Drinking red wine

Hallo everybody!

In 2002 there was a wellknown Rheumatologist (who left Sweden for Australia) that suggested I should drink one glass of red wine for dinner. He had discovered I had all the three antibodies in high titres and I was at that time on Baby-Aspirin. He said he was sure I had clots.

I have been doing this ever since (14 years). I never drink other alkohol and never more than maximum 2 decilitres of red wine. I have taken ASAT and ALAT every year and they have been ok but the last year those liver-enzymes has been a little bit high (not very high) and my Rheumatologist asked me to reduce my redwine. So for some weeks I did not drink anything and the ASAT and ALAT was lower. I then tried to be on maximum 1,5 decilitres for a while and at my last visit the range was almost ok so she said that I could go on drinking my glass of wine for dinner.

Have you also had high ASAT and ALAT and has it been connected to drinking or could it be some other reason as we have APS also.

I like to drink my glass of redwine for dinner. Or should I stop it after 14 years. I am 72 and have also Pulmonary Hypertension and leaking heartvalves, but feel OK on Warfarin.

Kerstin in Stockholm

33 Replies

  • Hi there, no idea about my levels etc, my latest test showed antibodies again, and also a lupus result, nothing new there, however recently I find any red wine, my favourite drink makes me feel awful. However when away in another country and drinking home made organic red wine, no problem at all, so for me that is the clue, I have just ordered a box or organic red wine, and when I feel like it I shall try that. Keep well, MaryF

  • FWIW: Mary my wife has been on LDN for quite some time. For her as well as others reported bad headaches (another forum) drinking red wine. For some reason white wine seemed to be okay. We're only talking a small glass or two now and then.

  • Thanks Mary! I drink organic redwine. Perhaps those a bit high liverenzymes has to do with something else than redwine.


  • Hello Kerstin and Mary, I was told by the specialist in Oregon that any kind of wine was not a good idea as it thins the blood. I have never had the taste for alcohol yet an occasional glass of white wine on Holiday was nice, yet since the doc said none was a good idea I have aided by that law. However, lately I have wondered if a small glass would not help with sleep but have been so hesitant due to the strict doctor guidelines. Oregon has many beautiful wineries and organic ones at that, it would be nice to know a small glass may not hinder. Not sure what is right, my goal would be to help with sleepy time as I would be considered a light weight after a lifetime of non drinking at almost 50 years of age. Hope you ladies enjoy your day, all of your support is a joy to have..


  • Hi Becca,

    This was suggested by a Specialist of APS in 2002 and at that time I had probably very thick blood as I only took baby-Aspirin. I still drink it and always with my dinner and as I am on Warfarin since 2011 I drink the same amount every day.

    There are also a lot of discussions here if a glass of redwine is good for our health but in that case it must be a small glass especially if we drink it every day.


  • Red wine used to be a super trigger for my worst migraines, even if it was just a glass. Now that I'm in menopause, I don't have the same kind of headaches, but I'm still afraid of red wine.

    Maybe you could try having your smaller glass of wine every other day or a few times a week and see if your liver enzymes remain low and your INR stays stable. I think if you are 72 and enjoy red wine, and you can do it with out hurting yourself, you should go for it.

  • I ask you because I used to drink one glass for 9 years and had usually low levels of liverenzymes. Last year suddenly it has been a bit high (not very high) and I think that it might be the Statins (Simvastatin) that I have been taking for a couple of years.

    If I do not drink every day I will have difficulties with my Warfarin and INR.

    Most of my friends prefer white wine.


  • Consume same less amount consistently and adjust.

  • When I had my 1st stroke the neuro doc sat on the side of the bed & said the best thing I could do was have a whiskey every day, before I had chance to say I dont like whiskey-my husband (who loves whiskey) asked if I could get it on prescription! He then followed by saying have a large glasd of red wine! This was all before I was diagnosed with APS & SS - needless to say, my liver emzymes are high, but excepted as normal for me - Prof Hunt happy for me to have a glass of wine. Cheers!!

  • My husband also loved whiskey. I think I like that Prof Hunt a lot. As a matter of fact it was a Specialist of APS who suggested the redwine. Cheers!!

  • I usually have a glass of wine or gluten free beer or hard cider with dinner. I musnt overdo or my a fib worsens. But after all these years my INR remains boringly stable. I've been out of range maybe 4 times in 26 years.

  • Hi West Virginia!

    I am sure I wrote an answer to you Gina 16 hours ago!!! Now when I read the post through it is gone. Weird!

    Anyway I would like to say that you can be happy to be so stable on Warfarin.

    Hope you will have a beautiful autumn with a lot of beautiful colours in West Virginia.


  • Trees are just beginning to turn. We've had such a scorchingly hot summer! Looking forward to cooler days.

