Once a month and really, once a month - British Liver Trust

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Once a month and really, once a month

LACLAC1972 profile image

Hello I have been diagnosed with Fibrosis Stage 3 but they are treaing me as though I have early Cirrohsis. I've been told to abstain alcohol forever. Now if I truly have the willpower to treat myself on one day a month to a few drinks and it is only one day a month, would it really do any harm ? I guess they say abstain forever because they worry one day slips to 2 then, 3 etc etc. But I reckon I have the will power and resolve to do it ! Can I please, drink just once a month without it killing me?

25 Replies

You do have early cirrhosis - Stage 3 fibrosis means you've already got bridging going on. Stage 3 fibrosis is also known as incomplete cirrhosis.

Even having a drink one day a month you are going to throw petrol on the bonfire and potentially slip over the edge into full on cirrhosis with all symptoms it brings (you want to avoid that at all costs).

It's entirely up to you BUT it's a slippery slope, doctors don't give that advice for no reason.

My hubby has cirrhosis having never been a drinker & what he goes through is awful. He's got auto immune liver disease which had done it's damage without it being picked up so he never had the chance to stop it in it's tracks before the damage was done then wham one night he's vomitting blood and being told he's got cirrhosis.

You've got the chance to stop that happening and preserve/improve your liver health. I'd grab it with both hands if I were you - what is more important a booze session once a month or life long quality of life and good health?


LACLAC1972 profile image
LACLAC1972 in reply to AyrshireK

Thank you Katie for your kind and thoughtful response. I understand I am on the edge right now and, as you say, that one drink a month could potentially "throw petrol onto the fire" and really do me in...

Katie summed it up correctly by saying 'what is more important a booze session once a month or life long quality of life and good health?'

bless you, its a lot to process. My partner has cirrhosis due to alcohol and he has not only been told to never drink again, not a single sip but to avoid even non alcoholic versions plus alcohol in mouthwash. It really is a life time commitment. My partner has decompensated cirrhosis and has a host of symptoms you would really want to try and avoid. It sounds like you have just caught it in time to make a big impact to your future health if you make some big lifestyle changes. I wish my partner were in your position, I really do. Please listen to the advice you have been given

Not to be brash but you can do anything once. Lol. If I were you I would stop completely. I wisssssh I had the chance you do and I’m sure almost everyone on here does too! Most of us didn’t realize our liver was damaged until it was already cirrhosis. Don’t squander your opportunity and thank your lucky stars they caught it that early. Quit drinking forever mate! Read the posts on here and hear what it’s like to live with it once you hit f4. You will be writing those same posts if you don’t abstain and I guarantee you won’t wish you could have a few beers on occasion.


Why give alcohol that much control. Keep it off the pedestal.

I would maybe seek more medical advice and ask a dr. I have a dr telling me a few a week isn’t going to hurt but I’m not into fibrosis yet my liver enzymes stay elevated but my ultrasounds have been clear

pushthrough profile image
pushthrough in reply to mtk0925

Hello MTK it would be ok to drink if the person didn’t have fibrosis. However once you are at f2,3,4 alcohol should be avoided completely.

Margolia profile image
Margolia in reply to mtk0925

Ultrasounds don't show fibrosis.

mtk0925 profile image
mtk0925 in reply to Margolia

They do show fatty liver which I don’t have yet. Fatty liver then fibrosis is usually how it goes

If you had a peanut allergy that was potentialy life threatening would you have some once a month?Your allergic to alcohol now, that's not going to change.

I have cirrhosis from pbc/aih and my specialists have told me it’s ok to have a drink within government guidelines!! Heard the same for quite a few people . Some people agree some disagree …. Go with what the specialists tell you x

MINTVCX profile image
MINTVCX in reply to She-66

Here I think different story, no alcohol is the main cause. That't way with pbc/aih there it can be that attitude.

Keep away from alcohol. It’s playing a game of Russian Roulette to think you can have a once a month session. It won’t stay once a month to start with and even if it does why risk more damage to your liver when you don’t have to?

I'm in the same boat as you but perhaps a little further on with - Fibrosis 3-4 with bridging on my rap sheet (consultants diagnosis). Across the pond this is classified as early stage cirrhosis. I have many of the milder symptoms of Cirrhosis lethargy, itching etc without the Fluid drains and bleeds, I'm not guaranteed anything as far as my Liver consultant is concerned, lucky enough to see the senior consultant at my last consultation, alcohol and high calorie foods were my problem, over many years. In December I have my next appointment, a nice time of year to make sure I'm doing the right thing, you might be different, but my one or two drinks doesn't stay that way for long, it leads to a barrel load, I've tried so many times before to moderate and before my diagnosis, without success, now I see it Iike this, I've retired from drinking alcohol for good, I just hope my liver disease doesn't become full cirrhosis, but there are no guarantees

even with a change in life style, but by changing my lifestyle i give myself a good chance

of avoiding my condition getting any worse, the diet isn't easy either, I used to eat all the wrong foods, never thought about it at all, now I do, I don't always keep to my diet religiously

there is the odd slip, but on the whole my weight has come down and I feel better for it.

