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British Liver Trust
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Mouth Wash

Hi Guys

I've just realised my mouth wash contains alcohol I have not used as yet I've been sober 18 months am I ok to use this?

Hope this is not a stupid question.

Regards

Hayley xx

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88 Replies
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Hi there.id imagine it’ll be ok as long as your not intending on drinking it.lol.i remember one of my hospital stays there was a guy in the next bed who’d had a bleed and it was obvious it was through drinking.in Chester hospital they have bottles of foam on the bottom of the beds for sterilisation of your hands.long story short he wheeled himself into the toilets with a couple of bottles on his lap to drink the foam which contained alcohol.once the nurses found out they removed them off the wards.but saying all that I did avoid putting it on because of the alcohol.ive also heard people avoiding deodorants incase of the skin absorbing it.all the best .paul

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Cheers Paul....no intention of drinking it 🤣 yep I've heard that as well from the nurses when I was in hospital they also actually had people smuggling patients drink in in sprite bottles.

If I'd have asked any of my family or friends to do that they would have kicked my ass!!

Keep well.

Hayley xx

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It’s shocking isn’t it.you would think having cirrosis and knowing you are going to die because of alcohol they would stop.i was asked at assessment if I drunk as well as most people I suppose.my coordinator mentioned a story of a guy who had been listed and his cirrosis was caused by drinking and when they rang him to say come in we have a liver for you,he was pissed up in the pub would you believe.so obviously he was delisted and never got the chance again.paul

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Paul I have friends who say nothing would make me give up how do you do it well it's a choice it was live or die for me.

My dad's friend has just been on the same ward as me and he told the liver doc first thing he was gonna do when he gets home was pour a large whisky such a shame lovely bloke he's my old chemistry teacher some people you can't help.

Take care

Hayles xx

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You can get alcohol-free mouth wash, the amount of alcohol used would be very minimal otherwise you'd have to be over 18 to buy it. What little alcohol there would be in the mouth at any one time, could be absorbed through the skin and enter the blood system.

It's very much a personal matter, l'd avoid it not only on health grounds, but now you know it contains alcohol, and use it, you can't say that you've not consumed any alcohol for the past 18-months.

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Oh no I'll bin it I really take pride in being 18 months sober last mouth wash I had was alcohol free at least I know now.

Cheers

Hayles xx

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You’re being very harsh on yourself :) You’re still 18 months sober regardless of what you’re gargling and spitting out, so well done for that major achievement.

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Thank you coconut water that means a lot 💗💗

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That's got to be so wrong! I spray myself with perfume every day and that contains alcohol. Many face creams and makeup contain alcohol. Does using those items disqualify me for a liver transplant?!! Are we not getting just a wee bit OTT here?

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You’re doing fine, Darsmum100. You know that :) Keep on spraying and smelling nice.

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Hi

I know. It is possible to get ones which are alcohol free if you are concerne& but I don’t know anyone who has had a problem ...

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Try the kids mouthwash in the pound shops. Alcohol free and cheap. I have used this for years.

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Good idea!

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You can get some really nice flavours too. Much better than just plain old mint.

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👍👍

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Hey, Just checked my mouthwash and it's alcohol free but thought I'd check out some toiletries whilst I was in the bathroom. Guess what ? My aftershave contains alcohol...…..and there's me saying that I've not had an alcoholic drink for about five years! LOL. :-)

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I hope you own up at your next clinic bigfreddy, or else I’ll tell on you. I will..... maybe they’ll have to reverse the ..... charges? 😁😁

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LOL. Pimlico. Like to see them try :-)

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Ive no idea really if it’s good or bad but I now use ‘zero listerine’ no alcohol, or any no alcohol ones I see on offer really. I have to say though my mouth doesn’t feel as fresh as it did with the original mouthwash. As Alfredthegreat says chances are my perfume and hair etc.. products probably do contain alcohol.

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I was amazed to find that some olive oil sprays have alcohol in them. I’ve moved away from them to be on the safe side, plus anything you have to add so many ingredients too can’t be healthy. I’ve got BCS and have found a few times that marketed ‘healthier options’ are in fact not much better than the straight forward option. I find anything with sweeteners makes me feel really strange, whereas the occasional full fat coke is a treat I don’t feel guilty about.

