The best way to avoid cirrhosis is to avoid the underlying conditions that cause it.
- Know the risk factors for hepatitis B and hepatitis C and avoid them as much as possible.
- Avoid risky behaviors such as alcohol abuse, IV drug use, and unprotected sexual intercourse.
- Drink alcohol only in moderation, if at all.
- Develop healthy habits. Avoid using tobacco. Eat a healthy diet, get plenty of physical activity and rest, and maintain your weight in a healthy range.
- Talk to your health care provider before taking vitamin supplements. Large doses of vitamins and minerals, especially vitamin A, iron, or copper, can actually worsen liver damage.
- Hepatitis B immunizations are available to health care workers and others at high risk of contacting the disease. Immunization of all American children against hepatitis B, now required, will reduce the incidence of cirrhosis in the future.
- No effective hepatitis C vaccination is available.
Scott H Plantz, MD, FAAEM
Francisco Talavera, PharmD, PhD
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