Alcohol and Hepatitis C; is it OK to Drink?

There is so much conflicting information about alcohol; for each article that says a glass a day is great for your heart there is one that says just one glass a day can increase cancer risk. This issue is even more important if you have been diagnosed with hepatitis C as your liver is already susceptible to damage, if it is not damaged already. It is certain that heavy drinking if you have hepatitis C is bad. But can you still drink moderately after you have been diagnosed with hepatitis C?

The Progression of Hepatitis C

Most people with hepatitis C that hasn’t been removed from the body after 6 months of contracting the virus (known as chronic hepatitis C) may not experience symptoms until at least ten years after exposure to the disease. If undiagnosed or untreated, however, hepatitis C can lead to severe liver damage Cirrhosis), or liver cancer.

Alcohol, Liver Disease and HCV

Heavy alcohol consumption and hepatitis C work together to cause liver disease. One early study into the interaction between drinking alcohol and the hepatitis C virus showed that 5 or more drinks a day, where one drink is 12 oz of beer, 5 oz of wine or 1.25 oz of liquor, contributes to fibrosis in HCV patients. This is supported by numerous other studies that confirm heavy alcohol strongly contributes to liver disease in people with HCV.

Research on whether light alcohol consumption can affect the health of hepatitis C patients is conflicting. Some found no evidence that alcohol consumption was related to fibrosis, but others found a significant increase in cirrhosis for patients who consumed between 9 and 26 alcoholic drinks a week, with a greater incidence of cirrhosis for those who drank over 26 drinks a week after hepatitis C diagnosis.

Overall, research shows that people who drunk fewer than 50 grams of alcohol a day (that’s 5 drinks or less) experienced less liver scarring. So whilst increased liver scarring is evident in light drinking patients with hepatitis C, the effect of the liver damage is definitely more significant in heavy drinkers.

If you have hepatitis C, you will need to assess your own health, with advice from your doctor, before deciding whether or not it is safe for you to drink alcohol. If you are a heavy drinker, or you have already experienced some level of liver damage, it is best to avoid alcohol entirely in order to prevent further liver damage.

At Alternative Hepatitis C Treatment Mexico we treat patients at all stages of hepatitis C infection. Using our natural, effective, unique Functional Medicine program, we induce optimal cellular health and provide immunity support to enable the body to destroy the virus and help to repair any existing damage cause by the condition.

If you would like to find out more about our alternative hepatitis C treatment program and how it could cure you or a loved one from this otherwise untreatable disease, contact us today.