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29837 tn?1414534648

A Glass Of Wine With Dinner

My oh my... this is very interesting. As most of you know, I had a liver transplant and am now undetectable. I was treated in Las Vegas for 14 years by a doctor who treated me through all my treatment nightmares and was instrumental in warning me when to get on the transplant list when I was near death. I am still in touch with him, as he wants to know my progress.

A couple of weeks ago, I saw my transplant doctor at UCLA Medical Center in L.A. and asked if I could have a glass of wine with dinner. He said "no". The interesting point here is that my Hepatologist in Vegas today when we spoke, said "yes". His explanation was "Why not? Now that you have a perfectly good working liver, you should be just fine enjoying your glass of wine with dinner, as long as you don't overdo it". Being Italian, and following in the footsteps of my heritage, all my relatives had a glass of wine with dinner. In fact, my mother did as well, and lived to be 95. My uncle is 94, aunt is 82 and grandmother died at 92.

So, I would like to hear from anyone here who has asked this question to their doctor and let us know what he said. By the way, my grandfather was an exception. He drank a quart of whiskey every adult day of his life and lived to be 92. When I went to his cremation, that fire would not go out...

39 Responses
Avatar universal
You asked our opinion, right?   Well, I really don't know what to say.  On one hand, why risk it?  You have a new healthy liver and you're on treatment, so, I would so NOOoooo.  The alcohol could somehow interact with your treatment meds, and why take that chance after all you've been through??

Oh the other hand..., if it will make you unhappy and negatively affect your quality of life to forego your simple pleasure of a glass of vino, than, go for it.

I don't feel like I'm qualified to tell anybody what to do.  That was just my opinion.

29837 tn?1414534648
Point well taken. I don't plan to have a glass of wine at every dinner, but an occasional glass when getting together with friends... I have to agree with the Vegas Hepatologist that in so many words... it's not the end of the world. I quit drinking 15 years ago and don't miss it at all. But I thought this was an interesting scenario, getting two opinions from two different doctors.

Remember what the English poet John Donne said "no man is an island". Translated, it means not one man knows all the answers. That's why on Jan. 2nd I go for a second opinion for my upcoming back surgery. I thought this was an interesting post and food for thought. I agree with you Sue, when you stated "why risk it". Excuse me while I pour a glass of wine...

476246 tn?1418870914
My doctors and nurses said it was fine.

I had no transplant though, so I don't know if it's even comparable.
In spite of having had Hep C for over 25 years, my stage and inflammation was 0-1, and must have become 0-0 after TX.

I hadn't had a drink since 1999, but now I occasionally have a glass or two of red wine.
10175413 tn?1427170251
Hi there!  I'm just going to jump in here and give my two cents....I'm just puzzled I suppose why you would even want to take even a 1/2% chance at risking all that you've accomplished. You obviously know more about your condition than anyone else here does and know what is right for you....and my opinion is worth about two cents...
Peace my friend
29837 tn?1414534648
Let me make some points here. First of all, the question as to whether or not having a glass of wine would interfere with my pill regiment. The doctor in Vegas who said it was okay to have a glass of wine is very well aware of all my medications, the liver transplant, Harvoni treatment, etc. and still, he said it was fine, but just don't let the doctor at UCLA Medical Center know.

Why not? My take on this is that the doctor in L.A. may feel that it is his protocol to tell all his patients, whether or not cleared, transplanted, active Hep C, etc. that they should not drink at all because for some, one glass of wine leads to two, then three and so on.

In my opinion, this is a precautionary warning by the doctor in L.A.. I agree with Ekkiemom that risking destroying this new liver transplanted by even a ½% chance by introducing a glass of wine which contains a small amount of alcohol in many people's minds would predicate a warning to not disrupt what has been achieved in the larger scope. But then in the thought that I underwent all this and have been extremely careful of how I treat this new liver to the point of suffering in pain constantly by not taking any pain medication, therefore not introducing even more chemicals than I’m already ingesting.

