Ever see a fire get doused with gasoline? For those living with hepatitis C, liquor triggers a similarly destructive result. Therefore, it’s probably best to avoid alcohol if you’re living with this viral infection that causes inflammation in the liver and can also lead to serious damage—even if you’re on treatment already.
“No one knows exactly what amount of alcohol is ‘safe’ when you have hepatitis C,” says Rena Fox, MD, a clinical professor of medicine at the University of California, San Francisco Medical Center. “Some small amounts of alcohol may be safe while you have hepatitis C and have mild damage in the liver, but if you have cirrhosis (liver scarring), then no amount of alcohol is safe and you should not drink at all.”
And it’s not just the hard stuff—“soft” liquors, like beer and wine, are no-no’s too. Again, if you suffer from cirrhosis or are waiting for a liver transplant, bypass the booze.