Congratulations on 18 months sober. I’m just about to hit 15 months and it’s a real journey.

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ACT Is what I use. It is alcohol free and very delicious to the teeth

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I use the same...works great! 9yrs sober here!!! We do recover!!! Now, if I could just get myself a transplant ;)

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Ok, just don't swallow it.

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It's not the effect (physical) the alcohol might have, theres nowhere near enough absorbed to do that.

It's the mental effect of the alcohol taste that might trigger a drinking relapse.

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You cannot be Serious... as 🎾 McEnroe used to say 😁

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Yes, 100% serious!

We were warned about mouthwash (and some medicines) at rehab/recovery.

Avoid triggers.

Also mouthwash can cause a positive breathalyser up to 20 mins after use and that's enough to cause someone to get kicked out of rehab.

Possibly also delisted regarding a transplant.

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Think also you will find it is a different type of alcohol the bottles do not have a alcohol content on them and you are not drinking it only swilling it so you should be fine

Dave

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I agree. There’s a very extreme example above about a patient drinking hand cleanser. That’s a serious mental health problem. For those of sound mind, there’s no connection between alcohol used for cleaning or medical uses and beer/wine/spirits. I use anti bacterial hand gel with 57% ethanol. It stinks of vodka, but there’s no connection for me between that and stuff people drink. If this hand gel means I’m no longer sober, then I’ll have to live with that :)

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Please see my comment and links to the contrary.

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Oh and by the way there is only one stupid question and that is the one that is not asked

Dave

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addictionresource.com/alcoh...

I would definitely avoid the ones that contain alcohol, if you are alcohol dependent. Definitely not a good idea if you are on a transplant list.

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Yes! I won the bet.

So you won’t get a transplant if you’ve had a gargle in the last six months now?

Snoutie, if you feel this strongly, campaign to have mouthwash banned because there is the remote chance someone of unstable mind will start drinking it.

Sorry everyone, but we’re adults here. Let’s have some common sense, please. This is mouthwash, not vodka.

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You have never been on a transplant list. When you become an alcohol counsellor, you will learn what addiction is.

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I was highly likely to need a transplant if I’d carried on drinking, but I stopped of my own accord, so I have a very good insight into addiction and beating it, which many councillors don’t have. I also have the ability to listen to people and their individual situations.

If I met someone who drank hand cleaner, medicinal alcohol or meths (!), that’s an extremely serious mental health problem, but how many people have you encountered who display this extreme behaviour? I’ll hazard a guess of zero.

That wishywashy article you posted is dumbed down and contains no references or sources for the claims it makes. In all your work behind the scenes, how many people have drunk mouthwash?

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Talk to these people instead of a liver forum.

soberrecovery.com/forums/al...

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No, because bintcliffe raised the question on here.

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And bintcliffe has just tipped her mouthwash away.

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My Uncle Roland was an alcoholic. Put his family in the poor house because he drank all the paychecks away. Literally had stolen newspapers from the neighbours as toilet paper. When he didnt have money for hooch he drank mouth wash and even shoe polish a few times. When my aunt died he was given money to put a plaque down for her cemetary plot. Drank that too and now noone lnows where she is buried. So it does happen and its no more a mental illness to do it than it is a desperation some have in addiction.

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The aftershave that I previously mentioned and that I found out last night contains alcohol, I have been wearing for years. I have never thought to check any of my toiletries for alcohol content before reading the comments on here last night. Nothing has ever been mentioned to me at liver clinics over the last 7 years about alcohol in toiletries or mouthwash. No doubt when I use the aftershave some of it will be absorbed by my skin and a small amount may enter the bloodstream. Now I think I'm right in saying that the higher something is listed on an ingredient list then the higher the amount of that particular ingredient is in product as opposed to the other ingredients listed. Well my aftershave has alcohol listed at the top of the list. I have worn this aftershave to every clinic, every blood test and every other day besides and nobody has ever said to me that my blood contains traces of alcohol. I received my transplant quite oblivious to the fact that I was at that very moment wearing aftershave containing alcohol. I think your reaction to mouthwash containing a miniscule amount of alcohol is very purist. I have never heard of anyone that uses a mouthwash containing alcohol being refused a liver transplant.

