I'm kinda hesitant to ask this, because I know it'll probably draw another round of "alcohol flame wars". Don't really want to do that, not trolling for another over the top "alcohol is bad" thread. But I would like input from anyone else who may have experienced this phenomenon (or would just like to weigh in on it). First as a quick refresher, I was in the VX950 trial and wrapped up my tx 4.5 months ago and tested UND on my 12 week PCR (very strongly foretelling an "official" SVR in another 12 weeks). Since recovering from my treatment I've been feeling very good, fantastic really. I feel much better than I did prior to treating, the HCV really caused a chronic fatigue sort of thing with me (although I know this doesn't happen with all HCV+ patients), that really seems to be resolved. This has been a very happy occurrence for me, I really didn't expect to be rid of the fatigue and malaise I've felt for so long now, I would have been happy to simply get my SVR with my old symptoms intact.
But let me get to the point of this post - since recovering from treatment, I've rediscovered both food and alcohol. I've always been a fine beer enthusiast, first as a homebrewer in the late 80's early 90's (before finding out I had HCV) and then later but in a much more subdued sense after learning of my HCV+ status. But as I got older, I found myself not only abstaining from alcohol because of my HCV+ status but also because drinking even just 1-2 beers would often just bring me down so badly the next day I just couldn't deal with it. I felt like I had some kind of hangover all spaced out and deprived of energy, just zonked out. Beyond what you would think 1, 2 or maybe 3 beers (on a banner weekend night) would do to a 185 lb person. So as time rolled on I drank less and less and was completely abstinent for many months at a time in many cases. That's how it's been for the last 5-7 years or so, alcohol was just too much trouble for me and it wasn't worth it.
Fast forward to today, almost 5 months after tx with an SVR status. I can easily drink 4 or 5 beers in a night and it just does not have a very profound effect on me at all. And I'm talking about quality microbrews which typically have 6-7% alcohol in them (as opposed to 4.5% found in typical American beers). I mean, I'm not suggesting I'm immune to the alcohol, because I'm not, but it does not give me nearly the buzz it used to. I have to drink more beer and faster in order to get the same feeling I used to get with only 2 or 3 beers over a longer period of time. Also, the next day? No hangover, nada. I feel fine, like I haven't had anything to drink. Basically clear headed and after a cup of coffee or two, I'm ready to go. I can easily repeat the higher alcohol consumption the next day and the next day too. I just don't feel the effects of the drinking like I used to, and I just don't feel the after effects of the alcohol the next day either. It's just damned odd.
All I can figure is that my liver is functioning in a much more efficient manner now. It has to be. It has to be processing the alcohol faster and more completely than it did before. It also must be managing and regulating my normal metabolic functions with more aplomb than it used to. That's probably why the fatigue is gone, and that's probably why I don't get hangovers the next day like I used to. Everything is better, it's just an incredible situation. I never knew how bad I had it, or how good it could be with a fully functioning liver. But it's made me realize something and left me with an unexpected challenge of sorts. Getting my normally functioning liver back has made me realize that my ability to largely abstain from alcohol in the past wasn't so much as a result of my sheer willpower, it was simply because I felt so lousy when I drank. And the reason I felt so lousy was because of the combined effects of HCV and alcohol on my liver. HCV was a sort of alcohol anti-abuse for me. But now that my liver is functioning normally, I can absorb alcohol like any normal healthy person can (for the first time since I was infected 24 years ago as a teenager). And I've still retained my liking for fine beer, and frankly I don't exactly dislike a nice beer buzz on weekends sometimes either. So it's presented me with an interesting challenge that I did not expect. I WILL have to employ willpower to sensibly regulate my affection for fine beers. The old built in governor I used to have is no longer with me. I'm glad it's not there, but it just seems odd to me that HCV was in some strange way actually protecting me from excess alcohol consumption. I'm confident I'm up to the job or regulating my drinking strictly on a voluntary basis, but has anyone else that's gone on to SVR experienced this strange situation?? It's something I really didn't expect after completing treatment and would be interested in hearing input from other "life after HCV" experiences.
