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cirrhosis and alcohol
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cirrhosis and alcohol

My husband was diagnosed with cirrhosis about 6 months ago.  He has improved tremendously after 2 hospitalizations and is now classified as having "stable cirrhosis".  My question is what will happen if he has an occasional drink?  Because he feels so good, he seems to think it can't be all that bad.  How long does it take for a cirrhotic (although stable) liver to metabolize alcohol.  Obviously I don't want him to drink at all, but he is a grown man and I can't control what he does.  Is there any resource I can show him to help him understand?  Lately all his tests are showing within normal range, so I think he believes he is okay.  Any advice would be appreciated.
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You might try printing this out and see if he'll read it: http://patients.uptodate.com/topic.asp?file=livr_dis/4490

I'm not sure if it will be of help, but toward the bottom it starts to list all of the different problems a person with cirrhosis can develop. They're very straight forward. It also points out all of the 'regular' meds that a person with cirrhosis should avoid, things that most of us wouldn't even bat an eyelash at. It also lists alcohol first and foremost in the DON'T category.

Just because he feels okay does NOT mean is liver is okay. I'll see if I can find some 'nice' pictures. Maybe they'll help.
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Take a look through some of these: http://library.med.utah.edu/WebPath/LIVEHTML/LIVERIDX.html

Take a look at a couple of the "gross" - the normal and the cirrhotic liver - not pretty. You could also look at the 'delightful' esophageal varices pic - which is what he could end up with.

Just because he feels fine does not mean he can drink. He's stressing the few remaining, functioning liver cells he's got. Doesn't he want to live a half-way decent, pain-free life for how ever many years he has?

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Hi, I also have an alcoholic husband with serious multiple physiological problems caused by years of heavy consumption. Even with the seriousness of his condition he still falters, as time goes on he does back to drinking less and less as he is coming to terms with what has and is happening to him.  There are medical treatments for alcoholism besides the old antabuse drugs. There are clinics that provide prescription cocktails that are support to help with the cravings of alcohol and other addictive chemicals, but this if by no means a cure but it does help one stay sober.  We do not live near any of these clinics but I have seen documentaries on their successes with addiction.  The addiction clinic looked to me as if it would be a viable alternative to death by alcohol.
In case you are interested my husband is 40 years old suffering from esophageal varices, hiatal hernia, apnea, and we are waiting for his blood work back to see just how bad is liver and his kidneys might be. He has not had any liver tests in 4 years as this is the first time he has had health insurance since 2000, now that he obtained a disabled status with the government. Plus he has something wrong with is right eye now too he has to see a specialist soon.  
Hang in the Al’s Wife, be tenacious, sounds like he is lucky to have someone who cares about him enough to want to prolong his life sometimes that is the best medicine.

Misty
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228936_tn?1249097848
It's a bad idea. Someone with that much liver damage must have gotten it from drinking so drink more? I don't think so. all the best
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