The act of having a glass of wine...nature’s grapes...an act by Jesus turning water into wine, the Catholic priest during a mass drinking wine out of a golden goblet, makes one think of how deadly can this be compared to the powerful chemicals I must ingest every day to avoid my body trying to kill this new liver that doesn’t belong to me, I have to take a deep breath and ponder on this... Is it an act of destruction or an act of enjoyment.

There is a village in Italy where no one has ever had cancer. The diet consists of fish, poultry, meat and...wine. When my mother had a pace maker inserted at age 89, was told by her doctor to drink... a glass of wine every day to prevent coagulation of blood which could lead to a stroke, and to keep her heart healthy. I rest my case...

Avatar universal

Is this an anonymous forum? ......:) may I ask a question? Thx!
Understand desire for an occasional glass of wine. And, my little program ears perked when you said " I quit drinking 15 years ago and don't miss it at all." Did you stop drinking because of hep c or because it was time to stop drinking? Sure hope it's ok to ask you that. I ask, because I quit drinking 36 years ago. Do agree, that red wine is healthy! It's awesome that you have a healthy liver.
Best bro,
29837 tn?1414534648
When I was first diagnosed with Hep C found in blood work before a surgery, in Las Vegas, the primary doctor, not a Hepatologist, said nothing about me stopping drinking or even asked if I drank. Instead, he said verbatim, "we'll keep and eye on this".

That was in 1994. In 1999, a new protocol must have been passed on to primary doctors and said to have all patients stop drinking immediately, which is what he told me to do. I cold turkey that day.

As an entertainer, I was under a lot of pressure performing in the major Las Vegas hotels, and when I came home at night, it was not unusual for me to have 2-3 double margaritas just so I could come down enough to get some sleep. That's 4-6 shots per night. Every night. All this was leading up to the day I cold turkey. I didn't have Cirrhosis then, but looking back at it now, I'm sure it had something to do with the fact that I was diagnosed with early cirrhosis the following year.

I have no desire to drink even one glass of wine every day, but if I were to ride on the words the doctor in Vegas said, I could have a glass on "occasions", such as a shapely and voluptuous friend coming over to see how I was doing. I am after all... only human...

Avatar universal
OR......... Lol......you could have a truckload of plump red grapes delivered, dump 'em in your bathtub ;-) and start stomp in' , slosh in' , sing in' & sip in'~
UCLA  might even join ya!!! Social event, fo sho! HEALTHY! ..and you'll sleep well from exhaustion........ Ran

Btw, I still have a cigarette or two, sometimes, occasionally .... Very dumb!! So, obviously, I'm only throwing in one cent
Avatar universal

Saw your response after posting, &.......... me too ; )
Avatar universal

OR lolololol, you could have a shapely & voluptuous "friend" come, first & stomp those grapes with ya....... Mmmm
Sadly, I'm only 93 pounds. Sniff :'
Avatar universal

You're a good man, hepper brother!

Blessings~ Ran
2059648 tn?1439766665
I'm just flabbergasted #€>¥#%%??,~^.   You had cirrosis of the liver, had a liver transplant and are now on Hepatitis C treatment aaaaaaannnnnddf you
want to drink some alcohol?   I don't even know what to say except you got to be kidding right?   How about asking Hector what he would do.

Avatar universal
I agree that for someone w/o an alcohol problem, drinking a glass of wine w/a meal (1 a day), is probably a good thing.  That being said, if I were in your shoes having undergone a transplant.., an while on treatment..., I would hold off on the wine.  Why not wait until you're done with treatment and then, have 1 glass of wine to celebrate being undetected and through with the TX course? That's not a sober forever indictment, but a temporary pause.  I don't know...   I have not drank a drop of it since I was 34 and I'm 53.  Occasionally, I feel a slight temptation, but it goes away in like 5 min.  If I really wanted to pretend, I suppose I'd buy 100% grape juice and pour it into a wine goblet and say 'cheers'.    I never turned alcoholic, but I did get to the point to wear I was using my 2 very strong mixed drinks a night, as a stress reliever to the point that I had that feeling..., 'can't wait to get hold and have a drink'.  Eventually, poured more Bacardi rum into my glass than I did ice cubes and coke.  Then, it was oh, I'd have a glass of wine with supper, too.  No only did I start putting on weight, but also started feeling very sluggish during my days.  Why, I don't know.  Could be because I had the HepC back then and had not yet been diagnosed.  I can remember several celebration where the 2 drinks stretched out to like 4 or more.  Never had any DUI's or anything and never had any issues with family over my drinking or anything, but I did make some bad decisions on some of those celebrating over 2 drinks events.   I'm certainly not saying that you are anything at all like that.  I didn't set out to be, but it snuck up on me.  I was having all these problems with my son and used it for a stress reliever. His problems had nothing to do with the alcohol though.  I took care of him very well.  Susan400
10175413 tn?1427170251
Same behavior= Same results. Unfortunately sad but true. Sorry to be so blunt everyone, sorry Magnum I'm sure u r a wonderful person...
163305 tn?1333668571
Okay, I'm 5+ years post transplant and have an occasional glass of wine when visiting family who are all drinking wine with dinner. I can take it or leave it even though I drank wine regularly with dinner prior to my diagnosis and I live in wine country.

