I found this site when doing a search on the internet. Wow... a lot of info so I figured the readers here would not the answers I am looking for.
My hubby recently found out he has anitbodies for hepatitis C. The Dr. told him not to drink anymore (at least when treatment starts), but he feels the Dr. is just covering his rear end so to speak.
David (my husband) has done a lot if research on the internet and all studies seem to be geared to people who drink a lot (30-80 grams a day). David probably only has 6-8 drinks all week and only of red wine. He never drinks more than 3 drinks at a time. He feels the Dr. is referring to alcoholics, not him.....and granted I do not belive he is one. I have lived with him for 25 years.
So.......I am looking for opinions so I can either take my hubby's side or the Dr's. I hate to put it that way, but most of what I read says no alcohol.
Does hubby have hcv or the antibodies, as you mention? If the only revelation so far is identification of antibodies, how can the doc anticipate 'when treatement starts' or if it is even necessary? Think there are some missing pieces to the puzzle.
If he has Hep C, then there is damage occuring to his liver. How much damage depends on how long he has had the disease, how much he drinks, etc. A biopsy will show the state of his liver. The doc is right, he should not drink at all because it will compound the problem.
doctor is 100% right. drinking alcohol is like throwing gas on a fire. studies have shown drinking & hepatitis will result in cirrhosis much faster. dont mean to scare you but if hubby has kids / grandkids that he wants to see grow up then stop drinking, if not then keep drinking and enjoy the few years left.
Best we can figure he had transfusions in 1986 after an accident with a lawn mower....sounds gruesome I know, but the doc says that was before testing. I don't have it (luckily) and I am a nurse. Go figure!
He has type 3 I believe and the viral load told the dr. to treat. We found it when his ALT was up to 299 during a routine exam. I was told that was a huge reading and needed to be treated. I am a psych nurse so not good at this type of illness.
You have it on perhaps our most contentious subject. We have many :)
Somewhat surprised that so many are willing go at it so soon after our latest marathon (103 posts in all) alcohol thread and that doesn't include the follow-up thread that was deleted because I guess managment felt it was too over the top. I'm kind of worn out on the subject today, but here's that thread and you will get all sorts of point of view.
You asked about liver damage. All we know at this point is that all blooke tests were perfect except the ast/alt (169/299). Dr. had him go for ultrasound. Perfectly normal. Dr. says biopsy optional if treating since he feels liver is OK now. I don't understand though how could the liver be normal if David has had this for 21 years? He has had numberous tests over the years and never had raised enaymes before. Why would it show up now I wonder? Dr. says age.......does that sound right?
Nurse: He has type 3 I believe and the viral load told the dr. to treat.
You don't treat based on viral load. Is your husband seeing a liver specialist (hepatologist) or a GI? The former (hepatologist) will in most cases give him a better evaluation as well as treatment approach, if warranted.
You're a psyche nurse, correct? Well, as you know many GP's diagnose depression these days and prescribe ADs. And in many cases things work out OK. But if things get complicated, best the patient see a psychiatrist to handle the tricky stuff. Well, Hep C treatment has a lot of the "tricky" stuff. Best to start off from the beginning with someone equipped to handle it.
Many people here have had little liver damage after 20+ years of hcv. Some experience more rapid progression. Since you said that he is geno type 3 and has a viral load (of whatever amount) you can assume that hubby has chronic hcv. The 'optional' biopsy, from many peoples' view, is an important piece of the entire assessment. Having little damage may be a cause to wait for treatment for the next generation of meds in the next few years. Some docs see geno types 2 and 3 as 'more treateable' than other geno types and will suggest to treat without further assessment. If it was me, I'd go for the optional biopsy, get all blood test results togeter, and see and additional hcv-experienced doc to help you sort it all out. Although the transfusion sounds likely, you'll probably never really know how long he's had it unless hubby can recall and pinpoint the timing for the 'acute' phase.
you should never ask a person how they got Hep C. If they want to tell you they would. It's rude and intrusive.
Nurse, his AST and ALT are elevated and although that does not indicate the liver's synthetic function, i.e., how it is working, he probably needs a biopsy....but there are two schools of thought about this as well. Get copies of everything that the doc ordered and keep a book for your/himself.
Now I am confused. The Dr. told him with enzymes that high, it was acute hep. Now granted, he is a gastro not a liver dr. Dr. said it had been non active and something caused it to rear it's ugly head. Age was his reason.
He wanted to treat though because it was acute and the right type to respond.
Thanks for your help. Sorry to bring up the alcohol thing, but it concerns me and I want to encourage my husband with facts not ****. He told the Dr. he would still have 1 or 2 drinks 3 or 4 times a week because he enjoys it. From what I have been reading here though, the meds will make him so sick he won't want to drink!!!!!
"Acute" means your husband was infected within the last six months. Do both of yourselves a favor and get properly evaluated by a liver specialist (hepatologist) before making any decisions that you may have to live with for a long, long time.
If you want, tell us approx where you live, and maybe someone can refer you to one. In any event, hepatologists can usually be found at your larger, teaching hospitals. Hep C is one of those conditions that is very misunderstood in the medical community and even among GI's.
As to the alcohol thing, I gave you a link earlier to a thread that covers every conceivable point of view. Why don't you and your husband take some time and read that thread. As far as drinking during treatment, there is universal agreement that you do not drink during treatment. But first things first, see a good liver specialist and get your husband properly evaluated for treatment.
Many people who frequent this forum or stop by are somewhat surprised when diagnosed with hcv. A person can be symptom-free and they stumble upon the knowledge during routine blood tests for employment, insurance, blood donation etc. And, since duration of infectiion is not necessaril indicative of amount of liver damge, the biopsy is recommended. Once a person has hcv there is really no inactive time. Enzymes may be in the lower ranges and viral loads may fluctuate, but it's always there. What bugs a lot of people is that they've walked around for many years harboring this virus and just want to get rid of it.