But it's very much one day at a time ....

Foxdud profile image
Foxdud in reply to Anthonysmate

I could pretty much have wrote your words ,either late stage fibrosis’ or early cirrhosis, I’m not drinking ,eating healthy , lost 2st 2lbs in weight got 3lbs to go I still get pains in the liver area which I can’t really find a reason for but definitely feel better than a year ago when I was diagnosed.Bloods are fine ultrasound in two weeks 🤞

See, I was thinking that the other day - why don't doctors think of stage 3 as potentially dangerous. All I got from my consultant was "lose weight, I'll see you in six months". She says it isn't down to alcohol - but I've given it up anyway as it's a poison to the liver, and I'm trying to lose weight - which, when you think I am also diabetic and very probably have insulin resistance, is hard. But it could be down to something else, and I'm dangerously close to getting 'that' diagnosis, isn't it worth exploring other causes (I have been on some of the BIG painkillers - it could be that) so wouldn't it be a good idea to see, so to stop it going further?

Sorry, kind of hijacked your post there - stay away from the poison!!!


pushthrough profile image
pushthrough in reply to Iro1

Simple and spot on! Lol

Do this - say to yourself - you are not never drinking again - you are just not drinking for one full year and then after that you can start again if you want.

You said "if I truly have the willpower" you should have the willpower to not drink for a year, right?

Hint, hint one - After that year you won't WANT to drink again.

Hint hint two - Liver improvements happen the most in the first year, so this is your time to do it.

Just say to yourself that you are taking a "vacation" for one year. But strictly, NO exceptions "just for my birthday" and nothing else like "non alcoholic beer". Then come back on this board on June 28th 2023 and ask for more advice and see what people say. So as of today nothing for a year and see you next June. NO exceptions. Do you have the willpower you say? If you do not, there is help available.

If people ask, hey, why are you not drinking, say "Damn doctor said I have a bit of a stomach thing going on, gave me meds, told me to stay off for a few weeks/months, not a problem for me of course!"

Not I am not a doctor or alcohol counsellor, feel free to ignore my advice.

Thank you for your reply and an interesting strategy to take. Largely agree but may I ask why "no alcohol" drinks are out? I have spent the last few nights drinking 0.0% Gordon's Gin and 0% lager. IT really gives me a feeling of contentment. Holding the pint glass, feeling full, ejnoying the taste but not getting drunk.

It is said they all have a tiny bit of alcohol in them. But if you can keep it at that and really and truly stop with it, as far as I am concerned, maybe that can be your transition compromise. Don't even, not even once, (apart from the 0% stuff you mention), do not even once have "only one glass of champagne on New Years Eve", "just a little something to celebrate my work promotion" - zero apart from what you mentioned above.

I cannot emphasize this enough I am NOT a doctor or medical professional of any kind of sort, just a fool on a message board so feel free to ignore me, perhaps you should, it's all on you. But that said if you can stay off for one year come back in a year and talk to us again and

I think you won't discuss how much you miss alcohol, but how much better your life is without it.

And diet is just as important, so do that as well (plenty of books online, liver diet, fatty liver diet, cirrhosis diet) just google or go to amazon.co.uk and type it in. Heart diets are almost identical to liver diets so there is that.

Good luck!

Aotea2012 profile image
Aotea2012 in reply to kensimmons

I keep away from alcohol free to be honest. I looked at the alcohol value of one my brother was drinking. He drinks them in the week to keep his overall units low. His liver is fine so is being health conscious. The value was 0.5% which seems to be the average of the good ones. Because the alcohol is low the body processes it out so that you never feel the effects. That said, in theory 10 pints of the stuff is the equivalent of a pint of normal beer. For someone like me who got into trouble with alcohol, the triggering risk is too great. It smells like beer, by all accounts tastes like beer...so in my mind would be beer! The bottle of full strength bud sitting next to it in the fridge would be my next target and in no time I’d have fallen off the wagon....eek! Safer to stick to squash!

Hi I just want to say , you have been handed a lifeline if I were you I’d grab it with both hands and not let go. If you are struggling to stop then there’s a well known self help group that sounds like a vehicle rescue service( not sure if you are allowed to mention names) . I have been sober 23 years and it saved my life. My partner however has not been so fortunate. He is sober 6 years but has cirrhosis and will need a transplant at some stage. Please hear the message being given to you because if one person can be saved from this lousy disease it is a victory for us all xxx wish you all best x

If I was a betting lady, I'd put a lot of money on you eventually saying "I wish I hadn't....."Take care, and good luck on your journey. Abstinence isn't as bad as you think!!


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