Reducing Your Risk of Cirrhosis
You can take several steps to reduce your risk of developing cirrhosis.
Abstain from Alcohol
is the most common cause of cirrhosis in the US. Not all people who abuse alcohol develop cirrhosis.
Your chance of developing alcohol-related cirrhosis increases with:
- The more you drink at each episode
- If you drink frequently
Abstain from Tobacco
Our liver is the target of many cancer-causing chemicals in tobacco. It is known that people with cirrhosis are at an increased risk of developing liver cancer, which is increased with
. Smoking also causes lung disease. This can lead to low oxygen levels in the body. People with low body oxygen have an increased risk of dying after a
Reduce Your Risk of Contracting Hepatitis
Practice Safe Sex
can be transmitted sexually. To reduce your risk of infection, practice safe sex. This means that men should always use a condom during sexual activity and intercourse. If you are a woman, you should require your partner to use a
even if you are using birth control pills.
Do Not Share Needles
Hepatitis B and C can be transmitted through blood products and through use of contaminated needles and syringes. Avoid using IV drugs. If you do use these drugs, do not share needles or syringes with anyone.
Get Vaccinated Against Hepatitis B
Ask your doctor if you should get
against hepatitis B.
Ask About Medications
Certain prescription medicines can have toxic effects on the liver that vary from person to person. If you are taking these medications, follow your doctor’s instructions carefully. Be sure to have any recommended tests prior to starting the medication and throughout the course of treatment. These tests can help determine whether the drug is damaging your liver.
Screen for Genetic Disease
Once you know that you have a genetic cause of your liver disease, ask your doctor to screen your immediate family.
Maintain a Healthy Weight
Obesity is a major cause of liver disease. Eating a healthy diet and getting appropriate exercise are two important steps anyone can take that will reduce the risk for chronic liver disease.
American Liver Foundation
website. Available at:
. Updated December 3, 2012. Accessed April 24, 2013.
EBSCO DynaMed website. Available at:
. Updated December 27, 2012. Accessed April 24, 2013.
Cirrhosis. National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases
website. Available at:
. Updated February 21, 2012. Accessed April 24, 2013.
Mehta G, Rothstein KD. Health Maintenance Issues in Cirrhosis.
Med Clin N Am