Interference with medications is a consideration but bigger still is why it's important to you one way or the other. To me it simply doesn't matter. You may say it doesn't matter to you either yet you've written about drinking several times recently which tells me that to you it does matter. Only you can answer that question. Ultimately our lives our in our hands, not the doctor's and they are only human and have their own points of view, too.

BTW: But I do indulge in medicinal cannabis :) It helps me sleep.

29837 tn?1414534648
I appreciate very much your concern, but Hector, a good friend of mine is not a doctor. When a very experienced Gastroenterologist/Hepatologist says it's OK for me to have a glass of wine with my dinner, there has to be some sort of consideration about what he's stating.

What is the point to have a new liver if you have to worry about every little thing you ingest? I have to reiterate and again say that the chemicals I'm ingesting to prevent my liver from being massacred by my immune system is worse than a glass of wine. For example, both doctors, as well as Hector have told me that Prograf, the anti-rejection pills are in the long run, going to have a negative effect on my kidneys and could eventually in the long run cause kidney failure.

I get the feeling that I’m being ostracized for even mentioning that I could have a glass of wine with dinner. Whose advice should I follow?, a doctor who has had 12 years of training, including four years of residency, or someone who is alarmed at the thought I will destroy this wonderful gift with a glass of wine, even occasionally. To me, I have to follow the rule of logic.

When I was putting down the margaritas on a daily basis and I had Hep C, I decided to try and not drink. I drove an hour from Las Vegas to Mesquite and checked into a motel for the two days I had off, just to get away from the temptation of the Las Vegas scene of gambling, partying, drinking, etc.

While in the motel room, I was watching TV. It was a Sunday and there was nothing on but religious programs, so I turned it off and looked around for something to read. On the night stand, there was a Gideon’s bible. I’ve heard of them but never read one. Out of curiosity, I opened it. Inside the front cover, someone wrote in very neatly “if you have a drinking problem, call 921-1256". So I did. It was the liquor store just down the street...

6708370 tn?1471490210
I must concur with Hawk. I also noticed that you posted about a glass of champagne on your birthday and now a glass of wine? It seems that you want validation for something that you are feeling like you are getting away with

I am cirrhotic and fortunately may never need a liver transplant if I can get rid of this virus but one of the things that I have learned on this journey is that little things like a glass of wine are not really that important in the grand scheme of things

I don't drink when others do at family events or when out with friends. I can go to the diveyest bar and enjoy myself with my soda and cranberry juice or enjoy a trip to a winery where I can still enjoy the bouquet of a lovely pinot noir and the ambience of the grapes on the vine

It's an odd thing with tranplantees though since, ostensibly your liver is as good as new. I attended a support group once where there was a gentleman who was post-transplant who basically said, hey, this is a new liver so I can start drinking again, right? Everyone in the room was aghast - including an 18 year old with a MELD score of 38 who was in a wheelchair and a breathing tube stuck in her nose

It also may be a factor in the strict guidelines to determine who gets a donated liver. I'm guessing that if you had asked about drinking then, you may not have gotten that liver

But, in the end, it is your life and your decision. I am very happy for you that you seem to approaching SVR and you have made it this far on a remarkable road to continue on this unpredictable buy joyous ride we call life
29837 tn?1414534648
Point well taken. You stated something important. You smoke cannabis to sleep. Okay, here we go again. Cannabis in post transplant patients can cause lung fungus. Hector told me, but I was unsure of it until my doctor's assistant said the same thing when I asked if I could renew my Medial Marijuana card after my transplant. So what are you to do? Stop?

