Post Edited By Moderator (hep93) : 7/28/2010 12:28:02 PM (GMT-6)
Buffalogirl, welcome to the forum. I also have hep C and am a sober alcoholic (24 yrs. next month.) I am glad you are involved in Women for Sobriety. I had stopped drinking 7 years prior to my diagnosis, but I'm sure it didn't help matters that I drank heavily for 2 decades. While any amount of alcohol is dangerous to a person with liver disease, obviously the damage will correlate to the amount you drank, as well as how aggressive your hep C is. You are fortunate if you do not yet have any symptoms. You didn't mention hep C treatment, so I assume you haven't had any. You might be interested to know that there is a new treatment in trials now that should be available next year. It is showing a 70% success rate and is only taken for 24 weeks.
Please do see a GI doc or hepatologist and have some blood work done. Ask him to do an AFP (alpha fetoprotein) test as well. That is a cancer marker. I'd also recommend an abdominal ultrasound or CT scan to check for liver cancer. Hep C puts one at high risk for liver cancer. I had it and had to have the rt. lobe of my liver removed (and no, it won't grow back.) However, I've been cancer free for over 3 yrs. now.
You might want to read the info in the folder at the top of the page entitled Hepatitis Resources. No more drinking for you, and it's also important that you follow a healthful diet, rich in fresh fruits and veggies and eliminating red meat.
Post Edited (hep93) : 7/29/2010 3:18:26 PM (GMT-6)
It seems it would make a lot more sense to quit drinking if you have active liver disease, instead of trying to chart your stability or decline. You are using that means to justify continuing to drink, which I think is purely delusional. After I was diagnosed in '93 with hep C, nothing changed for 12 years (although I wasn't drinking); then one day a routine ultrasound showed a 12 cm x 11.5 cm hepatocellular carcinoma. What you're doing is like saying I should keep on smoking since I don't yet have emphysema or lung cancer.
Liver disease can suddenly take a turn for the worse, as our member David can tell you. If you should take a nosedive and need a transplant--guess what? You can't get one unless you have documented continuous sobriety for 6 mos.
As far as treatment goes, there is a new one that should be available in about 6 mos. that adds a 3rd drug. It is showing 75% success. But of course you would have to be free from alcohol use to undergo treatment.
Post Edited (hep93) : 7/29/2010 9:18:43 PM (GMT-6)
BuffaloGirl, I'm glad you are getting tested. Have you ever had a liver biopsy? That is the definitive test to determine the status of your liver. A CT scan is also a good idea, to check for liver cancer or tumors. Personally, my blood work has never been a good indication of what is going on with me, so I also have an MRI with Gadolinium every 6 mos.
Do keep us updated.
Buffalo Girl, are you out there?? What were the results of your doctor visit? Hope you are doing well and not drinking!