drinking coffee with PBC cirrhosis stage - PBC Foundation

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drinking coffee with PBC cirrhosis stage


Hi folks, I've tried everything over the years and all natural therapists always say coffee is toxic for the liver so I stopped drinking it 20 years ago. Then there was a reference on this site somewhere saying it helps the fibrosis in the liver. So I asked my gastroenterologist ( i live near sydney australia) and he said i could drink it. How often how strong - no idea.. So I am confused. I know it really gives me a zing when i am really tired in the morning, but am I doing myself harm?

does anyone have any references? any medico's online care to comment please?

10 Replies

Hi, I drink coffee all the time. Also heard it is good for the liver. Generally have decaffeinated but think ordinary is ok.


Hello happyh13.

If you check out my postings there is one that mentions coffee. I re-posted not so long back an article I was reading at the time. I have done a few on coffee in the pat but this was the latest.

Apparently a few cups of coffee a day are advised. I tend to have a coffee morning and one before evening meal. Never been much of a coffee drinker but back in the 1970s in the UK when I was growing up, coffee was far more expensive then than tea and at home it was always bought as a treat. Nowadays it seems to be quite resonably priced. I have a mokka pot that you can use on the stove with ground coffee and my brother bought my husband and I an instant coffee maker for Christmas where you put ground coffee in and water and it filters it through in no time. On my own I tend to buy the little plastic sealed pots with coffee grinds in it where you pour boiling water into the top and let it seep through.

I don't really drink a lot of coffee, I perhaps have one a week, i do like perked coffee but it's too much bother to make it for just me as hubby drinks instant. A gastro once asked me if i drank coffee and i just said about one or two a month and he just said thats fine but he never ventured any further on the subject. When i first got ill I could not stand the smell of it or be near anyone that had even drank it.

My gastro doc said 2-3 cups a day is good for the liver so he rules for me over GP

I remembered that on this site.My gastroenterlogist also told me I can drink coffee when I told him I am so tired. I live in South Africa.

Hi Happy,

I saw the recommendation for drinking coffee on the Canadian PBC website in one of their newsletters (Vol 1 2014). A small paragraph in an article titled 'Fibrosis in PBC' by Dr Angela Cheung says, in answer to the question 'Is there anything else I can do to help my liver?'

'Believe it or not, drinking two to three cups of caffeinated coffee a day has been

shown to help decrease or stabilize liver fibrosis. Milk thistle, on the other hand, has not been shown to be helpful.'

From what this doctor and others say, no, I don't think you're doing yourself harm by drinking coffee! However due to insomnia I don't like to drink it after 4 or 5 pm. But, due to insomnia, it's great to get my brain (what's left of it) semi-functioning in the mornings!

Bobbycat12 in reply to badpiglet

Hi..I see you mentioned insomnia..I have that sometimes but since taking beta blockers for varises it has got a lot worse..lucky if I get four hours sleep. i take half a sleeping pill three times a week which keeps me sane...probably no good for the liver but  without sleep I cant manage.......

badpiglet in reply to Bobbycat12

Hi Val,

I don't have any knowledge of beta-blockers but I can whole-heartedly sympathise about the lack of sleep.

It's really my daily focus to get enough sleep.  Holy grail quest.  I've had insomnia now for about 27 years.  At its worst I've had zero shut-eye or just 1-2 hours tossing and turning.  Thanks heavens things are a lot better now and I can generally function OK with 5 (broken) hours.  But OK is not a life!

I'm not sure why but I've never taken sleeping pills.  Possibly because I've got a fairly addictive nature....

I love my cups of tea and have been loath to reduce them but I've been trying over the last couple of weeks not to have any caffeine after approx 1-2pm - that's bringing the caffeine cut-off back from 5-6pm.  I think it's a definite improvement and also helped by avoiding any evening eating. 

I've been increasingly wondering if I'm far more sensitive to caffeine than I thought.

Hi thanks for your reply....drs do t give sleeping pills so much but  they will for  a short time and you can chose to take them two or three times a week. I was from the generation when they were handed out to all and sundry and I have  had these pills on and off for over twenty five years! But if needs must I can manage without them.. The drs didnt seem worried as it is a low dose although maybe now I have stage 4 they will reconsider..dreading it. Sleep is so vital.....good luck with yours....btw I did download  an app called Deep Sleep by Andrew Johnson?  He has a lovely soft scottish voice and there have been times when I fall asleep half way through and have woken up several hours later. 

My hepatologist recommended that I drink as much coffee as possible. New study says it helps with PBC.

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