I'm a little confused here, but it looks like Westex posted for you, Worrier, and then you posted. Is that correct? At any rate, welcome to the forum.
Your husband's liver enzymes are elevated, though they did decrease some when he switched from tequila to wine and assumedly is drinking less. I will tell you, though, that it is absolutely crucial that he stop drinking alcohol entirely, or he will die from liver disease. If necessary, he should go to a detox center and then become active in AA, meaning meetings daily if they are available in your area, or as often as they are. He needs to spend as much time in recovery as he did drinking. You have only to read some of the posts on here related to liver disease and alcohol to know that he is playing with fire by continuing to drink at this point. If he continues to drink, there is nothing the doctors can do to help his liver disease. Also, he should be referred to a hepatologist (liver specialist), not a GI doc. Also, if he is thinking he will just drink until he needs a liver transplant, you both need to know that an alcoholic cannot even be evaluated for a liver transplant until he has 6 months of documented sobriety in AA or alcohol counseling (at the discretion of the transplant center.)
I suggest you read the info in the folder Hepatitis Resources, at the top of the page. There is a lot of good material in there.
Post Edited (hep93) : 4/8/2010 2:27:09 PM (GMT-6)
You are right that he has to want to quit. He needs to know that it is literally a matter of life and death. And that change CAN be made. I'm living proof, with 23 1/2 years of continuous sobriety, thanks to AA. Prior to that, I kicked hard drugs. You just have to want to be clean. And after all this time, I'd really like to have a glass of wine occasionally, but I know that to do so is to die--so I don't.
When he sees the GI doc on Mon., see if he will request a referral to a hepatologist. Otherwise, it will have to go through the primary care doc.
Hi Kat/Buffy. I'm glad you made it here. You actually should have started a new topic to introduce yourself, but since you are new with computers and this site, it's okay. You would just get more replies that way.
"The Combo," as it is known, has been successful in some patients, more so than interferon alone. However, there is a new treatment which adds a 3rd drug, Telaprevir, which should be available early next year, that is even more effective and only needs to be taken for 24 weeks, as opposed to 48 wks. with the combo. You might consider waiting for that. Or you could go ahead with the combo and see if you are able to handle it. One of the side effects is depression, so physicians often go ahead and prescribe an antidepressant prior to starting the combo. You can read more about hep C treatment at this site: http://www.hepatitis-central.com/hcv/ribavirin/toc.html (Just click on that link.)
You will find a lot of information and support here, as well.
Good luck to you!
Patty, most are higher than mine have ever been (I have hep C and cirrhosis and am a liver cancer survivor), but not as high as some people's. I must say, though, that in my case the numbers really don't reflect what is going on with me. When I had liver cancer, they weren't even as high as your husband's. So they take into consideration the scans and how I am feeling and looking more than the labs. For anyone, the labs are just a starting point.
Mine, either, Patty, but I've learned it out of necessity. Three weeks in a body cast will do that to you.
Kat, the new combo which includes Telaprevir is now in final trials. It is expected to be widely available early next year, which is when I expect to start taking it. My hepatologist feels that my hep C is not very aggressive and therefore she suggested I wait until next year instead of participating in the trial. I think she wants to see how the people taking it now will fare in terms of clearance of the virus, any side effects, etc.
Kat, congrats on stopping drinking! That is the single best thing you could do for your liver. Do you know when you contracted hep C? Sometimes a person's immune system will spontaneously throw off the virus, though one will always test positive for hep C. I'm trying to ascertain if your cirrhosis is from hep C or drinking. Have you had a liver biopsy? Since your doctors are ready to start hep C treatment on you, though, that would indicate that you have chronic active hepatitis and have probably been infected for some time.
Kat, you wouldn't have contracted hep C from drinking. It's a blood-borne disease, meaning it is usually transmitted through blood transfusions prior to 1993 or to shared needles or a needle stick. I always thought that cirrhosis could only be diagnosed via a liver biopsy. A 6-pack a day is a lot of beer (even occasionally), but if you were able to stop on your own, you were probably just a heavy drinker and not an alcoholic.
Let us know what happens at your next doctor appt.
Post Edited (hep93) : 4/11/2010 10:40:43 PM (GMT-6)