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Hepatitis C Main Forums => Post Hepatitis C Treatment => Topic started by: Yande on September 16, 2018, 06:48:17 am

Title: Finished treatment. An Introduction and some Questions if I may...
Post by: Yande on September 16, 2018, 06:48:17 am
Hi All..
I am so grateful to find this forum.  I'm 59, and was diagnosed with Non A, Non B Hepatitis back in 1978.  1995 that was later clarified as Hep C whilst in Rehab.  My life always revolved around healthy periods and not so healthy periods, using Heroin and not using Heroin.  Always searching for a way to stop.. Not much drinking.  That is, until the past 10 years..  At that time I gave up heroin and apart from Suboxone, took up drinking.  Suboxone entailed regular doctor’s appointments and that lead to last year, getting my Hep C treated with Epclusa.  2 months ago I was informed all clear. 

Prior to the beginning of my treatment I was informed that I had cirrhosis of the liver towards the upper level.  I had a camera put down my throat but no "varicose" evidence was found.  (Apologies for the lack of technical detail, but seeing as I am in Australia, and all of this treatment is free I really did not ask a lot of questions.) From my understanding they were looking to see if, due to the restricted performance of my liver due to the scarring, whether the backlog of blood was being stored in the veins in my throat, thus bringing on a risk of rupture. None was found, as stated.
Treatment was pretty well side effects free, apart from some joint pain.  I even finished my regime (Eplcusa) whilst in China on our yearly vacation.  Yes, Buprenorphine, (Suboxone) really helped out with my problems.  I got married, bought a house and resurrected my business.  I’m content, comparatively.  Life is simple and enjoyable.
Now to my questions…  I was advised that I needed to stop drinking alcohol by a nurse.  I pretty well did for the next 6 months, with no alcohol during the 3 months of treatment.  A month or so after treatment I started drinking these “Ultra Light” Alcohol Beers.  They state less than 0.5% alcohol.  I drink 2 of these around every second day. 375ml.= 12 7 ounces.
Considering before treatment I was drinking 6 x 375 ml beers (4.6%Alcohol) plus numerous glasses of wine, every day, I think I am doing well,, but perhaps I am not.  Please give me your honest opinions..  Is a little Ok? 
Anyways, apologies for the long post, but I needed to get some stuff out there. 
Wishing you the very best...
Also, forgot to mention, I am schedued for bi-annual ultrasounds for my liver.
Title: Re: Finished treatment. An Introduction and some Questions if I may...
Post by: Lynn K on September 16, 2018, 08:53:30 pm
Hi Yande and welcome

I have had cirrhosis for over 10 years now. I stopped all alcohol when I was diagnosed. I had an upper EGD when I was first diagnosed with cirrhosis at that time I had grade 1 (small) esophageal varicies. I was rechecked 2 years later and they had increased to grade 2. The following year I was checked again and I had grade 3 esophageal varicies that could result in a life threatening bleeding episode so I underwent 4 banding procedures over the next 4 months to eridicate the varicies. I have not had any reoccurrence of varicies since 2013 having annual upper EGD’s to monitor for any return.

A couple of thoughts about drinking so called NA beer, as you have noted there is a small alcohol content in NA beer and any alcohol can be liver damaging. Also I am assuming you may have an alcohol problem and any drinking of beer even if just NA could be close enough to draw you back into heavier drinking of the real stuff. So just my concerns and obviously the choice is yours.

Liver cirrhosis is a very serious life threatening condition. By consuming any alcohol you are playing with fire. With cure of hep c we are much less likely to have progression of our liver disease but we are still at higher risk of liver cancer although that risk is also greatly reduced with cure.  However, if at some point in the future you should find yourself needing a liver transplant in order to survive most liver transplant centers will not allow you to be placed on the list if you are consuming alcohol or any illegal drug. Basically if you want to survive your best choice is to be 100% clean and sober.

Congratulations on your cure and good luck with your continued sobriety

best regards
Title: Re: Finished treatment. An Introduction and some Questions if I may...
Post by: lporterrn on September 17, 2018, 03:45:26 pm
Hi Yande,
Thank you for your honesty. Clearly you care about your health, and have dealt with a lot over the years.

So here are the facts as I see them, straight up.
You have cirrhosis and that is a serious condition that may create some serious problems later. You may be able to avoid these problems if you live the healthiest lifestyle you can.  Will what you are doing hurt you? We don't know, but if it is exactly as you state, probably not. Is it better than what you were doing? Yes. Will it help you? No.

The part I relate to is that I drank like that and it wasn't long before a glass of wine crept in, and then another, and then I was looking at facts that I didn't want to look at, which is that I had a drinking problem. I had a very high bottom when I went to AA, but I was torturing myself with controlled drinking and wondering if I was hurting myself. In the meantime, I was telling patients not to drink. The hypocrisy was killing me, but the disease of alcoholism had me by the throat. Even though I wasn't drinking much. I was thinking about it all the time. And lying about it, especially to myself.

If you can relate to any of this, consider that maybe you have a drinking problem.

Here's another point - if you ever find yourself with end-stage liver disease, liver cancer, or needing a transplant, are you going to feel guilty about what you are drinking? In my case, the answer was yes. But I couldn't stop on my own. I needed help.

So, watch to see what happens. If you are honest with yourself, you'll see if you too have a problem.
Title: Re: Finished treatment. An Introduction and some Questions if I may...
Post by: I fightis thetitis on September 19, 2018, 05:06:46 am
Hi there Yande,

I had been a moderate drinker for years. In 2015 I was at a function drinking and out of the blue I got a nose bleed. Unfortunately the bleed was intermittent and continued for a month.
Went to Dr and was diagnosed F4 cirrhosis. Nose bleeds are a known side fx of cirrhosis.
Harvoni 24 weeks and virus free since.
However, once virus is cleared, some with cirrhosis have a real chance for reversal from severe to mild fibrosis. Some have gone F4 to F1.

With that in mind, seems like sage wisdom to abstain altogether since cirrhosis significantly increases the risk of liver cancer.

Alcohol is a toxin and destroys healthy liver cells. Man, best advise is let your liver try and recover from the ravages of all the scarring we have gone through.
I know it's hard but very doable with a strong mind shift or two.

I was lucky and was able to stop cold turkey.

BTW, I do not smoke marajuanna, but I have seen a lot of recent research that states cannibis can help ween off alchol AND that it may actually have benefits for the liver.
I am not advocating, just passing that along.. there is a lot of google info on the subject.

Good luck to you buddy..

PS Lucinda and Lynn are the best experts here.. always have great advise.