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Avatar universal

smoking and fibrosis

I am new to this site and have been on treatment for 7 weeks. I smoke cigarettes and have stage 2 fibrosis along with my hep c. I read on the internet that smoking is bad for the liver, any comments or suggestions regarding this issue?
26 Responses
Avatar universal
I am not aware of any study whereby disease progression has been measured in smokers compared to non-smokers.
Has the claim you read on the internet been scientifically verified?
Very few 'experts' would say it's o.k to smoke if you have HVC,much safer and simpler to say it's bad.
It's possible that smoking has no direct bearing on your HVC.
It is however bad for you in other ways,of that there is no doubt.
You don't need anyone on this forum to tell you you are better off if you don't smoke,because you know that already!
If you are about to make a decision,give it up.
I stopped shortly after my diagnosis in 2000.
Avatar universal
Funny, but we had a discusson yesterday on hep c and alcohol where cigarette smoking came up. So I had did a little research and planned on posting a new thread on cigarette smoking/hep c in the near future. I guess this is as good a time (and thread) as any. :)

Here's yesterday's thread on alcohol: http://www.medhelp.org/forums/Hepatitis/messages/39227.html
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Some of the following studies are old, some need follow-up, and I'm sure they're some out there that show no relationship between cigarettes and hep c --  but let people take from these studies what they want.

My only comment on the cannabis article is that unless more hard data comes out against, people should still weigh its medicinal use, primarily for anti-nausea, weight gain and pain management, for  people in chemo such as hep c or cancer.

On a personal note, I stopped smoking cigarettes twenty years ago and cannabis 36 years ago.

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http://www.thebody.com/pw/hcv_drinking.html

"...A new study has found that people with HCV should avoid smoking cigarettes and alcohol because both habis can furter damage their livers. The study used levels of the liver enzyme ALT to check for liver damage..."
----------------------------------------

http://tinyurl.com/bzboa

"...Smokers suffering from chronic hepatitis c tend to have a lower response rate to inteferon-a (older therapy) compared to non-smokers..."
------------------------------------------

http://www.tobacco.org/news/201066.html

(This one hits home a little in that my doctors biopsied my "psoriasis" a couple of weeks ago and it just came back as "cutaneous t-cell lymphoma" a rare skin disorder that is a form
of non-Hodgkin lymphoma. I quit smoking twenty years ago but smoked over a pack a day (on and off) for the previous twenty years. I've had hep c for 27 years. Hopefully, the biopsy was mistaken. They took another biopsy for comparison on Tuesday and should have the results next week.)

...Results of an Italian study confirm that smoking doulbes the risk of developing non-hodgkin lymphona (NHL) a cancer of the lymph nodes. The study also shows that hepatitis c virus individuals who are heavy smokers have an approximately 4-fold elevated risk of developing NHL.
------------------------------------------------

http://www.medicinenet.com/script/main/art.asp?articlekey=18104

"…They found that current and former smokers had more inflammation and scarring of their livers than did nonsmokers…."
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http://tinyurl.com/bwy2s

"…This study discloses a link between daily cannabis consumption and fibrosis progression rate in patients with hepatitis C and supports our experimental data demonstrating the profibrogenic role of CB1 receptors.…"

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Avatar universal
Jim,
Wonderful information.  I could not get into the last link on cannibis - it was the same as the link above.  I guess we will never know for sure, but it certainly doesn't seem to be any good for the liver.  

My mom died of COPD and so did my mother-in-law.  They were terrible deaths and the QOL for the last years of life was awful.  Still our generation smoked/ smokes.  I quit 23 years ago and (probably) have mild COPD.  (I say probably because I didn't want to hassle with the inhalers the doc said would prove whether it was allergy related (treatable) or emphysyma (non reversable)).  My husband also has mild COPD from prior smoking.

Still, all our grown kids smoke, and, most of my friends' grown children smoke too.  They, for the most part, are not even trying to quit.  It is an addiction beyond any other and I don't see any end in sight.  I am actively working on my 4 & 5 year old grandchildren.  Education and reinforcement are really the only answers.

Fresnoborn,
Should you chose to quit now, I wish you much luck in that pursuit. It is harder than going on tx. There are several on this board who made the decision to quit when starting tx - some have succeeded and some have not. I hope you try.
Kathy
Avatar universal
oops
73878 tn?1214056807
Funny how this tread came up as I have been trying to get the courage to admit here on the forum that I too am a smoker!  I have cut back tremendously and figure once treatment starts, I will be suffering from nausea and other sides that I won't even want one!  It's the routine of sitting down w/ my coffee in the morning and lighting one (know what I mean?) although now it seems when I do that I put it out and say "why did I light that"?  I have broke the habit of lighting up every time in the car too and do not smoke in my house.

So as you can see, I am very aware of what needs to be done on my part although I am a complete failure when it comes to COLD TURKEY!

Thanks to who ever started this tread, glad it came up.

