcohol you drank, and whether you drank on an empty stomach

Alcohol can be detected by a blood test for up to 12 hours.

How does alcohol affect your blood pressure?

One drink of alcohol can cause high blood pressure for at least two hours. Regularly consuming more than two drinks can put you at risk for long-term high blood pressure.

Hypertension, another term for high blood pressure, doesn’t typically cause alarming symptoms initially. Over time, however, chronic high blood pressure can take its toll on your arteries, heart, brain, and kidneys, eventually leading to a heart attack or stroke if left untreated.

Can you drink alcohol while on blood pressure medication?

If you take medications for high blood pressure, combining them with alcohol can lead to extremely low blood pressure. This can cause side effects that can be very dangerous, especially in the wrong environment, such as:

  • Lightheadedness
  • Dizziness
  • Drowsiness
  • Falling
  • Fainting

How does alcohol affect your blood sugar?

Alcohol lowers blood sugar in non-diabetics; too many drinks can cause blood sugar levels to drop too low and cause a variety of symptoms. These symptoms may include:

  • Weakness
  • Moodiness
  • Fatigue
  • Sometimes even seizures

Over time, this reduces insulin’s effectiveness in regulating blood sugar levels, leading to chronically high blood sugar. This can lead to glucose intolerance or diabetes.

How does alcohol affect diabetics? Can I drink while taking diabetes medication?

Only you and your doctor can determine if it’s safe for you to drink alcohol with your diabetes medication, as effects can vary greatly depending on your overall health and the severity of your diabetes. Some people will be able to enjoy the occasional drink worry-free; others will have to exercise much more caution. Some tips to keep in mind:

Moderate Drinking

Moderate amounts of alcohol may cause blood sugar to rise, however excess amounts can cause it to decrease. Those with type 1 diabetes are more prone to blood sugar drops into dangerously low levels when drinking in excess.


Beers, sweet wines, and any other drink containing carbohydrates may raise blood sugar.


Alcohol stimulates appetite, which can cause you to overeat and affect blood sugar control.

You can avoid drinking in excess by following the guidelines of moderate alcohol consumption. You should always be sure to eat before drinking alcohol, and always wear a medical I.D. tag in case you need emergency assistance.

If you are having trouble prioritizing your health over drinking, Elite Home Detox can help you take the steps you need towards sobriety. We offer in-home recovery services, allowing us to tailor a custom recovery plan for each patient, rather than taking a cookie-cutter approach. Detox and aftercare services are delivered to you discretely, meaning you can maintain some normalcy in your day-to-day life while making progress on your personal health goals.

If you have a loved one with an alcohol dependency problem, our Intervention Specialists can help your loved one’s support network to deliver a message of love and accountability that motivates them to accept help.

Elite Home Detox Can Help You Improve Your Health

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