Jim is one of our most measured posters here and his advice is very sound.
Your hubby's AST and ALT are high but when i was acute, mine were in the 800s and 700s and I was quite ill. Perhaps your GI is thinking this is some sort of flare but those aren't all that common. The picture is definitely confusing and a lot of folks here treat with top of the line hepatologists including myself. what state are you in?
Yes, the Gi guy told us that it probably has been there for 20 plus years but just now flared raising the enzymes that have never been raised before. David has right upper quadrant pain, pain and numbness in his right shoulder and smells smoke that is not there. The doc says the latter is due to the systemic virus. The viral load was 12 million I beleive. Type 2. With all this I just don't understand why it was quiet all these years after what Jim said. As stated earlier, the Ultrasound was normal and all other blood work normal.
smells smoke that is not there
I had that happen to me while on treatment. Bugged the heck out of me. I never heard of anyone else ever mention this.
Please stick around here at medhelp. You can gain a lot of information and more important, be your own patient advocate. Some of the docs can be real nut jobs and you need to spot the ones who are.
Thanks for your imput....my hubby would not do this on his own.....
I thought the smelling thing was real odd. My gut would tell me brain tunor or something like that. I do not know for sure that it is related....he may have more problems then we thought.
David (hubby) tells me it just come and goes. Smells like woodsy smoke....not like cigarettes 9we don't smoke). I did internet research but came up with nothing really. Dr. said due to virus...but usually due to flu virus. Not sure he really knows.
I have been going with him to the Dr. and will try to keep everyone up dated once we know for sure what he is going to do.
I don't want to address the same old tired is it ok to drink while I have hepC thread but I do want to offer this.
Right now, after having this for 21 years and drinking actively on top of it, it would have to miraculous to not have liver damage. A liver enzyme is released when a liver cell dies. So the higher the number the more cells are dying. a "NORMAL" number would be in the 20s. Your husbands numbers are THRU THE ROOF - AN OBVIOUS SIGN THAT HE IS IN A STAGE OF LIVER DISEASE PROGRESSION. If you proceed to drink with hepC and don't worry about it - well you will develop cirhossis. Once you have cirhossis (can't spell sorry) there is no way back.
Right now he CAN stop drinking to prevent FURTHER damage. He can do treatment to rid himself of the disease. He CAN heal his liver. As you know, the liver is the only organ that DOES have the ability to repair itself. BUT NOT IF YOU HAVE DEVELOPED CIRHOSSIS!!!!!!!!
You need to find out how much liver damage has already been done to know where you stand. Viral load means NOTHING at all in this. I don't think it's possible to be acute after 21 years - that is CHRONIC and chronic is chronic. He's had it a long time and you can't tell by how you 'feel' how your liver enzymes are doing.
Most of us never have a symptom. I surely had NOTHING and only found out by accident. I had a biopsy and found out I have stage 3 liver damage - very very very bad thing to have. Almost out of time there. Remember - I had no symptoms AT ALL.
Someone with Upper right Quadrant pain DOES have a symptom - it's probably just gotten to a point now where it's harder to ignore the symptom.
Find a reputable doctor that knows something about this.
Please take this advise realize he DOES have liver damage and he needs to do something about it before it is just too late.
Unfortunately it's his decision - but I hope he makes all the right ones here for your sake.
Personally he sounds like he has a hard core alcohol addiction to me, I know it's not my place to say but with this attitude he might look into a good 12 step program. Someone who values liquor more than their life or would even try to wiggle their way around it is in big trouble.
At the least you should check out Alanon. I do know what it's like because I am an alcoholic addict (sober now). It's not easy. Maybe you could just go and see that there is a huge support group out there and they could help you to understand.
"He told the Dr. he would still have 1 or 2 drinks 3 or 4 times a week because he enjoys it"
I appreciate your concern, but if my husband was a heavy drinker for the last 25 years I would know it. He drinks 6-8 glasses of red wine a week (not a day). I only asked because he seemed reluctant to give up our only vice. EDucation is what he needs, not speculation. I don't know where you got the idea he is "hard core" drinker. Maybe that was someone elses entry.
I drink the same amount with him, but would be willing to give it up too. My liver is fine too.
Also, the doctor says there is no major liver damage for all tests were good except the AST/ALT. Those have come back down now is why he though there was a flare up. The ultrasound and exam were all negative. I know though biopsy might show differently, but the doc says if the liver was that bad the blood work and US would show something. There is no swelling, hardness....nothing. The doc says it is not unusual to just be a carrier until the virus decides to do something. For 20 years DAvids AST/ALT have been normal and he has gone religously every year for his bloodwork. I make him go......
doc says the elevated enzymes are because Davids body is trying to fight it off and that kills the cells. He said treatment would do the same thing.
Thanks though, but I am not sure if people here are this judgemental that this is the place for us. I was not trying to help my husband by someone labeling him an alcoholic. As stated, I have lived with him for 25 years and believe me, if he had a problem I would have made sure he addressed it. We were only looking for support and answers not diagnosis. Sorry but this forum sounds more like a place were bitter people like to make others just as miserable.
For those of you who are not like that I'm sorry that some can ruin it for all.....
As you can see, this particular subject often goes over the top and really isn't indicative of either the people here or the valuable information this forum provides. Keep that in mind when thinking of leaving because you and your husband probably would benefit by sticking around.