Exactly the same phenomena after my SVR, except that I limit myself to two drinks (beer or wine) each evening per my doctor's instructions. He feels that level of consumption will benefit my heart without hurting my liver. Actual consumption, however, is closer to 2 drinks per week.
To me it make sense that a liver that's been improved by treatment is more efficient. And based on a couple of Fibroscans, I estimate that I've dropped at least a stage since I began treating.
That said, some here have reported heavy drinking prior to their dx of HCV. So for those individuals, HCV apparently didn't work as a "regulator". Maybe it just works that way with some of us.
SVR produced for me a wondrous epiphany - most people can't tell malt liquor from 'ale'. I therefore spend my evenings decanting 32 ouncers into pint bottles, slapping pretentious labels on them, and marking them up 600%.
I also found that a small quantity of fluoxetine added to each bottle heightens the customers appreciation of this "microbrew".
Just kidding, of course. Please do whatever it takes to get good QOL. Maybe you could even do a long term study for us - "The Effect of Liquid Carbs on Hepatatic Tissues in Sustained Responders -A Study on Self-Induced Steatosis".
desrt: Maybe you could even do a long term study for us - "The Effect of Liquid Carbs on Hepatatic Tissues in Sustained Responders -A Study on Self-Induced Steatosis".
Actually, you might read this thread before you jump to that conclusion because some recent studies conclude just the opposite:
In the past 20 years or so I haven't been much of a drinker. Back in my youth it used be be hanging with the guys shootin pool watching ball games an all that goes with it. But in these past 20, I felt like carp even after one. As a result, 5 or 6 beers a year would have been about it. And, on those occasions that I would have one, I'd get an instant headache and full-on hangover the next day. I've wondered, since dx, if the past 20 years have been due to a degrading liver and it's compromised ability to do what it was supposed to. Since hcv has been riding in a sidecar for about 35 years and I have cirrhosis those 20 years have not with a tip-top filtering system. Thing is, the aversion I've learned over all that time remains.
Ok, I'll mark you up as numero uno in the alcohol hysterics that I figured would ensue. Let me guess, you're a recovering alcoholic who's taken up moses' staff and your job now is to declare to all about the great satan that is alcohol? Just one drop will kill you!!! Right? And don't think I don't remember your earlier recounts of my drinking statements as well. What are you keeping score on everyone's alcohol consumption with some kind of alcohol clipboard? If so, give it up dude. That's not what this thread is about.
One glass of wine is a whole order of magnitude different than half a gallon + of 7% alcohol beer. Mre has claimed to drink "2-4 pints a day - sometimes more".
I read the studies when you first posted them and appreciate the inclusion of the geno3 steatosis stuff.
Nah, I'm pretty much a libertarian - I believe anyone should be able to do whatever they want, as long as I don't have to foot the bill directly or indirectly through higher insurance premiums. I wish you honest enjoyment in what you do. I just hope you keep posting and let us know that it all works out O.K. The 2-4 pints a day remark just stuck in my head 'cause I have a good friend who also drinks Arrogant B______Ale. He unfortunately didn't get a sustained response do his tx and is doing so with cirhosis. A totally different situation than yours.
The built in aversion protects you. Your body knows what's good for it, and what's not good for it. It lets you know. I can't remember right now, but did you SVR or are you waiting for a better treatment? Hoping the best for you either way.
Sounds to me the Jury has just come back SVR. UND two weeks into tx and UND four weeks post tx. I think you've got it in the bag. When's your next PCR? A guarded -- but not too guarded -- Congratulations!
Interesting question and Thread.
Back in the days when I new nothing and cared less about the interaction of HCV and alcohol, I could drink a 6pak or more without me noticing any adverse events. Cause I did notice the AE after my brother died of melanoma and I had 15 one night followed by a dozen or so the following day. Then I didn’t eat for a week, figured this not right, something wrong here. Cut back a bit then and counted the days in a month that I drank rather than days in the week. For a while there I could use alcohol as a dietary aide. Drink a 6pak and then not eat for a day or 2.
