An image of a group of people drinking, while another person looks on

To Drink or Not to Drink? That Is the Question

Having a liver disease such as hepatitis C can leave you with a no-alcoholic-beverages diet. I have never been much of a drinker anyway, but after getting diagnosed, it was made very clear that I should refrain from ANY alcoholic beverages at all. For many who come to my foundation newly diagnosed, this question comes up frequently. They usually ask, "How strict are they doctors and/or do they mean all drinks?", "What about just a beer?", etc...

How alcohol impacts the liver

My answer to them is put this way: If you were to fill-up your car with premium gasoline several times a week, but then, out of the blue, your car breaks down and the mechanic tells you that it is malfunctioning, and if you put this premium gas in, it could do more damage, or even cause it to stop running all together... Would you still risk it? Of course, you wouldn’t.

So, my question back to these patients... Why on earth then would you play this risk with your very own health?  Why not do what the doctor has ordered and get your body back to healthy and cured of hep C before you put any such toxin through your liver?

What do I do if...?

I have been asked several times, "What do I do in situations like a cocktail party at work?". I smile and say, “I would like a sparkling water, please" or simply say "Cranberry and Sprite/7UP, please". That way, you avoid the comments of others saying, “Oh, you’re not drinking?”.

I am also at a much more cautious level being stage 4 liver disease, so I really don’t care what my peers say or others who offer me a drink. I graciously thank them for the offer and decline the beverage.

Just recently, I was at a convention for my job which included a cocktail party. It was an open bar situation. I walked up to the bartender and asked for a cranberry 7UP. They created this beautiful pink drink for me, all non-alcoholic. I wandered the event with my drink in hand, and not one person cared what I was drinking.

Later, we went over to the event center where they handed me 2 cocktail drink cards. Knowing I was not going to use them, I friended a couple of gentlemen and asked if they would like my drink cards. They immediately grabbed them, thanking me. It was as simple as that.

Keeping hep C in perspective

Don’t spend so much time worrying about drinking. You need to focus on getting cured of hep C and the threat against your liver. Do not subject yourself to more toxic threats by consuming alcohol.

This is a controversial topic and rightfully so. I am not here to tell anyone what to do or how to live. But I am here to share some warnings. Then it is up to your own choices as to whether you want to aid in your cure or not.

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Diet and Nutrition: A Guide to Eating Well

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This article represents the opinions, thoughts, and experiences of the author; none of this content has been paid for by any advertiser. The team does not recommend or endorse any products or treatments discussed herein. Learn more about how we maintain editorial integrity here.

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