Is Alcohol Completely Disallowed for Hepatitis Patients?

Alcohol and Hepatitis Patients

Have you been freshly diagnosed with hepatitis? If so, then knowing if alcohol is completely allowed or not is very helpful. There are several types of hepatitis, but it is important for hepatitis sufferers who are alcoholics to initially fathom how the liver works and functions in order to determine how each type of hepatitis is unique.

The Function of the Liver

The liver is the body’s bulkiest internal organ.

Our liver has a very important role because it transforms food into energy and cleans the toxins and alcohol in our bloodstream. It is also responsible for creating bile, a yellow-green substance that helps aid in digestion. This organ also aids in blood clotting and produces protein that the body warrants. The liver also polices the sugar within the bloodstream.  As the liver does many important things in our body, we should take care of it. However, just like any organ or system in the body, it is also prone to widening disease or getting affected by medical disorders, especially if we don’t pay attention to liver health.

What is Hepatitis?

Hepatitis is an infectious condition wherein the liver swells, preventing it from working effectively. This may lead to scarring known as liver cirrhosis, or possibly even cancer. Hepatitis is triggered by several types of hepatitis viruses; hepatitis A is from the Hepa A virus, while hepatitis B is typically attributed to the Hepa B virus.

Regrettably, overconsumption of alcohol and other drugs may lead to hepatitis in a person indirectly. In some cases, the immune system develops abnormalities and attacks the healthy liver cells by mistake. Vaccines are used to prevent viral hepatitis from spreading. Hepatitis needs to be treated with drugs or other treatments, or else it may last a lifetime.

Acute and Chronic Hepatitis

Acute hepatitis is the initial phase of infection and it can be either harsh or mild. If the infection lasts for about six months or more, it is already considered chronic hepatitis. Hepatitis E and A only cause acute hepatitis, but hepatitis B, C and D viruses can breed both long term and acute episodes of this condition. The most serious of the hepatitis types would be chronic hepatitis C and B.

Is Alcohol Completely Disallowed for Hepatitis Patients

Avoiding alcohol consumption is imperative if you have hepatitis, especially when pertaining to the viral form. Alcohol is detrimental to the health of hepatitis patients because it helps the disease progress further.  When alcohol enters the system, a large percentage of it passes through the liver. Once the alcohol enters the body, it can turn into acetaldehyde, which is more treacherous to the organ than alcohol in its original form. Additionally, the alcohol as well as metabolite intoxication can lead to liver inflammation.

Long term drinking can cause the inflammation to become more persistent. On the onset of the inflammation, it causes the overproduction of free radicals that can damage the liver cells of the hepatitis patient even more.

Alcohol also decreases the antioxidant production, which is very important in defending the body from toxins and free radicals.  With all these possible effects on top of the already existing inflammation caused by the hepatitis infection, the evolvement of fibrosis could accelerate dramatically for the worst.

Hepatitis is not an easy health condition to handle. Alcohol consumption is not okay, even for people who have mild hepatitis. Also keep in mind that the liver is no longer in desirable shape after hepatitis, so even after recovery, alcohol should still be avoided to ensure that your liver continues to function well and your body remains healthy.

This is very imperative, especially for patients who are suffering from chronic hepatitis. Alcohol abuse will deeply affect the overall health of the liver. Doctors strongly recommend that a patient who has hepatitis be aware of the importance of avoiding alcohol consumption.  It is very important to stay determined and consistent in avoiding alcohol if you really want to rid yourself of hepatitis, and to also stay away from relapses during recovery. In conclusion, proper treatment is needed if you have hepatitis. Keep in mind that the liver isn’t functioning as well as it usually does, so guzzling alcoholic beverages isn’t a good idea when your liver can no longer metabolize substances accurately.


Basra G, Basra S, Parupudi S. Symptoms and signs of acute alcoholic hepatitis. World J Hepatol. 2011 May 27;3(5):118-20.

Nei J, Matsuda Y, Takada A. Chronic hepatitis induced by alcohol. Dig Dis Sci. 1983 Mar;28(3):207-15.

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