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Is daily alcohol consumption a problem with GBS?

By Anonymous March 3, 2010 - 7:29pm
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My wife has 2-3 daily glasses of wine which I feel is a bit too much. She disagrees.
She just contacted GBS and is currently being treated...is her daily drinking something she shouldn't do after she has completed treatment? Thanks.

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HERWriter Guide

Hi Anon

Thank you for your question and for looking out for your wife!

Let's talk about the alcohol first.

Under normal circumstances:

The recommended limit for alcohol consumption is about 14 units per week for a healthy woman, which would break down to about two glasses of wine per day. If she can stick to that, there should be no issue, in general, with her use of alcohol. Many people have two glasses of wine at dinner every evening and there are no ill effects. If your wife doesn't feel this is a problem, then I think it's a good idea to allow her the daily glasses and leave it there. If she drinks a bottle of wine a day or graduates to that, then there may certainly be a problem.

With regard to the GBS, hopefully any paralysis she has is temporary. Most people (close to 9 out of every 10) who contract this condition are back to normal in several months.

What kind of treatment is your wife receiving? Plasmapheresis? High-dose Immunoglobulin Therapy (infusions)?

Since alcohol is absorbed into the blood stream, it might be advisable to stay away or drastically cut down on it's use. Perhaps a few glasses a week instead of daily use.

Is she on pain medication? If she is on any kind that includes acetaminophen, then she should remain alcohol free.

Just remember to suggest it to her in a caring manner.

In the end, of course, the decision comes down to her.

Do you know what her doctor recommended regarding alcohol use or has it not been mentioned?

March 5, 2010 - 2:11pm
EmpowHER Guest

GBS is Guillain Barre Syndrome, which can lead to paralysis. It's where the body attacks the myelin sheathes that protect the nerve endings. She had a virus and it attached itself to her nerve endings. She is currently undergoing plasma transfusions to "flush" the problem from her system.

March 4, 2010 - 7:40pm
EmpowHER Guest
Anonymous (reply to Anonymous)

Hi Susan,

Thank you for responding to my question.

My wife is getting Plasmapheresis...she gets her last of five tonight. She hopes to be released this Sunday (she is in Northern CA with her best friend...I am going crazy in Alabama). We have a lot of rescued animals that I have to take care of and she keeps telling me there is nothing I can do there.
Her best friend is an amazing Mother to everyone, so I am thankful for that.
She is on pain meds, but can't remember what they are giving her. Thought it started with an "N"

Her blood pressure has been very low twice (once 40/18 during treatment!!!!) The other time 65/40 or so. She is a very fit (we both bike 15 miles per day during good weather) /health conscious/athletic 59 year old.

I don't know what her doctor recommended regarding alcohol use.

Thanks again for your response. I appreciate it.

March 5, 2010 - 5:45pm
HERWriter Guide

Hi Anon - Could you please clarify what you mean by GBS? Thank you.

March 4, 2010 - 6:40pm
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