Triglyceride levels in blood react quickly to a fat and sugary meal. You may see a rise in your levels the next day. Drop them both from your meal and you could again promptly see some fall.
Similarly, they react quickly to a night of binge drinking (alcohol abuse). You will see your lipid levels spike the next day.
How does alcohol raise triglyceride and cholesterol levels? The alcohol that you drink is broken down and rebuilt into triglycerides and cholesterol in the liver. So, alcohol raises the triglycerides and cholesterol in your blood.
If your triglyceride levels become too high, they can accumulate in the liver and cause fatty liver disease.
Light to moderate drinking is unlikely to adversely affect your cholesterol or triglyceride levels. In fact, it may improve HDL cholesterol levels and even reduce the risk of heart disease. But, in sensitive individuals, even a drink can send the triglyceride levels soaring. If you aleady have elevated triglycerides, you should abstain from alcohol altogether.
Heavy drinkers, whether regular or occasional, exhibit an unhealthy lipid profile. However, heavy drinking impairs heart health and may raise total cholesterol and triglyceride levels. Triglycerides and alcohol consumption carries a lot of risks and is dangerous.
However, will they come down as quickly after quitting alcohol? It depends on several factors:
- How high have they been and since how long?
- How much have you been drinking and since how long?
- How are your eating habits?
- Is there any accompanying diabetes?
- Are you a member of the metabolic syndrome?
- What is your lifestyle? Is it sedentary without much physical activity?
If you have quit alcohol (all types) and smoking and you have a healthy diet, exercise regularly, get proper sleep, and have adopted the recommended lifestyle, then the drop shouldn’t take time.
According to livestrong.com, you could see some drop in the triglyceride levels within one day.
According to the University of Massachusetts Medical School, it is possible for some people to see some significant drop in levels in a matter of days.
It does seem there is no definite answer to this question because a lot of factors mentioned above come into play. But, one thing is certain that quitting alcohol will have a positive effect on your triglyceride and cholesterol levels and of course your overall health.
However, consider this:
It is advised and recommended that when you go for a lipid profile test, you are advised to abstain from drinking alcohol 24 hours before you give blood, besides fasting for 9 to 12 hours. Some doctors advise a 48-hour refrain from alcohol.
This is to avoid getting a false picture of your lipid behavior caused by alcohol so that the doctor is able to more accurately prescribe your medication and the correct dose.
This does indicate that triglyceride and cholesterol levels do fall within 24 to 48 hours after having stopped drinking alcohol.
The drop is in the triglycreride levels raised due to alcohol consumption only and not in levels raised due to other factors such as diabetes, obesity, etc.