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Why is alcohol risky in people with hepatitis C?

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If you have the hep C virus, you already have a liver infection. Even small amounts of alcohol can make you more likely to get serious liver disease.

Alcohol can cause inflammation and scarring. When scar tissue builds up in your liver, you can get cirrhosis. When that happens, your liver can’t work the way it should and breaks down. Alcohol also can raise your risk of getting liver cancer.

Drinking may cause more of the hep C virus to stay in your body.

From: Alcohol and Hepatitis C WebMD Medical Reference

SOURCES:

National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism: "Alcohol and Hepatitis C."

U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs: "Viral Hepatitis."

American Liver Foundation.

National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases: "Cirrhosis."

Hepatitis C Trust, UK: "Alcohol."

University Hospital Southampton: "Your Hepatitis C Treatment."

U.S. Office of Disease Prevention and Health Promotion: "Dietary Guidelines for Americans, Appendix 9: Alcohol."

International Alliance for Responsible Drinking.

Virginia Mason Medical Center: "Frequently Asked Questions About Hepatitis C."

HCVAdvocate.org: "HCV Negative: A Guide to Healthy Living Without Hepatitis C."

CDC: "Hepatitis C FAQs for Health Professionals."

Reviewed by Jennifer Robinson on May 11, 2018

SOURCES:

National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism: "Alcohol and Hepatitis C."

U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs: "Viral Hepatitis."

American Liver Foundation.

National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases: "Cirrhosis."

Hepatitis C Trust, UK: "Alcohol."

University Hospital Southampton: "Your Hepatitis C Treatment."

U.S. Office of Disease Prevention and Health Promotion: "Dietary Guidelines for Americans, Appendix 9: Alcohol."

International Alliance for Responsible Drinking.

Virginia Mason Medical Center: "Frequently Asked Questions About Hepatitis C."

HCVAdvocate.org: "HCV Negative: A Guide to Healthy Living Without Hepatitis C."

CDC: "Hepatitis C FAQs for Health Professionals."

Reviewed by Jennifer Robinson on May 11, 2018

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How can alcohol affect treatment of hepatitis C?

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