After stopping completely for Tx, I lost the desire to drink and since finishing Tx just don’t have the desire to drink. During the Simpson Desert trip I went on had a few Beers along the way and found myself having trouble drinking even 1 or 2. Didn’t have the desire even though I did enjoy the first few mouthfuls. So for me the brakes would appear to be psychological as much as anything.
Hey! Even being a 'weekend' drinker.... I miss my &^%$ beer, wine or martini. MAYBE someday soon! (2b, 24 weeks, in week 4tx)
BUT.... I WAS healthy, hyper, in shape all my life THAN also had chronic, extreme fatigue past few years with muscle aches that had me going in my head from "MS"??" Fibromyalsia"???, "Epstien Barr"??? " WHAT is this" ? Before finally dx'd with Hep.....HENCE explaining why I -for @ 15 years-had hangovers from h*ll every time I drank (3-6 drinks when out and never could drink much, like everyone else), which just wasn't that much for those kind of hangovers! Everyone else would be fine! Being a social outing gal, I'd just suffer for the fun night out. I totally believe my liver not functioning and processing as it should caused this.( Haven't had any since dx). My opinion.....yes, the liver working properly, better would have a huge difference in intake and the day after!
Without starting another one of 'THOSE' threads, you've given me hope for at least a future occassional 'fun night out' :}
geno 10a=3,SOC= 24 weeks,45 years,UND at wk 4,wk 12,wk 24,appetite back to pretx and have sratrted a balance exercise program
now 9 weeks post tx
Heavy drinker before being diagnosed with hep c last year,havent' touched a drop since.august '06 but to be honest..the craving is still there
after reading so many threads and so many opinions pro and anti alchohol,my decision to drink or not to drink after SVR is swinging like a pendulum in fast motion..guess I will cross the bridge when i come to it...but threads like yours sure seem to be helping it swing it towards......untill another thread comes along which makes us think again
Cheers to a healthy life for you and wishing you the best in you exercising a control over your drinks..though this is one art i haven't learnt yet
i drank 7 beers a day for thirty years. i got hep c 30 years ago. i landed at stage 3
liver damage. i beleive that if i had one or the other only, i wouldnt have the high liver damage.
the combination of both was just too much. after i svr and hopefully regain a stage or two due to liver repair i think i could go back to that level of drinking and do fine so long as i dont become weak and immunosuppressed. (no sleep, poor diet, overworking) in reality i plan to not return to those
levels of drinking but i will feel comfortable with 3 beers a day. and hope that
i am satisfied with that. all the med info says 5 beers a day is the beginning of danger (for men). in my opinion, alcoholic immunosuppression is your enemy.
you cant afford to let your body get run down. also the
med studies say that binging is better than daily because of liver inflamation that never gets to resolve. find a reasonable balance of all these factors and if you stay healthy and strong you should be fine.
I always assumed that you were a "plant". Now I know why; you work for lobbyists for Arrogant B@stard Ale I knew this was too good to be true.
Sorry, I just couldn't resist. : )
Now I'm 20% more serious. This should get more people in to see their gastros so they can treat TODAY!!!!! Maybe Anheiser-Busch could start writing some grants for TX to get some of us back consuming again. : )
Threads like this make me a little wistful, but for now......I can only cry in my cofffee and green tea.
Perhaps Schering and Roche should change their advertising pitches......instead of showing us people with HCV that look like they've lost in a punching match....... perhaps they would do better showing us SVR'ed heppers drinking beer and having better (or any, :) ) sex.
Why didn't I go into advertising.........
Thanks a lot. Now I want to be SVR so bad I can taste (in italics) it.