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If you are listed with an alcohol related diagnosis, why take a risk, however small. If you are removed from the list, it is forever.

Rehabilitation services do not allow it.

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Show us a link that says aftershave must not be used by those on the transplant list, please.

Let’s have some common sense, please. This is mouthwash and aftershave. If there was a problem, it would be in the alcohol section of the supermarket and restricted to over 18s.

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Dear Coco,

* You asked for links indicating that those listed for a liver transplant should not drink alcoholic mouthwash. Well, the first article brought up on a very basic Google search said that very thing. (See link below.)

* Bintcliff has stated several times that she plans to stop drinking alcoholic mouthwash. Why not support her in this rather than keep insisting that any concern about alcoholic mouthwash is invalid? That is factually incorrect. ( See link below.)

* Your comments on this post really concern me, as you speak with misplaced certainty. Without the direct experience of being listed for transplant, or, having a medical degree, it is inappropriate for you to say “No one will be taken off a transplant list for using mouthwash” and “How would a hospital test for mouthwash that’s been gargled and spat out? This is a scenario which is never going to happen.” How do you know? And how do you know the veracity of your many other invalid claims? You simply are not correct - the newest tests show even minute amounts of alcohol (including those from self-care products) using urinalysis, blood tests and saliva swabs. (See link below.)

* As Leigh mentioned, in a situation with such negative potential, erring on the side of CAUTION makes complete sense.

* It is NOT correct (as mentioned by another commenter), that the alcohol added to these self care products completely dissipates. And who of us has not inadvertently swallowed mouthwash or toothpaste? (See link below.)

med.umich.edu/transplant/pd...

While awaiting a transplant, “It is important to use only alcohol-free cough syrup and alcohol-free MOUTHWASH. Do not drink alcohol-free BEER (it DOES contain alcohol). Do not eat FOODS cooked in alcohol.”

rdhmag.com/articles/print/v...

Manufacturers modify the ethanol in mouthwash into a "specially denatured alcohol. But this doesn't deactivate the effects of the ethanol if ingested.”

“While most cases of acute ethanol intoxication follow a binge with conventional alcoholic beverages, ethanol can also be easily obtained from a variety of commercial products. These products often contain high levels of ethyl alcohol but are not manufactured for drinking or ingestion. Called nonbeverage ethanol (NBE), these products are unorthodox definitions of a drinkable beverage -- mouthwash, hair spray, hand sanitizer, cough and cold remedies, aftershave, and perfume, to name a few. The alcohol content of many of these products may EXCEED conventional alcoholic beverages by large margins.”

“There seems to be little awareness by the public that these alcohol-containing products are abused and can be toxic or fatal.”

aasldpubs.onlinelibrary.wil...

Urinalysis, blood tests and saliva swabs are used to determine even minute levels of alcohol consumption in those listed for transplant. 30.6% of those listed were found to have consumed alcohol and were permanently de-listed.

ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/218...

“Urinary EtG significantly increased the detection rate of alcohol consumption, compared to the other alcohol markers (P < 0.001). At each visit, the alcohol markers, uEtG, ethanol, methanol, and carbohydrate-deficient transferrin (CDT), as well as the state markers, alanine transaminase, aspartate transaminase, gamma glutamyl transpeptidase (GGT), and mean corpuscular volume (MCV), were determined.”

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So you have to live in a bubble it seems. It’s risky to leave the house, cross the road, drive a car. We’re all adults here and can exercise common sense.

Alcohol contained in perfumes and aftershave is known as denatured alcohol. This means that it has had additives added to it in order to make it toxic for drinking. Usually this is methanol. Methanol is toxic to the body. Alcohol used for industrial purposes is free from duty and all use of it has to be logged and signed off. It is also kept under lock and key- I have used it myself this way, which is how I know.

