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Alcohol and Hep c

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.  

Any imput would be appreciated.  

Elizabeth and David



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86075 tn?1238118691
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.
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So I guess you won't mind putting those dainty trotters up here where I can get a grip on those toenails. You really amuse me sometimes and that isn't an easy thing to do. Mike the Podiatrist
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86075 tn?1238118691
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:)
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179856 tn?1333550962
What are endoscopy's for?

By the way, I have very pretty piggies - if I remember to take the old nail polish off that I put on in July and redo them I mean. :)
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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
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179856 tn?1333550962
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.



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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
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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.
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86075 tn?1238118691
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......
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"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.

Mr Liver
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86075 tn?1238118691
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.
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"I want to know God's thoughts; the rest are details."  ~ Einstein
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229003 tn?1193705524
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 ..

Hugs *dippy*
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86075 tn?1238118691
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...
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229003 tn?1193705524
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...
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86075 tn?1238118691
not waiting much longer, kinda already set the date....yikes!
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229003 tn?1193705524
trial or SOC? (you have mail)
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86075 tn?1238118691
soc and alinia...yikes again....
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229003 tn?1193705524
that one (Alinia) got good press - Best of luck sweetie :)
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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.

-- Jim
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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.
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Geez... Frosee what's up with you lately? Every time I check in on the thread you’ve got gloves on with someone. Did you win some at least?

jasper
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86075 tn?1238118691
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.
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"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.

Mr Liver

You need to actually read the posts instead of feeding off of others.
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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.
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Here is the kicker of this whole thread


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.

Cheers!
jasper
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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!
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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.  
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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...
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206807 tn?1331939784
This is going to be good.
I can just imagine the circling of the Lion Pride waiting to pounce.
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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.

-- Jim
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206807 tn?1331939784
Ladies and Gentlemen, LET THE GAMES BEGIN
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179856 tn?1333550962
You are not alone.  Just wanted to know there are a couple of us with the same line of though.

Nice to know you aren't alone.
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229003 tn?1193705524
you are very astute!  yes our Mr Liver is not who the name says and if you would care to know who the person behind the curtain really is email me LOL

MR Liver go somewhere else to quiver hahahaha
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229003 tn?1193705524
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179856 tn?1333550962
" MR Liver go somewhere else to quiver hahahaha "

You're still a wild card aren't you girl? ;)
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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.
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oops- reposted in another thread above!
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229003 tn?1193705524
I finish treatment in Dec also - Dec 18th is my date, how bout you?
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Dec. 28th, i think! i started Jan 26 this year.
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229003 tn?1193705524
I started january 24th and finish the 18th of december so your start date should be the 20th, I think???
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229003 tn?1193705524
I meant to say your stop date should be the 20th not your start date - darn brain fog LOL
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sounds about right. BTW- how did you make out in the end?
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229003 tn?1193705524
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?
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264121 tn?1313033056
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!  
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298631 tn?1210629030
Dear NurseB,

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.

Good luck to you both -

Robin



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298631 tn?1210629030
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?

Robin
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173930 tn?1196341998
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)
Shastri


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179856 tn?1333550962
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.

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298631 tn?1210629030
Thanks *girl* ;-) Am a former nygirl myself.

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.

Take care,

Robin
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