The Medscape article I posted a few weeks back described a significant cardiac benefit associated with moderate alcohol consumption. "Moderate alcohol consumption" was defined as 2 drinks daily for men and 1 drink daily for women. I assume that the average weight for men and women factored into the prescribed alcohol consumption. The article did make it clear that exceeding the prescribed amount of alcohol intake results in a loss of the cardiac benefit and instead becomes a detriment, proportionate to the degree of excessive alcohol consumption. It would seem that your intake would probably not confer the described cardiac benefit - lower LDL, lower triglycerides and lower incidence of cardiac event - and may, in fact, be disadvantageous to your overall cardiac health. I think it is also a probability that alcohol does present a burden to the liver proportionate to intake. While moderate intake likely does not present a burden to the degree that would be injurious to a "healthy" liver, I would be concerned that continual exposure to alcohol in an amount more than what is considered to be "moderate consumption" might compromise your hepatic function to some degree. I would seriously rethink your consumption if I were you and I would stick to the guidelines for moderate consumption and play it very safe. Mike
Cockspar – Arrogant B@stard Ale is a fancy brew made by the Stone Brewing Co in San Diego CA. It’s loaded with fine malts/grains and hops, and it has a pretty high alcohol content too (around 7%). They have a corny reverse psychology marketing campaign that’s a bit juvenile in my estimation, but it is pretty good stuff:
http://www.arrogantb a stard.com/
Lady Lauri – Yeah getting your liver back is a very cool experience. I hope you make it too, but be careful. It’s like being the car keys for the first time all over again!
Shastri – Geez please don’t let my post push your pendulum towards drinking! That’s not what I was hoping to do, just to openly discuss one of the unexpected after effects of becoming SVR. Hope you get your SVR and do NOT overdo it with drinking afterwards. Beware, because from my experience it might be a real pitfall for someone with a serious weakness for drink.
Cruel – I’d avoid consistently drinking five beers a day or even three (especially if they’re arrogant b@stards!). I plan on cutting back very soon and re-engaging my exercise regimen (which makes it easier not to drink).
Miked – I don’t know how much liver damage you have, but I’d say after SVR-ing you should be able to have “one cold beer” after cutting your yard. Although for me, after working hard on a hot day, the only thing that will do is ice-cold water.
Willy – Nope don’t have stock in Arrogant B@stard ;-) But yeah, maybe you’re onto something there about the alcohol lobbyists. If they came to understand how many more customers they might get if HCV was easily cured, they might donate large sums towards finding a cure. Good thinking there, maybe we should write them a letter?
Mike – Thanks for the info and the serious nerdy post. I know the amount I describe consuming is excessive, but I’ll come down to earth soon enough. Although I no longer have HCV serving as “antiabuse”, there’s still another form of antiabuse that sways me away from excess consumption. It’s called BEER GUT. I’ve discovered that drinking a lot of beer puts on weight…especially when combined with all the yummy food I also like eating now. So unless I want to start looking like Norm on the barstool, I’ve got to be an adult when it comes to my indulgences. Thanks for thoughts though.
Nerdy? I've always considered guys who bothered to make and extol the virtues of quality microbrews and spoke of getting a buzz (you say: I have to drink more beer and faster in order to get the same feeling I used to get with only 2 or 3 beers over a longer period of time) rather nerdy or many better - adolescent. Each to their own, I suppose. Bottoms up! Mike
but i don't envy you , life is making choices and when u think starting again drinking alcohol (beer=alcohol) is an intelligent choice, then go on but don't be astonished if you'll (and your liver) pay the bill sooner or later ! good luck to you ,personally i do believe beer smells like old catpee-any brand of beer ;-)
"...i do believe beer smells like old catpee-any brand of beer ;-) "
Haha!! Well, I guess I can understand that seeing that you're French and all. But speaking for myself, I think wine tastes like grape kool-aid with turpentine in it. Just kidding, I like wine too, but I just never really took to it. Although I'm sure if I lived in Paris, I'd adapt. ;-) And actually my first drinking experience was with wine. When I was 15 I drank a whole bottle of a fine American vintage called Boone's Farm Strawberry Hill in about 30 minutes. Do you have access to this exquisite ambrosia of the gods in Paris? Oh, do get yourself some, you won't regret it.