From what you've said, your husband is not a heavy drinker by any medical standards. And to clarify a few points, we've had heavy drinkers who have had little c liver damage and we;ve had light drinkers who've had significant liver damage. Hep C is a strange disease like that, but generally heavy drinking accelerates the process -- but again, your husband does not fall into that category.
The other point is that cirrhosis is reversible based on more recent thought. And the best way to reverse cirrhosis is to treat and kill the virus. This does not appear to be a concern with your husband now, but just wanted to point it out.
I think what triggered a lot of this -- besides the subject in general -- is your husband's attitude of wanting to continue to drink DURING treatment. To me, it says that either he isnt educated enough in Hep C treatment or isnt taking the whole thing serious enough.
Does your husband understand what treatment involves? Its not a a daily walk in the park followed by a night cap of his favorite wine. Its tough stuff, re`al`ly` `t`ough stuf`f` with side effects, sometimes very strong side effects. And in order to succeed one needs to take it very seriously. Maybe your husband still has to come to grips with that fact. Maybe this whole drinking during treatment thing is his way of not dealing with the seriousness of the issue. I really dont know but thats where I would start with him.
Id say bring him into the group and have him post his thoughts except that on this subject nothing good every comes out. But maybe you and your doctors can talk to him, educate him. Not just about the drinking, but about the whole process as well. Maybe once he understands how serious both Hep C and treatment are, then the drinking during treatment thing will take care of itself.
Again, dont give up on the group because of responses on this very volatile subject. And try to understand what it must be like to some of us treating -- or just finishing treatment -- who have literally gone through h*ll, to hear someone say they want to continue drinking during treatment. The word `'`di``spr`e`ctf`ul comes to mind,` ev`en though I know its not your intention.
Do wo`r`k `o`ut` the drinkin`g thing on your own and with your doctor -- then come back for support which you will probably need. BTW sorry for the strange typo characters -- my computer keyboard lately is acting like its had one too many.
this will be my last comment here. i will save any further comments to others that really want help to beat this disease. ANY alcohol even ONE drink a week will help to progress to cirhosis faster then none at all. most people find out they have HCV, they are usually in a state of shock and decide that they have to make changes if they want to live, others just put it in the back of their mind and continue living like nothing is wrong. these are the people that cirhosis creeps up on and end up on a transplant list. i do not know many people that would want to drink with an ALT close to 300. this is almost suicide. good luck
"He has type 3 I believe and the viral load told the dr. to treat"
"The viral load was 12 million I beleive. Type 2. "
Hi Betty, I know that everythig is confusing when you first hear about having hep c, but just wanted you to know that it helps to write everything down, and get copies of all bloodwork. As a nurse, you know how important documentation is....it shows progression of the disease, progress made against the disease, and is a reliable source when you're not sure.
Hope you stick around and learn how to help your husband....everyone is entitled to their opinion and you'll get everyone's when you ask for help. That's usually a good thing, because you can learn a lot from a group this large. Alcohol is a hot issue and you won't get a lot of support from people who are doing everything they can to beat this disease.
I drank before I treated and quit when I started tx. It seemed rational to me that if I was fighting a liver disease and using toxic drugs to fight it, I wouldn't want to stress my body anymore than I already had. I've heard of people who drank on tx, but I have never known anyone. I do know of sweet wonderful people who have never had a drink, yet are fighting for their life against this horrible disease.
Make sure your husband is really educated on the whole disease process so he can make an informed choice. If he still wants to drink while on tx, that's his choice, but not one most people would chose.
One thing that may happen is that during treatment your husband will feel foggy, tired, and in a virtual hangover. Alcohol will no longer be a pleasure. It may work itself out naturally. It will be pretty important that you support him by not drinking or at least not drinking too much around him. All these posters really do know what they're talking about. I wish you the best.
I would like to echo Jims comments, you will find this forum an invaluable source of information. Itsjust that any discussion on alcohol and a couple of others tend to get a bit heated. So please don’t base your opinions on any poster or this forum based on an alcohol discussion.
There is no evidence that having 1 or 2 drinks a day and not more than 7 per week with at least 2 alcohol free days causes any harm or further liver damage when you have HepC. The exception is if you have cirrhosis, and then no alcohol should be consumed.
The following is the advice given in Australia and comes from
There is a higher risk of developing liver disease, including cirrhosis, if you have hepatitis C and drink alcohol. Alcohol is also likely to affect your response to treatment, making treatment less effective.
If you have chronic hepatitis C, but not cirrhosis, limit your alcohol intake to no more than seven standard drinks per week and have one or two alcohol free days per week. If you have cirrhosis, it is recommended that you do not drink any alcohol.
To reduce your alcohol intake:
• set a limit, such as one standard drink per day;
• switch to low alcoholic or alcohol-free drinks;
• avoid situations where there is pressure to drink, such as drinking in rounds;
• mix beer or stout with lemonade;
• mix wine with mineral water;
• alternate a non-alcoholic drink with an alcoholic one; and
• aim to have one or two alcohol-free days each week.
Should I cut down on alcohol?
There is no evidence to suggest that total abstinence from alcohol is necessary when you have hepatitis C, unless you have cirrhosis. However, it is recommended that people with hepatitis C who consume alcohol in large quantities should reduce the amount they drink, as alcohol does increase the rate of liver damage.
A standard drink is equal to one can of light beer, one nip of spirits, or a 100ml glass of wine.
A standard drink = 10grams of alcohol (my comment)
The thing to take not of is that alcohol can affect your response to treatment, so therefore should not be consumed during Tx.
Both Pre and Post treatment the amounts you both consume should cause you no harm and may even be beneficial.