Fisheress
Avatar universal
Thanks for the info. As of this morning I have not smoked a cigarette. Craving is overwhelming at times and I'm eating everything in site. Wish me luck and thanks again for the advice.
Avatar universal
Thanks for the words of advice. You are right, it is very difficult to stop. I hope I am one of the successors. Take Care
Avatar universal
Hi Jim.  Sorry to hear of the possible CTCL.  I had to google it to see what it is.  If that's what it is, I hope it can be treated along with the hepc because it seems to me that you have a good shot at SVR.  I like your posts here because you explain hepc to people who need the info.  Cancer and hepc are similar in a way.  They don't hurt and you feel that you could just ignore them if you wanted to and then treating them is a trip to hell and back.  You'll be in my thoughts. - Bob
Avatar universal
My doctor told me that non-smokers had a better response to the treatment than smokers.  I quit 3 days before treatment.  It has been over 2 months now and it is so weird because the meds are not making want one because of the dry mouth and throat.  This is about the 10th time I have quit with no success but I feel this time I will because I do not crave one because of the medicition and the chance of beating this stinking virus.  With all the coughing I still do and hacking you would think I still smoked.  The medicine makes you  cough.  Good luck to you and I know you can do it if I can after 27 years of smoking.
Avatar universal
Jim,
Wonderful information.  I could not get into the last link on cannibis - it was the same as the link above.  I guess we will never know for sure, but it certainly doesn't seem to be any good for the liver.  

My mom died of COPD and so did my mother-in-law.  They were terrible deaths and the QOL for the last years of life was awful.  Still our generation smoked/ smokes.  I quit 23 years ago and (probably) have mild COPD.  (I say probably because I didn't want to hassle with the inhalers the doc said would prove whether it was allergy related (treatable) or emphysyma (non reversable)).  My husband also has mild COPD from prior smoking.

Still, all our grown kids smoke, and, most of my friends' grown children smoke too.  They, for the most part, are not even trying to quit.  It is an addiction beyond any other and I don't see any end in sight.  I am actively working on my 4 & 5 year old grandchildren.  Education and reinforcement are really the only answers.

Fresnoborn,
Should you chose to quit now, I wish you much luck in that pursuit. It is harder than going on tx. There are several on this board who made the decision to quit when starting tx - some have succeeded and some have not. I hope you try.
Kathy
Avatar universal
Here's the cannabis link: http://tinyurl.com/avt8s

----------------------------------------

Sorry about your family's problems with COPD.

Sometimes we focus so much on our hep c that we lose sight of other health issues that may in the end be more fatal.

In my family, the big problem with the men has always been heart disease. At 58, I'm the youngest male on my father's side of the family (including uncle's, first cousin's etc.)that has not had a heart attack.

So, for example, when I hear people say Lipitor (statins) are bad for the liver and to NEVER take them, I chuckle a knowing what the odds are in my case of dying from hep c versus heart disease.(Statins usually are contraindicated ON treatment, but probably will start them for the first time after tx with my heptologist's blessing)

But unlike statins, smoking has few benefits and nothing that outweighs its potential harm, both on the liver and the rest of the body.

I found an organization called Smoke Enders very helpful.
http://www.smokenders.com/

If they run things now the way they did 20 years ,I wholehearedly recommend their approach. Without giving away too much, you go to about a dozen meetings with a supportive group of fellow smoking addicts. And each week you smoke a little less while doing a lot of very interesting homework that makes you confront the complex hold smoking actually has on you. Actually, you can smoke in class for the first week or so!

I  probably tried quitting fifty times before smokenders but usually for no more than a week or a month. With smokenders I stayed cigarette free for about a year and a half. At that point addition wasn't the problem, it was just a careless mental attitude.

But smokenders did give me the tools and confidence to stop and after another 50-100 tries, I finally quit and stayed quit for the last twenty years.

Since then, I've read that my journey is not unusual. Many people are under the impression that if you've tried like 100 times to quit smoking (or lose weight, etc.) that means it's futile. You don't have it in you.

Studies have shown the opposite. They've shown a correlation between multiple attempts (and persistence) to quit an addition and final success.

So if you've tried to stop like 100 times and couldn't, maybe you'll be successful the 101st time, or in my case something like the 151st.

-- Jim






Avatar universal
Freshnoborn...Glad you're giving kioking the habit a try. Are you on treatment? If so, maybe the nicotine withdrawal symptons will meld into the peg and ribavirin symptons and you won't notice as much. In any event, drinking lots of fluid getting some aerobic exercise helps. The first 14 days are the hardest -- the primary physical withdrawal. After that, it's a little physical but more mental. Having a healthy liver should serve as motivation. If things get too rough, you might try that nicotine gum or a patch. The key here is to gradually reduce the nicotine over a 2-3 week period. But cold turkey is fine. That's how I finally kicked it. :)

Landfill...Thanks for kind words and the concern on CTCL. I'm not going to drive myself crazy over until the second biopsy results comes in. But given the first biopsy, and the mecurial nature of CTCL, I'll still have an inconclusive diagnosis and will probably have to keep a watch on things from now on.

In most cases, CTCL stays cutaneous (on the skin) -- can go into remission with tx --  and doesn't go into the lymph nodes or organs. I don't expect it to knock me off treatment, but anything is possible with these meds, hep c and the havoc both potentially  play on the autoimmune system. I'm now at week 25 chugging toward 48 which is only February 1st -- really not that far away!

If I can make it that far, I think I have a decent chance at SVR. Depending on how I feel, I may try for 72-weeks but those will be bonus weeks.

-- Jim
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