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Author Topic: drinking  (Read 15719 times)

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Offline Monkey

  • Member
  • Posts: 22
« on: July 25, 2011, 06:10:47 pm »
When I was diagnosed last June 2010, I was told if I have another drink, I'll die......

My treatments start in September and I'm wondering what'll happen if I have a couple of drinks.  I don't mean going overboard, I mean just a couple on a hot day............

Offline Tim Horn

  • Member
  • Posts: 51
Re: drinking
« Reply #1 on: July 26, 2011, 04:27:40 pm »

Unfortunately, there are no hard-and-fast rules when it comes to occasional drinking either before or during treatment for hep C. Much of what we know about the effects of alcohol on the liver in people living with chronic hepatitis C involves heavy drinking (usually more than 3 to 5 drinks a day, depending on gender). We don't know much about the effects of occasional/moderate drinking, but the approach has been to err on the side of caution.

Drinking while being treated probably isn't a good idea, as you'll want to keep your liver as healthy as possible as the meds go about their work. It's possible that alcohol -- any amount, really -- can work against your meds, which you definitely don't want.

Short of asking your doctor for his or her thoughts, the Veterans Administration offers up some pretty clear advice on the matter:

Hepatitis C and Alcohol: A Clinician's Perspective

An important perspective on the alcohol and hepatitis C issue is that alcohol intake is the one thing that patients with hepatitis C can alter that may reduce the progression to serious liver disease. Other variables in disease progression, such as gender, age and immunologic response cannot be altered.

Should I tell my patient with chronic hepatitis C that he/she shouldn't drink alcohol?

Answer: Yes. Despite the lack of conclusive information about the exact quantity of alcohol that is harmful to patients with HCV infection, there is substantial evidence that alcohol consumption worsens liver injury associated with HCV disease. Therefore, it remains important to discuss the potential effects alcohol may have on your HCV-infected patient. Every patient with hepatitis C infection needs to be counseled about the value of abstinence from alcohol.

What should I advise my patient who only drinks alcohol once per week or less?

Answer: No amount of alcohol has been shown to be safe for your patient. The evidence is not as clear for the individual who drinks alcohol once per week or less, but variables such as gender, ethnicity, and body frame may influence disease progression even with minimal amounts of alcohol consumption. Insufficient data are available to answer this question conclusively for patients who only drink a few drinks per week. Based on current knowledge, no amount of alcohol ingestion can be considered "safe" for hepatitis C patients.

Should I wait until my actively drinking patient has been abstinent for 6 months or more before performing a liver biopsy or initiating anti-HCV therapies?

Answer: Practitioners disagree on this issue. However, in general, actively drinking patients may have more hepatic inflammation than non-drinkers. Therefore, in order to obtain an accurate assessment of HCV-related fibrosis and inflammation when performing a liver biopsy, it is advisable to wait until the patient has been abstinent for some time. However, the optimal duration of abstinence has not been defined. Liver tests may also improve with alcohol abstinence, leading to reduced urgency for biopsy or treatment in the active alcoholic. In addition, active alcohol use increases HCV RNA levels and may reduce response to therapy, so abstinence prior to therapy seems to be an appropriate recommendation.

Offline frankfromatlanta

  • Member
  • Posts: 25
Re: drinking
« Reply #2 on: July 28, 2011, 09:19:15 am »
monkey, why risk it? Your liver is battling hep c demons right now. Adding anything that might make it worse is crazy if you ask me.

Offline farmgirl

  • Member
  • Posts: 20
Re: drinking
« Reply #3 on: July 28, 2011, 03:28:01 pm »
don't do it. no good can come of it

Offline Monkey

  • Member
  • Posts: 22
Re: drinking
« Reply #4 on: July 31, 2011, 07:51:20 pm »
I know I'd be risking my liver.  It is already at risk....I know that.   I just hate the fact that I cannot live a normal life after working so damn hard at changing everything.....Clean and basically sober for 11 years and then diagnosed with this 15 jun 10.  I quit drinking that day.....my treatments start 12 sep.....6 months of it and getting VERY nervous


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