Alcohol and hepatitis
How does alcohol affect my hepatitis?
Alcohol is toxin to the liver (hepatotoxic). If you have hepatitis B or C, one of the best things you can do for yourself is to cut out drinking or cut down as much as you can. Alcohol may increase damage to your liver, liver scarring (cirrhosis) and liver cancer (hepatocellular carcinoma). Drinking alcohol can also increase the amount of virus in your body. It’s important that you discuss your alcohol consumption with your doctor or liver specialist. If you have viral hepatitis, it is best not to drink any alcohol but if you do drink it is important to limit the amount of alcohol to reduce further possible damage to your liver.
How much can I drink?
If you have hepatitis B or C it is recommended that you drink no more than: one standard drink per day, WITH AT LEAST three alcohol-free days per week. 1 However, everyone is different. For people with viral hepatitis, alcohol may cause liver or abdominal pains and fatigue the following day so “listen to your liver”! If you have liver scarring or liver cancer, you are advised not to drink any alcohol at all. If you do drink alcohol, monitor your own use and the ways in which alcohol affects you.
What is a ‘standard drink’?
A standard drink is any drink containing 10 grams of alcohol. Below is a few different alcoholic drinks showing how many standard drinks they include. For more examples see the Standard drinks guide.