You see my point? I feel to each his own without a barrage of criticism or even unwarranted medical opinions. Otherwise, what's the point of doctors? Obviously I wish you and everyone here well. I wanted to renew my card after my transplant for the same reason you use it. Now what? I would love to have a couple of hits before going to bed. If this keeps up, pretty soon we'll be criticized for the air we breath, which in itself in California is not the cleanest.

I'm not the type of person that wants to go out with a bang like others who indulged in heavy drinking after transplants, which eventually put them in their grave, such as Larry Hagman and John Phillips. Let each person create their own path through life. After all, it's no one's influence that will determine their destiny anyway...

Avatar universal
"I get the feeling that I’m being ostracized for even mentioning that I could have a glass of wine with dinner."

You won't from me. One must enjoy life and I find it hard a single glass of wine with dinner is going to do any harm as long as it doesn't effect your meds. Remember you had the TP to continue living so a little enjoyment is a good thing.
Avatar universal
Want to add to the above there is some good benefit to having one glass of wine a day. Just not the rot gut stuff...:)
2059648 tn?1439766665
You listen to what Hector says about smoking pot but not about drinking alcohol?   You come here and asked people who have had hepatitis C, cirrhosis, liver fibrosis and treating hep c if drinking is ok.   If you believe your doctor then why are you asking?  I remember you saying your doctor told you "it's not the end of the world".   Did he then say go have a drink?   I doubt it. I can't even imagin a doctor telling a transplant patient to even drink one glass of wine.  Expecially a transplant patient with active Hepatitis C, with a recent liver transplant and on treatment to boot.    I'm with everyone else except for cando who is just stirring the pot..... This seems to be obsessively important to drink.   It's not to us.   I was a social drinker for years and years and years.
My health is more important than any amount of alcohol.  
How about honoring the person who gave you that healthy liver and showing others you mean it by having a toast........with sparkling grape juice.  

Magnum I think your asking for approval from the wrong people.  Go ask people in a bar if you should drink.

Happy Holidays
Avatar universal
Hepcand me said just what I was thinking.......

   Your Liver..yout Life...your Decision.  

I truly don't think any of us are ostrasizing you, just trying to persuade you not to take a chance on something which, in the long run, and in other than great moderation can hurt your new liver, and thereby, hurt you!

If we didn't care about you, we wouldn't care what you did.  That said, if you add a 'glass of wine with dinner' 'once in a while' please limit it to that.  The problem we see, is that one leads to two, then every day, and before long it can grow to be enough to damage your new liver..

Having said all that, I agree with can-do-man one must enjoy life, but I also agree with hepcandme, I'll stick to my purified water, for my own peace of mind, so back to where I started,,,,Your Liver, your Life, your Decision.

Take care and beat this Dragon, whatever you do!    : -).   Pat
317787 tn?1473358451
Dear Magnum, you got a lot of great answers to your question.
I am glad you are doing so well.
When I was treating I could barely eat much less think about having a drink.
I am glad to hear these new treatments are so much easier
29837 tn?1414534648
This is why I enjoy this forum. Different opinions from different folks. I know we're all here to help, advise and instruct those who are in some sort of a problem.

After all I've been through, I think I know what to do. Period. As for destroying the gift I received of a perfectly working liver, I will take extremely good care of it. But as for a glass of wine occasionally, what's the point of having gone through all the suffering and agony if one can't enjoy an occasional glass of wine? After all, those words came right out of the mouth of Hepatologist who has been in practice for 32 years.

I appreciate all your feedbacks. That's why were here, but for some, it's extremely traumatic to think that a glass of wine will destroy all that's been done. Don't you think I ponder on this? Anyway I wish everyone a very Merry Christmas and a healthy New Year. Since I’ve made my point and my statement, I will not respond anymore to this post...

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