ITP and Alcohol?

Before I was diagnosed, I went out and bought a bunch of seasonal pumpkin beers to try. I haven't had any alcohol since the end of September, as I've been trying to be good about my eating habits and intake. That said, how does alcohol affect platelet counts? I know that binge drinking is a horrible idea, given alcohol does affect platelets, your blood thins, and falling down isn't the best idea. But how about a beer or two? I'm asking because I have a football tailgate this weekend. I had planned on going completely sober, and just drink water and maybe a soda or two, but given my stash of pumpkin beer, I was thinking I could take one or two of them to the game. Is this a bad idea? I'm a little worried about it since my next blood test is Monday, and the last thing I want is for my counts to drop as a result of my drinking, which in turn could affect my next course of treatments. Is it alcohol abuse that affects counts or can any amount?

Is it best to wait until you have ITP under control? Or make sure your counts are high? Or can having a beer or two every so often be okay? Or have most people with ITP given up alcohol completely?

17 Replies

  • As you rightly said alcoholic does bring down your platelets. Couple of times I had beers my platelets fell down so much so that I had to be admitted. So it is better to go slow until your platelets are under control. In fact my doctors have told me to stay away from alcohol totally

  • It seems as if everyone's reaction to alcohol with ITP varies as much as our diseases and our reactions to treatments. I guess we end up learning how our body reacts and going from there. I'm sure stopping completely is ideal, but I'm sure that could be said for everyone, even non-ITPers. :)

    Sorry that your platelets responded the way that they did. I had one beer on Sunday, just to get my pumpkin beer in and my counts are up a little. Here's hoping for a little normalcy.

  • Such an individual thing and personal choice. Much like the way we aqquire and are treated for ITP the way our levels are affected is different. I one for one live my life much the same way and partake when the mood and or occasion allows. It makes not one bit of difference to my counts yet others it does. I dont tend to drink more than a glass when on medicaiton but otherwise..go with your gut.My heamo said like all things..moderation is the key.Live life

  • I think this is the approach I want to take. I don't plan on being silly, and if I notice my counts are affected, I'll adjust accordingly. But I like the idea of still being able to live your life, and not letting this run you.

  • I find that sometimes I can tolerate alcohol and others I can't. I don't have any treatment for my ITP, but over the 20 years I've had it I can work out when a glass of something is a good idea and when it isn't, depending on how I'm feeling in myself.

    Have one or two beers perhaps and then stop.

    I find offering to drive for social events means I can choose not to drink without any explanations apart from being duty driver, and my husband says it makes me a cheap date as I tend to drink sparkling water when out.

  • I had my one beer, and honestly, as soon as the football game started, being completely sober and clear-minded was pretty amazing! :D

    Thanks for the response.

  • I'm glad you enjoyed the game. I can't manage more than one drink now without paying for it the next day, so stick to water, and tea, being a Brit!

  • During the early stages, i couldn't stand the smell of alcohol, it used to turn my stomach. Even now I have begun the process of coming off of the steroids, I can tolerate a small drink, probably half a pint, but I suffer for it. Everyone is different I guess, the only thing you can do is try it, and make sure you moderate how much you drink and don't go silly.

  • I'd say if you have so many questions about having a beer or two, then you probably shouldn't. Then, no need to worry & question.

  • I don't agree. I was just asking for others' personal experiences with this. I'm asking questions because I want to know, and I'd like to be informed. Better to make my decisions and choices with some kind of information in my back pocket than to wing it and hope for the best.

  • I have had ITP since 2007. I have not given up alcohol. If my platelets are at least 45 I will allow myself a drink. We cannot be sure how anything we eat or drink may effect our platelets. Everyone is different. I, however, do not say no to myself. If I want to eat or drink I do. Just moderately. Sometimes I think the better I eat and take care of myself, the worse my platelet count becomes. Honestly! I've tried everything and have come to the conclusion that doctors do not know the answers to ITP problems and most of their information is guesswork. If you have chronic ITP just relax and do what you want to do -----within reason. Except for dangerous sports and foolish chances. Stop worrying about your count and live your life as you only have one. Don't let ITP rule your life!

  • I think it must work differently for everyone as I am a complete alkie and I seem to be ok =P

  • I have a few reasons these days for wanting to moderate a little bit more: ITP, son coming in January, hypertension. But I do like the idea of still being able to partake when the time is right! Unfortunately, the culture of my friends tends to revolve around alcohol: parties, tailgates, bars, etc., so it's hard to sit there with your diet Coke. Sometimes letting off some steam is good.

  • My Hematologist said I could have two glasses of red wine OR one glass of white wine per day! The other doctor said I could have three drinks per day. I think they don't really know! Good luck!

  • I stopped drinking for 6 months and it made no difference other than losing a substantial amount of weight. Being extremely tired affects my count much more than alcohol.

  • I had a few beers the other day at one of my events, and my counts came in higher (by 10k, and I had dropped from 80 to 60mg of prednisone in the same week). Not enough information to determine correlation or causation, but nice to know I didn't drop. Then again, there's no way to know if that 10k could have been 20k more.

  • How did you find the steroids and mix of alcohol, I have to say I would love a pint, but don't want to mix. I hope to be off the steroids in two weeks, so not long to wait which I will do, but it would be interesting to know, I was on 100MG of Prednisone and on taper, with today been Day 1 of 25.

You may also like...