I would like too to echo Jim’s comments and others and I would like to add that "normal" Ultrasound results doesn’t necessary mean that his liver is well, not fibrotic, or cirrhotic. In my experience, Ultrasound will tell you if gall stones are present. It can’t even discover small liver lesions. Dr. can not make conclusions that your husband is "a carrier" only. Plus, it has been proven that Hep. C ALWAYS to some degree affecting liver and/ or other organs, including brain. Unfortunately, there is no such thing as a "carrier only" with Hep. C.
Just my personal observation: with so high liver enzymes level, he should have a high virus activity and, consequently, potentially a significant liver damage. As you know, enzymes are a bi-product of dying liver (mostly liver, with these enzymes) cells.
For example: I don't know how long I had this disease prior to my diagnosis, but I know that at the time of diagnosis I was 26 years old, never drunk any alcohol (only champagne on New Years), did not use any other harmful substance, didn't smoke, etc. I was (and still I'm) very healthy, generally speaking. I was diagnosed during baseline physical prior to employment in the lab. My liver enzymes were moderately elevated (ALT ~120, AST~65) and biopsy revealed that I already had a significant liver damage.
Oops my bad, forgot about your hubbys ALT levels.
When I was diagnosed my ALTs were 180, by the time I started Tx they had gone up to 220. And no i wasnt drinking when they went up. So while his are high they are not that much higher than mine have been. Mine are still quite high in the mid 100s
Now I dont know if this is a G3 thing or not but there are other things that can cause High ALTs other than HepC. Gallstones for one.
I am sorry if you believe that I made a judgemental statement however I stand behind it. If drinking while having active chronic hepatitis ismore important than liver health - then something is WRONG. My own mother is an alcoholic. She wouldn't drink more than perhaps twice a week, however an alcoholic yes she was.
With high viral level, high enzyme rates that liver is being killed off quickly and efficiently. IF someone were to say nope I"m going to continue to do my heroin a few times a week anyway wouldn't you then say "hum they have a pretty serious drug problem"?
He potentially has a very high degree of liver damage and yet wants to continue to drink. To me that is indicative of a huge problem. Whether you want to classify it as alcoholic or call it by some other name................it's obvious the drinking is more important than staying alive at this point.
Ignore it if you want to continue onwards with him drinking but then why did you bother to ask the question if you really didn't want an honest answer?
EVERY top hep doctor in the WORLD will tell you NO DRINKING WITH HEPATITIS. Not ONE.
But guarantee you will always be able to find an alcoholic on the internet who will tell you what THEY want to hear and that would be "sure it's fine to drink with hepc no problem".
You asked the question so you MUST be smart enough to already know the real answer.
Go to one of the top doctors treating hep today and ask them.
"She wouldn't drink more than perhaps twice a week, however an alcoholic yes she was. "
That's called binge drinking and is nowhere near the situation being described by nursebetty.
"it's obvious the drinking is more important than staying alive at this point"
That type of statement would require you to have more detailed information concerning the knowledge that her husband has to this point surrounding the topic of HCV. And you don't.
"Personally he sounds like he has a hard core alcohol addiction to me, "
Hardcore ? You do not even know if he has a drinking problem, let alone tagging him with such a label as that. As it has been illustrated, you really don't know much about the situation. You have no idea what he has read in studies. You never bothered to even ask "which studies". Apparently, you feel you are an expert on this topic, which , from where I'm sitting, appears to be devoid of any basis in fact.
You are judgemental because you made assumptions, without the support of factual information which is necessary to form any type of a reasoned response. You do not know the whole story because you never bothered to ask nursebetty pertinent questions. Like this extremely important one: "Did the doctor explain that alcohol has been shown to lower the efficacy of interferon ?" The studies her husband have found have been interpeted by him to say that light drinking (6-9 drinks per week) is ok for those with CHC. Did it ever cross your mind that if this is what he has read in studies , then this is what he feels he has reason to believe? Do you know for a fact that her husband is aware of the heightened danger of drinking if it is shown upon bx that he has cirrhosis, as compared to other stages of the disease ? No, you do not. Rather than gathering facts that could give you a more intimate understanding of the situation, you chose to spend all of your time up on a soapbox, chastising someone that may not deserve it.
"EVERY top hep doctor in the WORLD will tell you NO DRINKING WITH HEPATITIS. Not ONE."
That's simply not true. Although consumption is not advised, if one drinks with CHC it should be of a severely limited intake and frequency. My doc says no more than 2 oz (56 grams) a week for CHC and none for cirrhotics. And he fits your criteria.
"Please take this advise realize he DOES have liver damage and he needs to do something about it before it is just too late. "
Again, you have no way of knowing this. The length of time, nor the moderate drinking, are indicators that he will have damage. Neither is the high enzyme level. That can be a temporary spike, and may have been brought on by something totally unrelated to HCV.
"Unfortunately it's his decision"?
Once more, you have no clue what his decison is based on at this point, other than some studies he has read which support moderate alcohol consumption. BTW, were you fully knowledgeable upon dx ?
Your posts are presumptious, innacurate, and lacking even a modicum of class.
FYI---The liver is NOT the ONLY organ which can repair itself. Why should anyone listen to you about anything medical wheni YOU DON'T EVEN KNOW THIS ?
"you have me laughing so hard at the puke you are spewing I can't stand it. "
A typical response from someone who cannot support their position. There is no defense for your derisive posts, so I am not surprised by your juvenile response. You need to apologize to nursebetty for your abhorrent behavior. Somehow I don't think your huge ego will allow for that.
I think I would rather have my toenails pulled off slowly then partake in this thread, cause youre always going to step on someone's toes (or they think you are at least) whatever you say.....yea or nay...I'm going to distill my views down to their essence (and that's saying a lot with my big mouth. lol)
If, after reading and hearing everything you can (or a lot) about having HCV and drinking alcohol (not after SVR, let me make that plain, that's a different circumstance) and you'd still choose to drink while infected with this disease, that's odd TO ME, that's all, that's just odd. Call me a monster.
