No, alcohol does not trigger or hasten HCV relapse once a patient is SVR.
Regarding alcohol consumption after SVR: There are different schools of thought. Of course, liver condition should be a major factor to consider because alcohol can impact a healthy liver depending on the amount and frequency of consumption - as you know. Discussions about the advisability of moderate alcohol intake post SVR often get very emotional with strong views on both sides. I'll leave it at that.
I tried to go back to beer drinking and didn't enjoy it. Had a couple of Margaritas and the hangover was horrendous. I choose not to put anymore strain on my liver. I smoke a little herb thru a water pipe to eliminate a few toxins and that does me just fine. I don't believe alcohol causes relapse but it certainly affects oru liver-it is poison,
after all but so is sugar and umteen other things. Moderation is the best advice.
I'd mention that you wrote post TX and Mikesimon wrote post TX. That is a huge distinction, or could be for some people. Other people might only consider alcohol use for instance one year post TX or SVR.
Statistically speaking, after a period of time post TX alcohol probably plays little part in "reactivating" any HCV.
There is a difference in patient liver staging one must factor in. Drinking practices post TX should be different for a stage zero than for a cirrhotic, no?
Drinking could factor in on how quickly or completely the liver is able to regenerate post TX.
One's staging and drinking seldom exist by themselves. One could factor in other issues; weight, sex, family history, existing or borderline chromic or extra-hepatic conditions. I'm not sure that any simple post could provide an adequate blanket answer to the question.
Further, I'm not sure that the data exists yet to tell us as much as we would want to know about liver regeneration, post TX. Likewise, I think we don't have data on the effects of chronic (or sporatic) inflamation on the livers of SVR HCV patients which alcohol could cause..
Thanks everyone. I'm interested in POST TX and also after SVR. I take all responses serious.
Never seen any studies, but haven't been looking for them. I think alcohol use post-TX should be related to known liver damage. Lots of damage would guide you to very limited or no alcohol use. Just being philosophical here: If there aren't so many healthy cells there to process the alcohol, it would be logical (in my mind) that you'd be putting a strain on them to process the alcohol, possibly leading to unnecessary inflammation. Less damage, more healthy cells and less strain on that healthy part from alcohol and other toxins.
Like Frank, I can't really imagine going back to old habits like drinking regularly. I have become a true 'social drinker'. The rare glass of wine at a dinner or wedding, but no more visits to the wine aisle in the store, ever. There has not been enough work done on liver regeneration to make good enough guesses on the state of your liver after SVR. I don't believe there is a connection between revival of HCV and alcohol. I see it more as a matter of ability to process the alcohol. All philosopical, not scientific.
I figured I'd write a response here to share my perspective. After I achieved SVR from my first round of tx, my doctor said about a glass of wine (that would be 6 ounces, not the giant size glass) a day wouldn't impact the liver of have any chance of reactivating the virus - I think that falls within moderation.
However, your also are battling diabetes and alcohol could worsen it. Alcohol coverts rapidly to sugar and raises the blood sugar. There are ways to minimize this like always balancing a small amount of alcohol with protein or healthy fats as well as avoiding sugary drinks.
Having invested a full year of your life in this tx and all you have had to go through, why not try and avoid alcohol and to help improve your glucose levels? After my first treatment, I had one ounce of wine and it gave me the worst headache so I mostly have avoided it since - sounds like quite a few here have also had that experience.
Also, you still have several weeks on tx, so best to get through it, get to your SVR and see where your head is at then. The tx drugs really fog up the head and I am really appreciating no drugs in my system now, including alcohol.