drinking with CF


New member
Hey I was wondering what peoples opinions were on drinking with CF, I’m a senior in high school and have been drinking regularly since freshmen year and its been fine but some of my friends have expressed concern. At this point I go out and probably drink once a week on the weekend and get drunk 80% of the time. Obviously its not great but I wanted to see what other kids with CF have to say about it.


Yeah I agree with your friends...not good. With CF you also have liver disease, which drinking will make worse, and is something that could kill you if not taken care of and you can't heal your liver. I wouldn't drink to get drunk. That's just stupid and overrated and gets boring quick.


New member
I agree also. Drinking (particularly in excess) will suppress your immune system. It only takes one severe infection or illness to take a big chunk out of your lung function. Additionally the liver issues could be very harmful.


I would agree that drinking in excess isn’t great, but I would also say that if anyone who is perfectly healthy. My concern is more with kidney function which can be inhibited by the antibiotics that we as CFers are frequently put on. With that said, I enjoy a few drinks on a semi regular basis and as long as I’m not getting drunk, I feel fine. Use your best discretion and listen to what your body is telling you.


New member
You do not necessarily have liver disease with cf although you might get it. You have to seriously figure this one out for yourself. A lot of people make decisions and ultimately engage in behaviors they know are gonna be detrimental. Smokers smoke and many people eat bad food (and lots of it) and many will pay the price and some won’t ever. You’ve got a disease, so the risk of a worse outcome is higher for you. I drank a fair amount and I don’t really regret it, but I’d likely be better off today if I hadn’t. You still possibly have college ahead of you - your drinking will increase there for certain. I would warn you of something you may not have considered. Many of us with CF deal with anxiety and depression. You throw alcohol in that mix and your quality of life will suffer. The fact that you are asking this question is a good sign. Question yourself on this topic often. Monitor your drinking. Keep track on a calendar and have a visual reminder to track how bad it gets. If you’re drinking more days than not, get help. You’ll thank yourself later.


Super Moderator
Sorry but I'm not a teen and I didn't touch alcohol until my 21st birthday. No, I'm not a tea totaller, or someone who judges people for what they choose to deal with stress and loosen inhibitions. For the year following my 21st birthday, I had 2-3 drinks every Friday and Saturday night like clockwork. Thursdays a bunch of us would watch Roller Derby and got hammered. I moved away the next year and rarely drank because I really don't like it. More to the point, it doesn't like me.

I have been battling GI problems since I was twelve and alcohol, like iodine, burns when it touches a sore, inside or out. There's a long list of issues with alcohol, it's hard on your pancreas, the islet cells that produces insulin plus the pancreas develops cirrhosis before the liver. Assuming that you aren't diabetic, this is the best reason for not drinking alcohol. If you are diabetic, you already know how dangerous a bender can be. Usually you die, maybe not the first time, but it happens.

Alcohol, and my drug of choice, Pot, mess with the brains of adolescents. Too often. As much as I'd like to say it's harmless, the concept of dulling rather than dealing with the confusion, conflict and the hormones that you now have in common with adults, does real damage if you add a powerful drug, and that includes pot and alcohol. It's a short few years, 12 through 16, give or take a year, when the brain is developing the skills that are required as an adult, where you are talking to a cop or someone regulating your profession and your actions determine consequences much stiffer than suspending a cell phone for a week.

Something that I never thought I would have, is a second family. My mother, a widow, married a wonderful man, a widower. I was in my mid twenties and didn't really need a dad by then. "Bob" my new stepdad did have three kids, much younger than me at 20, 19 and 12 and a half. Bob was a good father and quite different from my father, also a good father. Bob never spanked his kids, a good generation ahead of most.

When I came to visit, something I did often, I brought my own stash and some for my step brother and sisters. I excluded the youngest sister, "Heidi" for a while. As living conditions changed, tornado wiped out my parent's house, Heidi was included. She was unusually mature and I knew what she was doing, because it was in front of me.

Over the next few months the trust I had developed with Heidi began to betray her. She revealed that she was getting smashed every morning before going to school. I was devastated. If I was to move back, I could coach her and get her into AA if it was as bad as she described. I wasn't able to pick up and move so I kept an eye on her. She was being modest. I had been complicit in the use of pot at too young an age but her sister was buying drinks at a local lounge! It had been going on for a year. I blew the whistle on both of my step sisters.

Being drawn to alcohol at an early age is like the edges of a dagger. You might have an addiction, and it's possible to turn on an addiction that you might be past in a few years, when the brain matures. You mentioned starting in your Freshman year, that is 14-15 years old and definitely not a mature brain. Addiction is a mental disease and the source of addiction can be food, heroin or sex. Habituation is a physical dependency on a substance.

I'm concerned about the age you began to drink alcohol but you don't sound like you are out of control. Alcohol is hard on a CFer, but if you don't have GI problems, a daily drink is about all you want to consume. You mentioned getting drunk about 80% of the time on weekends. I left the state I grew up in (WY) partly because of the culture of drinking and smoking. Going out for drinks was economically limiting but BYOB parties you can get drunk, sober up and get drunk again for the price of three drinks in a bar. I hated getting drunk but it was as normal as going to a movie. Escaping the culture was part of it. Finding friends who were more into pot was maybe a survival plan.

I'm sure you will do great, the facts favor moderation, to another choice, if you have one.


Post Script;

Sadly I was too late for Heidi, at least I feel that way. She was born with, or developed an addiction because of the age of her brain on alcohol. The truth was Bob had some knowledge of her drinking, his method of handling it he described as turning his head. He was turning his back by my thinking. He might have known that she was an alcoholic and no amount of supervision and punishment was going to change the disease. I keep forgetting that he was a good father, and maybe he knew something that I was too young to understand.

Heidi did start going to a youth AA, something I wouldn't have expected in a small city of ~50,000. She fought her addiction well and married a wonderful man. She developed Lupus and related health issues took a toll. Not long after I screwed over my step family, I moved farther away and my business was taking all my time. My sisters acted as if nothing happened when we were together years later. Heidi did call me on her 21st birthday and thank me.
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