TO ME, it's just not worth the risk, if someone is drinking just a few drinks a week, or a few drinks a day (which is obviously more then a few drinks a week). Any kind of regular drinking. If you want to drink a glass a champagne at your daughter's wedding, that's another thing.
But that's just me. Anyone chooses to take that risk (however big or small it is, or in some people's minds, it's no risk at all) that's okay for them, that's what they want to do. It's a free country. People are free to disagree with me, and they sure do. lol.
But why get annoyed if you're going to be asking this question on a message board with many varying personalities and opinions? Emotional feelings about this subject are bound to happen, that much I do know after all of these threads. You gotta take the good with the bad here sometimes.
Oh...Mr. Simon, if only they were dainty as a young girls...I'm getting knife toes, hard calluses on the bottoms of my pinkies, this NEVER used to happen, and I'm not about to go to the nail salon to get them cut off for obvious reasons (don't want to start another conflagration thread about hep infection at nail salons, :) but thank you anyway for the kind compliment....(and if anyone is eating lunch right now sorry if I put you off it)
on another note, glad youre here, my younger sis is about to get an endoscopy, and I don't know much about these procedures, I'm probably going to be asking you some questions in the near future, if you don't mind. Thanks! (and if nobody else is, I'm glad you changed the subject:)
They are used to evaluate the condition of the esophagus and in the HCV context to check for esophageal varices. It's a tube with a camera lens attached and it is put inserted into and down the patient's throat. Mike
By the way - I would not be so absolutely sold on one side of this issue except I lost TWO close close friends to hepC last year because they continued to drink. Both were told by their doctors to stop.
One had the pleasure of transplanting, failing, developing diabetes, having his leg cut off and then dying from HCC. Yeah I don't think there is much doubt in my mind. So I'm sold on my side of the issue. You never seen what a disease can do until you've seen what it did to Frank. Ascites, one leg and death at 46.
I have a friend who is 45, has two beautiful girls and she has now developed HCC and is not expected to live. She continues to have her nightly wine and at this I guess is OK because she isn't going to make it.
By the way - I've posted about this before so it's not to make my point. It's only to give you a better understanding on why I am so passionate about this.
I posted before I saw your thread. I had a lot of endoscopies because rather than band my varices my first doctor sclerosed them - injected them with a sclerosing drug. Then I saw a real doctor and he felt he had to continue sclerosing - once you start sclerosing you can't change up and band them or at least, banding isn't a good choice at that point - and that meant I had 6 more sclerosing treatments to obliterate the vessels and they were spaced every week to 10 days. And then I had to be monitored monthly at the longest. Gee, I have no idea how many of those treatment I had. I got so I didn't even mind the endoscopies and I looked forward to the versed I got for the procedures. Mike
I'm sorry, but I do not think wanting a glass of wine with dinner most nights necessarily constitutes an alcohol problem. People in France and Italy do this routinely; wine drinking is part of their culture.
I used to be a binge sugarholic, and in my teens and twenties (when my weight held steady at a fairly slender level) could sit down and eat half a cake. Later, when diabetes plus middle aged spread came on, I needed to curtail the sugar, but even now I MUST have something sweet most days of the week. However. I manage to satisfy this urge with a square or two of dark chocolate or a small cookie or a half cup of ice cream. Do I have a sugar problem? Some might say yes, but since I keep it in control, I would say no. If I still binged, it would be a different story.
Sometimes when we have a problem we project this onto others and assume that they suffer from the same problem. In doing so, we can alienate those very people who can gain from our experience. I notice that Nurse Betty has not posted again, so I hope we haven't frightened her away.
thanks for this tip, so she should really stick to "banding" them? She's pretty wrecked emotionally, and is in a lot of denial, so multiple hospital procedures (even if they are required) are going to be really difficult for her, she'd rather stay in a bubble and pretend is all not happening. (We prob all suffer from that to varying degrees, I know I do, but she really does. )So it's hard to strike a balance with her, to not scare her too much, but to have her look at things realistically, so she will take some much needed preemptive measures.
NYgirl: just wait till your my age Missy, who needs pepper spray in your purse? When you can use your piggies as potential weapons? That's why I walk around with flip-flops, so I'm at the ready......
"But why get annoyed if you're going to be asking this question on a message board with many varying personalities and opinions? Emotional feelings about this subject are bound to happen, that much I do know after all of these threads. You gotta take the good with the bad here sometimes. "
Varied personalities and opinions are everywhere. We all live with them. They do not exist solely on message boards. This is NO excuse for labeling people especially without any without solid foundation to do so. This person came looking for HELP. NOT to be insulted. NOT to have her husband labeled a HARDCORE alcoholic. I don't care what side of the fence you come down on this topic, this jtype of assault on someone is just not right. Once again, you take the side of your friends instead of what is morally right. No surprise there. If you wouldn't be annoyed by this type of welcome you are unlike any human I've ever known.
The Welcome Wagon is need of some bad repair here at MedHELP Int'l.
Oh my God...I tried to make the most benign post on this, that just consisted of my own feelings on this, and even took some effort (with some much needed help) to just change the subject cause it's been *once again* talked to death and there is the inevitable hard feelings that go along with all that. (Silly me) To something as ridiculous as toes if need be.
My message was for everybody.... if you're going to start, or argue these alcohol thread points, be prepared to get your a$$ handed back to you, cause it almost always happens. Would be nice if they would stay civil, but they usually don't.
