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Is it safe to drink alcohol with pbc

Can I drink alcohol or not??

When I have attended hospital appointments I have seen different doctors each time and each one seems to give different answers to any questions or concerns. Initially I was advised never to have alcohol again, my life expectancy was 20 years, being 30 at the time wasn't helpful! And then lately been told just to lead a normal life, who do I believe?

10 Replies

My consultant told me one or two every once in a while would do no harm. I have never been a big drinker anyway - a glass or two of wine on a birthday or christmas. I have chosen not to drink at all.


Hello Gilz1702.

Well I started with the itch in early 2010 and after visiting a GP and having blood tests, when I got informed I had abnormal LFTs I ceased even having the odd glass of alcohol completely and have never had any since. I was always one who would only have a few drinks of a celebratory function or 24th Dec in the evening at family gatherings and birthday, anniversaries of course.

I know I was getting really irritated in 2010 when I was asked on 3 different occasions at the GP as to whether I drank alcohol and then again when I visited the hospital for the first time Oct 2010.

The hospital consultant never actually mentioned not to drink alcohol, I didn't ask as I'd been persistent that I didn't drink much prior to the itch and I'd not had any since.

Apparently you can just get on with life as normal, nothing is actually forbidden (tho', alcohol I think is common sense and I doubt the odd glass would do any harm and I'd say that if a smoker than try give it up (I've never been a smoker)).

I also would add to this to try to limit fat intake as bile acts like a detergent on fats and with PBC we have a bit of a compromised liver.

My motto now I've got PBC (I was 46 in 2010 when I was given the label) is to live life as I want as you never know what the future is going to bring with this. That way 20 and more years down the line at least if I'm still clocking along with some of the gripes of PBC (ie the itch) then Ill have made the best of the years prior which I didn't know by that time I might have had.

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Thanks for that. I've only really been having the odd drink on special occasions, but want to do what's right and not give myself any further problems. I fortunately don't have any symptoms and only diagnosed on the off chance seven years ago when I was pregnant. Just good to know what other sufferers have been advised since my advice is inconsistent.

Sometimes it would be nice to socialise without worrying what effects a couple of drinks are doing to me.


I have two gastro Drs and both had told me to continue to live as I had been. I never drank much and do not have PBC as a result of any addictions or excessive drinking. I was diagnosed 9 years ago and I am now 43. I have since then had a large increase in my levels and chose not to drink anything, but not because my doctors have suggested it. What we have is a liver disease and a few drinks here or there is not going to harm us. Like you would live normally, you have to take of yourself and not over due anything. Alcohol is just such a mental connection to liver problems, that we look at it as something that will do you more harm, but that is only (like in a healthy person) if you abuse it. Binge drinking is also not a good idea.


Everything in moderation, I was dx at 24,(33 now) when I was single, now I am married with 2 kids - never got prognosis as I think people psychologically hit their targets! So I have none! At one stage convinced myself I would never have kids!!! Mind over matter is soo powerful

You do have to mind your liver and a couple very now & again do no harm, remember to be careful with paracetamol and other OTC medications too! paracetamol dosage is being revised for adults as too was it for children recently so keep up dated with that,

As another person commented - no binge drinking! Very dangerous for healthily livers!!!!

I take a drink every now and again Special occasions/ holidays, mainly vodka but I take a full coke with it and keep watering it down, I'm finding though it makes me v tired lately and i actually don't tolerate it well anymore! Wine is acquired taste. My hubby misses that I don't drink often but he forgets about it when I can drive him home haha! It does take a while to get used to socialising as others find it strange here in Ireland anyways!!!

Prior to dx it just didn't agree with me so you will find what works best and your Gamma GT will be raised if your liver cannot handle it!,

Re prognosis of 20 yrs, I was in liver failure & weeks off going on transplant list when I was dx- medicine & science is rapidly evolving so who knows what may come up for us in few years, I am doing great had 2 difficult ( for me ) pregnancies babies v healthy, take the "20" yrs with a large pinch of salt, (keep an eye on your bilirubin) - could get knocked down by a bus tomorrow!!!



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So very true! Thank you. Modern medicine and science, you never know, few years down the line we might have nothing to worry about! Like you I have 2 young children who need me healthy, sane and here for them......and also a husband who enjoys the lift home at the end of the night! :-)


Oh aren't we soo lucky to have them!!! Enjoy


There is a new drug out there for treating PBC . it is Ocaliva if you have not heard about it yet. Hope you are doing well.

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Enjoy your life ! I was diagnosed stage one when I was 39. I was told that if I responded well to the meds which I did. I would never have to worry about it. I am 64 years old and still stage one. I itch so I use topicals. I’m tired so I rest when I can. I don’t think about it until I put all the symptoms together and realize it’s not old age but the pbc. Try to have fun and get your blood work done routinely. I go four times a year


That’s great you have gone all these years with no progression. Everyone’s dream😊


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