Secondly, alcohol added to perfumes etc is just there as a carrier for the oils and is intended to evaporate quickly from the skin, leaving you with the intended scent from the oils added. This means that it is unlikely for the alcohol contained to absorb into your body, since it is intended not to stay on your skin for very long at all.

I hope this clears up any thoughts of alcohol in aftershave causing any problems, other than razor rash!!

Sorry Alfred not necessarily directed at you but yours was the easiest post to post a relevant response to.

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Thanks carpe. I'm going to check about if people on the transplant list can use mouthwash containing a miniscule amount of alcohol. My mouthwash doesn't contain alcohol as it happens but I couldn't tell you if the one that I used last month did because I never scrutinise the ingredients of toiletries. I would have thought that if mouthwash has ever been an issue with liver transplant patients that there would be warnings at the clinics about it. I get a bit fed up of the scaremongering that sometimes happens on here. It can be very over the top!

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Everything in moderation as they say! I think sometimes people see the word alcohol and assume they are all the same. Shampoos contain cetearyl alcohol, but no way would it cause you to be affected by alcohol. Ethanol is the only alcohol fit for human consumption. Many others are toxic, such as isopropyl alcohol aka antifreeze, used many times to poison people!!!

I think there is a big difference between people swigging mouthwash for the alcohol content and people using it as intended:)

Look forward to hearing you reporting back😊

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Just a factoid for anyone who may ingest methanol. The cure is booze!☺

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Well you live and learn! 😏

Luckily I didnt learn that from self experimenting. Lol

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Whoops! Didn't mean to imply that! I meant I had learnt something:)

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Hi, CarpeDiem (great name) -

I was surprised to learn that the bit about the alcohol completely dissipating actually isn’t true. See my comment and link above. Time for a public awareness campaign.

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Thanks snoutie very interesting..... The mention of organ failure alone sends tingles up my spine I've been there..... The Listerine is going down the sink rather have smelly breath!!!!! 😅😅

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What is this risk? No one will be taken off a transplant list for using mouthwash.

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This goes back to erring on the side of caution. Do you know the transplant protocols in every country? It is also not just about transplants, while one may not plan to drink it who’s to say their brain isn’t wired to do otherwise in time? While I commend you for supporting users this needs to be done using a certain level of intelligence. No one here is a doctor, including yourself so how can you be qualified to say there is no risk? Rather be here to commend bintcliffe on the positives and discuss proceeding with caution.

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I shall discuss this with my liver specialist in June, as I did about alcohol free beer after the controversy on here (which incidentally he had no problem with patients drinking if they wished to rather than drink alcohol). I will hear what he has to say about the mouthwash as a consultant dealing with patients pre and post transplant.

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You need to discuss it with your allocated alcohol counsellor, the one who carries out the psychological assessment. A clinician would not have a problem. You have not had an alcohol related diagnosis, as you have previously pointed out to me.

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So do the counsellors ask about mouthwash use?

The question that I shall ask is this...……..has any person, to his considerable knowledge, been refused a liver transplant because they have unknowingly been using mouthwash or toiletries that contain miniscule amounts of alcohol?

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People get turned away because they have been drinking.

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And rightly so,

But come on. No one’s going to get turned away for gargling Listerine or applying aftershave. If someone’s drinking either of those - and it does happen so I’m not making light of it - that’s at the extreme end of the spectrum, and I’d reckon such a person would have noticeable behaviour issues.

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Like ADD?

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Of course they get turned away if they have been drinking but not because they have inadvertently been using mouthwash that contains a miniscule amount of alcohol!

So you would not have been nervous if you had gargled with listerine and immediately received the call?

I would have been, but I am only speaking for myself.

Not really sure what exactly this is about. Rehab services do not allow either mouthwash or aftershave if they contain alcohol. Bintcliffe has tipped hers away. Why don’t we just share experiences around liver disease?

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That's exactly what I was doing until I saw the comments about the mouthwash and I felt the need to respond.