That's all I meant. Wasn't any tactical decision based on any upcoming war strategy. And you throw out things like ""If you wouldn't be annoyed by this type of welcome you are unlike any human I've ever known""" Aren't you getting just a wee bit carried away here? Light some scented candles for crissakes. It's just opinions on a message board.
You now feel the need to go gunning for me, well, sorry to disappoint, the day is too beautiful, and I have a whole lot to do in it...look for somebody else to play....my apologies.
you of all people do not deserve this - you're one of the kindest and caring people that ever hit this board...You don't need to apologize for anything, or to anyone - This is a non moderated discussion board, everyone is entitled to their own opinions - Also, there has been a lot of new "inflammatory threads" started recently by a few different names that have not been members here prior to the threads...Coincidance? I don't think so - Every once in awhile Med Help goes through times when some trolls come back as new names and start threads that are sure to inflame..
This is HCV support group - Not AA...Someone comes on here proclaiming to be a Nurse and asks total strangers if it is "okay" for her chirrotic husband to drink a few glasses of wine a week..LOL Come on, if this person is in fact a Nurse why would he/she be asking this kind of question in the first place LOL....
I hope you never change your ways sweetie - you bring a new perspective to this site, your threads always make me feel good..I smile when I see you have posted, and immediately go to read it..Your an icon around here, just like Jim and NY Girl and Mike Simon - if this Mr Liver, or anyone else cannot see your contributions or pleasantries to this board, they simply are not looking - But I susspect they don't really care, for their intent is only to inflame...
The ones that know you and have been around here years won't allow someone to insult or humilate you ..
no worries, funny how we think of each other, sometimes I think I'm such a coward, that I don't even deserve to be here with all you brave hearts, honestly...anyway, anything to change the subject huh? hoping your better and better as the days go by, same hope for everybody here...
it is amazing how we view each other - I view you as one of the bravest people here - Sure, these meds are toxic and doing almost a year of your life being sick is no easy task - But to know you have this disease and be disciplined enough to wait for the new meds is not something I could do - I am a coward in that respect...It almost destroyed me to know I had this virus in me and it made me crazy - I had to tx, you know how hard I tried to hold off, I am sure you remember how excited I got over living a healthy life in hopes to hold off for the new meds, just like you are doing now, and have been doing for quite some time ...You have guts lady! And you are definately an asset to those that wish to wait...
I'll only say it once more or will sound like a broken record. I really think you're making the wrong choice in terms of current treatment strategies. I get the feeling that you think adding Alinia to the mix is going to confer some sort of "magic" to SOC. Alina is unproved, regardless of how much promise some think it might have.
After waiting so long to treat, don't you think you at least owe it to yourself to wait just a bit longer for Alina SVR data? And for peer review of that data?
But speaking of "magic", the closest thing we have right now is Telaprevir, not Alinia. If I were going to jump into the treatment wagon right now, that's what I would be focused on.
Just to finish the thoughts -- besides what is becoming apparent as signficantly improved SVR data, the other advantage of Telaprevir is that it can cut treatment time in half which means your exposure to Interferon will be cut in half. That's where I see the problems down the road -- the long term interferon exposure. Alinia treatment as I understand it, still goes 48 weeks of Interferon. I'm not saying don't think about throwing it in the soup, but I have a feeling you're making it an integral part of the soup, at least in your mind. Get into a Telaprevir phase III trial next year if you're in a rush to treat. And if not, follow the Telaprevir trial results and then take it when it hits the market.
so funny, we bicker - but we care, don't we? the med help soldiers, who have been through the verbal wars, but still take a drink with each other now and then....did I say drink! Oy Vey!!!! Ha ha ha....I don't focus on the Alinia too much, believe it or not, I just figure it's an adjunct that might, or might not make my chances better, but negligible side effects, so what the hey..... time will tell...but of course, since I'm not trialing it, if I did SVR, we wouldn't know if the Alinia had that much to do with it of course...
.I'm just so tired of having this...I took a chance, thinking that I'd be able to get something by now, and holding out hope that I wouldn't be too symptomatic in the interim, but I'm just tired at this point, don't want to start in the summer, so another summer will go by, etc etc...anyway, am talking to the coordinator about the Teleprevir, that info is coming out soon, etc...believe me, I think there is value in what you say.
"Someone comes on here proclaiming to be a Nurse and asks total strangers if it is "okay" for her chirrotic husband to drink a few glasses of wine a week..LOL Come on, if this person is in fact a Nurse why would he/she be asking this kind of question in the first place LOL...."
Tell me PSP just how do you know that her husband is cirrhotic ? Are you psychic ? In fact, how do you know that her husband has ANY damage at all ? You need to apologize to nursebetty as well for your asinine post. Your entire post was based on a false premise.
You need to actually read the posts instead of feeding off of others.
I love you Mr.Liver...and you too Forsee and Jim, ny girl,
Nurse Betty...we have to take it all in stride !!! There is a bit of truth in everything...take what is yours and leave the rest...but just be really honest with yourself and your doctors. (your husbands doc in this case)
wishing you all the best...and by the way you are not the first person to be insulted or judged here...I guess it all comes with the PROBLEM at hand...the good and the bad...just ignore the angry sounding vibes...they are trying to help too in their own way...even if it doesn't come across that way...
hope your husband does well...keep the faith.
I appreciate your concern, but if my husband was a heavy drinker for the last 25 years I would know it. He drinks 6-8 glasses of red wine a week (not a day). I only asked because he seemed reluctant to give up our only vice. EDucation is what he needs, not speculation. I don't know where you got the idea he is "hard core" drinker. Maybe that was someone elses entry.
Yes, indeed, the AA thumpers ride again.
