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should i drink alcohol with gs?

By Anonymous January 10, 2010 - 12:54pm
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i have GS and wanted to find out if alcohol will stay in my system longer than someone without gilbert's syndrome?

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I express gratitude to you. I have GS. This informations have been very helpful for me. Thanks instead of most people.

December 22, 2012 - 6:49am

Hi anon,
Please double-check this information with your doctor, regarding your specific case of GS (and any underlying medical conditions you may have), but from the medical literature I reviewed, drinking alcohol (occasionally, in moderation) may have the effect of leading to dehydration, and if you become dehydrated with GS, you have a higher risk of experiencing jaundice or abdominal symptoms (discomfort). This could be remedied by simply alternating drinking a serving of water with a serving of alcohol.

It does not appear that GS causes alcohol to be digested or absorbed by your body any differently than someone who does not have GS.

The longer term risk in drinking alcohol in excess is liver disease, as you may be at an increased risk for developing liver disease with GS, and drinking alcohol is excess can lead to liver disease. Ask your doctor about your individual risk factors for liver disease.

Lastly, individuals with GS may feel they are more sensitive to alcohol, or if you feel that you are "over-stressed" or experiencing any anxiety, drinking alcohol can actually exaggerate the feelings of stress and anxiety, producing more symptoms of abdominal discomfort, anxiety and stress at increasing levels. Jaundice seems to be the symptom that is most reported by individuals with GS.

Please know that drinking alcohol in moderation is defined as:
- if you are male, drinking more than 2 servings of alcohol daily
- if you are female, drinking more than 1 serving of alcohol daily
- daily drinking of alcohol is not recommended

The preventative measures for GS (to prevent symptoms) are to avoid known risk factors, including excess stress and dehydration. If you feel that you are taking good care of yourself by managing your stress, staying well hydrated and do not have symptoms of excess stress, abdominal problems, jaundice or anxiety, you may want to ask your doctor if is OK to have a moderate amount of alcohol.

Are you currently experiencing any symptoms mentioned above? Are you planning to consume alcohol for a special occasion, or wanting to know if you can have a drink (or two) on a daily basis for a specific purpose (say, work happy-hour)?

January 10, 2010 - 4:11pm
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