In answer to your question about would I have felt nervous about gargling with Listerine and immediately receiving the call. I might very well have done that very thing for all I know because as I said I never read the ingredient labels on toiletries and |I don't always buy the same mouthwash and at no point over 7 years has any liver clinic or liver specialist or liver nurse warned me not to use it. So I could very likely have gone to transplant having used mouthwash with a trace of alcohol in it and not felt nervous or guilty at all.

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At the risk of repeating myself, you were not diagnosed with alcoholic end stage decompensated cirrhosis.

The criteria is totally different. They weren’t even sure if I could use wine vinegar in my salad dressing.

In your case, an explanation about mouthwash would be acceptable.

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Whether it would be acceptable for me or not is not in question. I know very well it's ok for me to use it . As I stated earlier the question that I shall ask my liver specialist is this..... Has any person, to his 'very' considerable knowledge, been refused a liver transplant because they have unknowingly (or even knowingly!) been using a mouthwash that contains a minescule amount of alcohol?

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How would a hospital test for mouthwash that’s been gargled and spat out? This is a scenario which is never going to happen.

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How would you know, have you ever stepped inside a transplant hospital or a rehabilitation clinic?

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They use a saliva swab, that is how. Note it down and go to a drinking forum where your lack of knowledge about liver disease is welcome.

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If you don’t like my posts, don’t read them. I’m happy to reciprocate as your posts are a little tricky to understand.

The reason I’ve never been on a liver ward is due to luck and having the willpower to stop drinking. If you had neither of those, I’m sorry.

It is called the biological will to live and I don’t want your pity or your helpless and ignorant advice. You know nothing about addiction or liver disease. All you want is attention and I suggest that you find a suitable counsellor who can deal with your life. What contribution are you exactly making? Bintcliffe has tipped her mouthwash away, based on the experience of those people who are knowledgeable about the subject.

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Look, it’s ridiculous to say mouthwash is dangerous. You’re scaring people unnecessarily. You can quote all your obscure links, but most people live in the real world and have common sense. What do I add? Common sense and the need not to scare people like you do.

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You’ve scared a few posters off saying they have HE when they disagree with or just can’t understand your posts. That’s pretty low. Now someone without liver disease is disagreeing with you, he has ADD apparently. You’re unqualified to diagnose either of those conditions.

Maybe just maybe you’re wrong now and then and not as helpful as you think.

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You are keen on research (and then are dismissive if it does not fit your logic), show me one single example please of saying someone has HE and I have put them off?

It’s been said via private messages. Unhelpful and unpleasant behaviour.

Private message? You were not a participant and how would that put others off? I gave suitable medical advice.

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People have said to me via PM. Don’t shoot the messenger.

Give me your details in PM and I will see you in Court.

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This will be interesting. What will the charges be, your honour?

It’s a civil case and it’s called defamation of character. You are ignorant about litigation, adding to your growing list.

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Be careful. I might take you seriously.

You said I had ADD and would have to defend yourself over that first.

It would make an interesting story.

I am being serious, you are able to send your PM’s to Trust and you continue to seek attention.

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If court worries you, PM’s can be forwarded to Trust.

Sorry only just seen your question. I assume that because it is being said on here that it could be detected that it would have to be in a blood test. That's why I'm going to ask my specialist if anyone has ever been refused a transplant under these circumstances.

If you are a known alcoholic they remove the sanitizer from the end of the beds in the ward

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My hubby uses an oral b alcohol free one, even though he has had his transplant at its not as breath takingly strong as some can be

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I'm shocked by the number of people using mouthwash!! I was told that using mouthwash is contraversial as it removes all bacteria from the mouth, including the 'good' bacteria. This means the normal flora of the mouth is imbalanced and bad bacteria can proliferate. It's similar to women using vagina douches which change the bodies normal microbes/bacteria etc. Or how antibiotics affect the biome in the gut, allowing proliferation of yeasts etc causing diarrhoea.

I know that cirrhosis can cause problems with teeth and we have to look after them, but I was advised clean thoroughly at least twice a day, use interdental brushes or dental floss and you shouldn't need mouth wash on a regular basis. However as I often say, each to their own, people can make up their own minds.

Just thought I'd create a different argument.

Good health to all. X

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