Look all when you start these meds you'll be just too damn sick by the third week to even care because you'll be damn preoccupied being sick of the changes your body is going through and experience is the best teacher.
there is something about you that just is not right. i cant figure it out just yet but i will. i do believe you are someone else that use to come here but now using this new name. you are very controversial and a "know it all". just wanted you to know that some here are on to you!
Copy,,,I don't think Mr. Liver is Rev if that is who you are thinking. He always comes back as Revenire. I do think Mr. Liver is right though,,,,our welcome wagon here definitely needs some work for newcomers. I know everyone is just very definite about this subject and we all have been studying this disease for a very long time so know what is good for the liver and what is not. But thinking back to when I first learned I had this disease,,,,I knew nothing about it and do remember coming to medhelp and asking so many questions and many caring people out there helped me through each step. I really feel we should show Elizabeth and David a little more compassion and make them comfortable to come back and ask all kinds of questions.
There are no absolutes regarding chronic hcp. It is essential that your hubby have a biopsy done. Then you can tell how much if any liver damage has occurred. Yes,
type 2 and 3 are the easiest to treat. Treatment is very
hard but manageable if you are strong and resolute to get
better. I hope your gastro doc has an RN hcp specialist
to get you the kind of help and support your man needs.
As far as elevated LFT'S relating to hcp I can give you
my personal case. Like your hubby my LFT'S were normal for many years but signicantly elevated last year to 199
alt and 143 ast. I took labs and confirmed hcv virus with
6 million viral load and genotype 1a (the worst). My biopsy read that I had stage 4 fibrosis with bridging that my doctor stated was low grade cirrhosis. That was enough for me to radicalize my life style. I decreased my alcohol to no more than 2 drinks a week (wine or beer) and stopped smoking blunts. One of the things I read about hcv was that after being infected with the virus liver damage was increased 7 fold for marijuana use. Much more than alcohol use, that is still contributore to liver damage. Controlled moderation is the key. Even though I had all the risk factors for unsuccessful treatment (genotype 1a, age over 60,high viral load,etc) I became virus free after 12 weeks and I am still virus free 4 months post tx. One other thing,
your hubby should drink tons of water and always take the
ribavirin with FOOD. Best of luck to you and your hubby...
The monthly record for most alcohol posts in a thread is "103". Didn't think this thread would break it, but the addition of "marijuana" to the mix, could result in a new record. I do hope no one points out that cigarette smoking, excessive use of pain killers and other OTC drugs, overcomsumption of Surcrose (See Dr. D's Video) and being overweight and under-exercised isn't very helpful to the HCV liver as well. So let's keep that to ourselves.
hi all, i've been lurking but not posting for a while. no reason, really, just caught up in my own tx and stuff. anyway, i'm on the the last leg of tx. i've got untill Christmas to go (48 weeks). i'm doing peg/riba 1200 mg. my stats are: 50 m, geno 1a , st.1/grade 2 .start vl 3 mil. ,12 weeks 55, UND between 12 - 15 weeks, UND at 24 weeks. sides have not been too bad. fatigue from mild anemia being the main one.but's i can't complain.i'm tolerating tx. pretty well. i take anti-depressants, which really help.i'm working full time and not missing too much work. just hoping for the best! and you all know what that means- UND forever!. i'll post back periodically. take care, be well, all.
well the second half of my tx was more "trying" than the first 24 weeks - I ended up on Procrit, my hmg dropped to 8.4 or 8.6 I forget - But it's back up to 11 now and they want to see how I do with one more week to determine whether to have me skip a week then take it a week...I feel better now - thank God - Anemia sure can whoop a *dips* butt..
How you feeling?
In my estimation, anyone who comes here seeking advice deserves information and support from this board and not a turned back. Anyone who doesn't wish to provide that support can easily withdraw it by not answering the question. There is no reason to ostracize a new poster, especially one with a husband who is just getting used to the fact that he has a disease as serious as hepc, much less the fact that he will have to alter his entire lifestyle. I can't see turning my back on people who ask valid questions regarding the disease and its treatment, particularly when people have done me the kindness of answering my questions.
Nursebetty, here's my take on the situation. Of course, I'm not a doctor and I'm pretty new here myself, having just been diagnosed at the end of August. But I think that if your husband's liver enzymes are up and he's had the virus for a while, then there is fairly good chance there is some damage to his liver. I also think that only a biopsy can tell him for sure whether there is damage, and if so, how much. And it really isn't a huge deal to get one.
Also, he should be referred to a competent hepatologist who is well versed in treating hepc patients. To ME, the type of drinking you describe in his past does not make him sound like an alcoholic. More of a social drinker. I'm almost a teetotaler, and nobody in my family really drinks. But. I don't happen to think that a couple of beers makes someone Satan. If, however, he has some damage to his liver, it can really be helped along a lot more rapidly since he has hepc. It's just one of those unfortunate facts of the disease. So he has to make an assessment about what he wants to do keeping that in mind. There is also some evidence that drinking can help the virus replicate more quickly. So that's information for him to consider in his decision as well. Sometimes when people are first diagnosed with any serious illness, its easy to want to deny the reality of it. It's scary. I was scared. certainly, when I first found out.
Antidepressants are frequently very helpful for people going through treatment. Some people are reluctant to take them though, but they can really help. I hope you won't let the remarks on this thread, which has always been a contentious topic, stop you from coming here for support and information. This can be a really great place to find answers to so many questions about test results, medication and side effects.
I had an experience like your husband where I have smelled smoke and some other odd things, but it happened this week about three days after I started treatment, so I felt pretty sure it was related to my medication. Good luck to both of you!
Hope you aren't gone from here and that you are still reading the posts that may actually help you and your husband get the info and help you're looking for! I am new to this forum but have been on several others...am in my 8th month of tx with an EVR/RVR (yay!!).