i must admit i was very suprised at your post. and a little disappointed. i have read posts from SVR people that asked or said they would like to indulge in a drink or two every now and then, but your post about drinking on a daily basis and wanting to feel that buzz again! well that just kinda snubs your nose to the HCV gods after being blessed to reach SVR. please dont get me wrong i think you WAY EARNED the right to enjoy something you like so much but the way you worded it just sounded wrong to me. since i started coming here over a year ago i have always respected your posts and STILL do. best of luck
Thanks copy, I know a lot of people agree with you, and that's fine. But believe me I'm not snubbing my nose at the HCV gods. First off because there are no HCV gods to appease or, be fearful of, or be grateful to, and secondly because I'm a grown man who's "engaged" alcohol recreationally on and off for over 25 years now (mostly off since learning of my HCV+ status). And did so successfully without becoming an alcoholic (although there were times I was an alcohol abuser to be certain). This post is not about "haha I'm an SVR now, and I'm gonna get loaded all the time now!" If that's how you read it, you read it wrong. The point of the post was to ask if others who had SVR-ed had seemingly recovered liver functionality in the way I appear to have. That's all. And yes, also to see if others had fallen into a more aggressive drinking pattern after they realized how well they felt and how well their livers now worked. Don't you think that's an interesting concept and somewhat unexpected outcome? I do, and I'd like to hear from others who might have experienced something similar.
Anyway, no use in belaboring it. Sorry if you actually find it offensive, it isn't mean to be at all. It's just plain talk, that's all. And if you think I'm going to fall head first into a fit of wanton drinking now that I'm SVR, I appreciate your concern but that's not going to happen. It's hard to explain, but after getting my SVR and feeling as utterly fantastic as I have been recently, I'm just in this crazy celebration mode. For me achieving SVR means more than just a halt to HCV related fibrosis. It also has turned out to mean an end to 24 years of chronic fatigue - that has been the most astounding thing about getting rid of the virus for me. I've definitely been traveling, eating, drinking and being merry that's for certain. As outlined above, maybe a bit too much. But it's only temporary, my party will come to a close pretty soon, and I'll come back to earth. The whole point of whoopin' this virus was to live a long, happy fullfilling life. I can absolutely assure you I have every intention of FULLY cashing in my SVR chips for a looooong time to come. Peace bro...
i get the point and understand your post. all i can add is that i agree about the body talks to you. before i knew about the HCV it got to a point with me that my body kinda rejected me drinking. i drank about 2 times a week and probably would have been more but it took a few days to feel normal again. beer just started to taste bad to me and i could not get a buzz at all unless i drank scotch and even then i got more tired then buzzed. i read somewhere that when you have HCV your taste for alcohol changes and this is the body trying to tell you to stop. i must say this fit me to a tee. i smoked (ciggs, etc), drank,etc (everything but IV drugs) for 30 yrs and when i stopped everything i thought i came out unscathed and then BAM routine blood test dx HCV! i would have never found out until maybe a long time later but a new young doc took over for my primary that had retired and was checking my blood for cholesterol and noticed my alt a little above normal for the second time. when i went in next visit he told me about the HCV test came back +. i asked him why he ordered the test and he said every now and then he throws in on the bloodwork of patients, plus the slightly above normal ALT and a gut feeling. i give credit to this young doc for saving my life, the old doc would have never ordered that test. lol, sorry did not mean to go on a tangent about me. take care
I-n-t-e-r-e-s-t-i-n-g.....very brave, you really went out on a limb telling everyone about your experience.
I have always been amazed that I was stage 1, as I probably was hep c + for 30 yrs. Alcohol has always made me tired, but I enjoyed my wine with dinner, and grew up with a taste for beer. Being raised around alcohol, and consuming enough on my own, I am amazed that I don't have a liver with the elasticity of a piece of cardboard. I don't consider myself the town drunk, but hearing about others inability to tolerate any alcohol makes me feel like it. I didn't think that it was odd that alcohol made me sleepy, it's not a stimulant and I was busy raising 4 kids. Now I wonder if the sleepiness was my body's defense against the virus. So many questions on why some can tolerate it, some are indifferent to it ,and some have no resistance against it and quickly become consumed by the product they are consuming.....
WOW! I'm in shock! I always respected and enjoyed your posts...
I'm so surprised and very disappointed! Basically, now I'm speechless... and believe me, it is a rear occurrence (my speechlessness). I actually had to double check to be sure it is you "meemeet" and not any other "meet".
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