  • I am going to get a bit scientific here and not sure if you have heard this before, but here it goes. So alcohol and medication (especially statins and anticoagulants) are metabolized by the liver then excreted through the kidneys and bladder. Between the three this might be putting a bit of a strain on functioning by your liver. Alcohol does thin your blood differently along with anticoagulants. I knew a man that had massive clot situation and drank hard liquor like a fish. His doctor told him that if he didn't drink like he did during clot issue then he would be dead. I don't think a glass of wine or a beer here and there would hurt any of us. It is all personal choice. The way our blood is thick this might help thin it a pinch. It is wise to eat when drinking or taking any type of med. Food usually absorbs the harmful side effects of both and sort protects the lining of the stomach. My aunt told me that once, God love her, she was a pharmacy tech. Also, even in organic products there could be ill side effects. Sulfites that are added to any kind of wine sometimes gives certain people very bad headaches after ingestion. So in conclusion, you have done this for so many years now that I feel the decision is your personal choice. I know you want to make healthy choices for a long prosperous life. Maybe just consider moderation, less every day or normal amount every other day. Wishing you the best Kerstin!


  • Very interesting! I just thought that it might not be the redwine as I have been on it for 14 years. It could be the statins then! Also perhaps together with the Warfarin (started 5 years ago).

    That Rheumatologist suggested it to thin the blood but today Warfarin does the job.

    Thank you Noelle


  • My parents (at similar age) drink wine - and not in the small amounts that we are limited too! My mother had similar issue with raised liver enzymes - the advice given (which is also standard uk govt. advice) was to have some alcohol-free days every week (I think they do two dry days now). That appeared to fix it.

    The difficulty for us warfarin addicts is that varying alcohol levels can destabilise INR, and the best is to drink same amount (doesn't matter how much) every day, but few doctors will tell you that because it contravenes guidelines, and is bad for the liver, eventually. I drink wine, mostly red, within the limits (mostly...) but not every day, and so far it doesn't seem to be destabilising my INR, but we're all different.

    On statins, I would check out the literature because there is recent evidence that they have a _protective_ effect on the liver with respect to alcohol related damage. My father drinks as my mother does and had/has no liver problems indicated on tests - he attributes this to ten years on statins...

  • Thank you so much for your info about your mother and father (same age as I) and also raised liver enzymes. Interesting about the statins, that when on them, they may have a PROTECTIVE effect on the liver! I thought it was the on the contrary. I will have a look.

    These two bloodtests are the only ones you may perhaps do something about the others (three antibodies) you just have to live with.

    Best to you!


  • I have not heard of protective effect on the liver. My husband is on blood pressure medicine also...a statin. It is a very low dose and he has to go to doctor every 6 months for blood test for liver functioning. His doc will not continue statin if his results for function is out of whack. I could be wrong and there might be new literature out there about protective effect but if that is the case then doctors would not do blood tests for liver enzymes if this were the case. However I will try to check it out.

  • Thanks!


  • I'm not fussed about having alcohol-I can take it or leave it. My husband loves red wine so there's always a bottle around. Now chocolate..........!

    Maybe someone should invent a blood thinning variety of red wine infused chocolate. :)

  • OMG! 😜😝 sounds terrific! Where do I sign up?....lol.

  • It has been a habit with the dinner and I must admit I like it. I am very strict about only taking 1.5 decilitres or max 2 dl.

    Have a nice trip when you fly!


  • Actually, the only red that doesn't give me a headache is a chocolate red wine! It's delicious. I don't drink often, mainly because I've read about terrible consequences from drinking while taking gabapentin. If I do indulge in a glass, I skip the nightly dose of gabapentin. I probably drink a few times a year, but I never considered the possible benefits. I think I'll ask my rheumy's opinion at my next visit!

  • I will investigate if there is in Stockholm. Thank you!


  • I have found wine, even non-alcoholic makes my feel awful for up to a week after, beer and cider too - vodka seems to be fine though - so I have come to the conclusion that I may have developed an intolerance to sulphites. I have yet to test organic wines

  • I am learning a lot of interesting things here. We have APS, different drugs (statins) incl anticoagulations. Sulphites ....... the migraines?!

    Thanks a lot!


  • Prof. K told me that it is not unusual for APS patients to have higher than normal liver function results. I asked him about reducing/giving up alcohol and he said 'let me put it this way this is not what is going to kill you'! He was right because now my connective tissue disorder is attacking my lungs &I have Pulmonary Fibrosis which is fatal and will probably see me off quicker than all the other complications. I love my wine/gin & tonic. My ALT is still on high side, I am having 2 blood tests a month because I'm on Cychlophosphomide infusions every 3 weeks & nobody seems that concerned. Carpe Diem is what I say.

  • I have learnt here that Prof K is a fantastic APS-doctor.

    Perhaps APS in itself could mean higher figures of liver function. I have Pulmonary Hypertension but I feel ok.

    Enjoy your wine! Keep well and thank you for your answer.

    Well said!


  • Sorry to hear Sue

  • No medical training here... enjoy life with doctor approval!

  • Here in Sweden some people believe red wine is a drug to good health.

    According to me it is, so I am used to drink my glass of red wine for dinner after 14 years. I stopped for 3 weeks so I know I am not addicted to it.


  • Somehow, I really don't think you have to worry about being an alcoholic! If the alcohol is mixing badly with another drug is another matter, since the liver detoxifies a lot of drugs, and can get overloaded.

    My APS doctor did an early Sjogren's test on me, and one of the antibodies was positive. When I asked her about it she said it was really more related to APS. When I looked it up, it the antibody actually attacked the liver. For the meantime now my liver is fine. So that's another thing. To some extent we seem to have to be our own scientists on our bodies.

  • Thanks!


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