Is Smoking Harmful for Hepatitis Patients?

Smoking can lead to progressive liver damage. Most hepatitis C patients are prone to severe liver damage when left untreated or when accompanied with smoking habits. Discover the benefits of cutting down on smoking for minimizing the risks of liver damage in the article below.

Millions of people all over the world are witnessing the dangers of the Hepatitis C virus. The Hepatitis C virus or HCV is a liver infection that spreads through blood contact with an infected person. Researchers claim that if not treated in time or repeated exposure to alcohol and smoking can cause liver cancer or “cirrhosis”.

A study appearing in the April 8, 2002 issue of the Archives of Internal Medicine proved that repeated smoking can aggravate the risks of further liver damage. The extent of damage from smoking was measured by determining the levels of the liver enzyme ALT. The higher the ALT levels the higher would be the degrees of liver damage.

Jill Cadman, an advocate and educator of the HIV treatment, arrived on the results that smoking more or less doubled the risk of having high ALT levels. In addition, people who smoked a pack of cigarettes everyday along with alcohol consumption showed more disturbing results. Their ALT level was seven times more than those who did not drink or smoke.

Hepatitis C accompanied with smoking can therefore cause a progression in the liver disease. Hepatitis patients are often advised to refrain from smoking marijuana and other forms of weed smoking to reduce the damaging effects on the liver.

What is Cirrhosis or the Liver Cancer?

The National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases maintain that liver function is absolutely essential for the survival of a person. The primary function of the liver is to clear the impurities from the blood, produce immune agents to control infection and to neutralize the poisons present in the bloodstream.

Liver cancer or cirrhosis is a condition marked by maximum liver damage. During this stage, the scar tissue replaces the healthy tissue thereby blocking the flow of blood into the organ. Researchers of the Institute claim that cirrhosis accounts for 26,000 deaths each year. Most people also find it very difficult to meet the costs of the treatment (Source).

Cirrhosis can also lead to further complications like impotency, osteoporosis, kidney dysfunction and failure.

Benefits of Cutting Down on Smoking

The benefits of quitting marijuana and other forms of smoking are listed here below:

  • In 12 hours the nicotine gets cleared from the system
  • In 24 hours you get to breathe more oxygen as the carbon monoxide levels drop in your body
  • All nicotine by-products disappear after about 5 days
  • Your sense of taste and smell improve
  • Your immune system begins to build up again
  • Your heart and lungs function effectively
  • After 15 years your risk of strokes is reduced to a person who has never smoked before
  • Finally, the risks of liver damage is reduced

Smoking can drastically affect the liver by spreading the prevalence of the hepatitis C virus in patients. So refrain from smoking if you are afflicted with the HCV.