Just have to tell you and your hubby, that in my experience, the whole giving up alcohol thing was also very difficult for me. It was not so much that I had/have a drinking problem but I did enjoy all things alcohol as a lifestyle (nice wine collection, lots of wine touring, microbrew aficionado, and more than my fair share of partying). Frankly, I am still not over it (and for the rest of you posters, please don't take aim at me now!) and I dream for the day when I am a year or two SVR so I can crack open that bottle of fine red that is one of the few that I didn't give away.
Even for those that aren't alcoholics, denial can be a strong pull. It is easy to long for the care-free (or unwitting in my case) days when we didn't know that we were HCV pos. The first couple of months in my new "dry" lifestyle, I was desperate to find truly NA beverages that were ok to drink (there isn't such a thing) or NA drink recipes that taste like the real thing (ditto), or some way to feel the relaxation that a few drinks can produce. Nope - just needed to suck it up and stop drinking, and it stunk. Still does, but I am doing my best.
So, I completely understand your husband's reaction that he doesn't intend to stop drinking (if even occasionally), and I also completely understand why it is critically important that he does do so. My best advice to you is to use your expertise as a psyche nurse and help him with the denial he may be experiencing - it is very hard to give up one lifestyle for another cold turkey when it is not our elective choice.
I find that reading the experiences of others - the good, bad and the ugly - really helps me to reinforce that I too want to beat this thing, want to protect my liver as I can, and that I need to choose the right choices in order to maximize the odds.
To all you other posters - here's possibly the first person on here who actually admits to having A drink DURING tx (OMG, ready-set-fire). [Was on vacation and was tired of never having fun like the good old days]. But thanks to all the *strong* opinions posted here on just how stupid ANY alcohol is for us, I am back on the right track and will remain alcohol-free to the end of tx and beyond.
So, Nurse, if you are still with us, perhaps you can convince/educate hubby to quit during tx for a start to maximize his chance of a successful outcome. Maybe if he does that, it won't seem like such a daunting thing.
The forum is probably having one of its off days,like we all do have sometimes, and as someone mentioned,you need to filter the opinion here,take the good and leave the ones you donot agree with,since ultimately its your husbands liver we are talking about
This forum has played an important part in my treatment decisions when I was diagnosed with hep c in sept 06 and I have recieved a lot of support and advise since then
Quote"So.......I am looking for opinions so I can either take my hubby's side or the Dr's. I hate to put it that way, but most of what I read says no alcohol."Unquote
In my opinion you shoud definitely take the docters side due to the following reasons
1) we are talking about a life threatening disease here,so why take a chance?
2)A smoker wouldn't be asking a similar question for a lung disease so I guess that applies for hep c and liver also?..... in fact since your husband is not an addict it would be so much more easier for him to stop than somebody like me who used to go on a daily binge until I got diagnosed with hep c.....
3)If you google,you would find most of the sites advocate avoiding alcohol pre trreatment, a nono on treatment and maybe no post treatment which would match with opinions from most hepatologists
4)there have been studies which show alcohol does lead to rapid replication of hep c virons,but unfortunately I donot have these studies on hand
5)See the positive side...saves you a lot of dollars every month!:)
Wishing you the best in whatever you decide....but my opinion is leaning towards making him stop..at leat till he is SVR(virus undetectable one year post treatment)
what an articulate post. Good for you. That really was fantastic and I wish you all the back.
In regard to your question "Aside from the damage to the liver itself that alcohol causes, I also read somewhere that alcohol can actually cause the virus to replicate more rapidly. Does anyone know if this is accurate? "
Iron will help the virus replicate more rapidly - what happens when you drink alcohol on tx and why it is SO critical not to is that it can take the interferon and completely toss it's efficacy (I can't spell) out the window. Meaning, that the virus would have full ability to come running back in and begin to replicate because there would be no med in you to stop it from happening. So that is why it is said to "be able to replicate the virus" because it makes the interferon a moot point and terminates it's effectiveness.
Who needs that? Anyone who has treated will tell someone like nursebetty that it's SO HARD to do the treatment (in my case I od'd riba for several months and destroyed my hemo and the anemia almost killed me) so that once it becomes a question of sabotaging all the work that is so dreadful and horrid that you are doing.......that is why I am fanatical about people really "getting" it that you just can't drink during treatment. Why sabotage your own chance of SVR when it's so difficult a quest to get to anyway? And it's something a lot of people DONT understand.
Can't believe I was so stupid to take a chance with the booze mid-way through tx - even though it was just ONE drink. Wow, what a weak moment that was. Hope my sincere regret on that will help someone faced with a similar desire at some point (either before, during or after tx). Thanks for your opinions on the topic - I can tell that your passion originates from your own experience and that everyone should take it in that light.
And now I will admit to an even greater weakness - one of the *almost* subconcious, never verbalized, underlying motivations for deciding to tx was the hope that one day I could resume my life as it was before. One of our collective problems I think is that a lot of us don't feel or look sick, and so the consequences are just not as apparent to us or our friends/family who all live that carefree boozing lifestyle! I have never known anyone personally that has had HCV or any liver disease so I haven't seen the impact first hand.
I can tell you all however that I just returned from visiting a dear friend in the hospital that has rapidly advancing pancreatic cancer. He's younger than me and is in his early forties, and doesn't have much time left. Very sad indeed, and a wake up call to me as I do not want to be lying in that bed with liver failure now or any day down the road because I made a foolish, foolish choice. Hope I can keep things in the right perspective a couple of years from now when I have SVR! I may really need everyone's help then too! :-)
These forums are indeed good support, even if we need to filter a bit sometimes. I wish I had a local support group to make it more personal but haven't found one as yet. Thanks to all who post here.
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