Digestive System Home > Preventing Cirrhosis

There is no guaranteed way of keeping liver disease from progressing to cirrhosis in all cases. However, there are a number of things that a person with liver disease can do to reduce his or her chances of developing cirrhosis. A few of these suggestions for preventing cirrhosis include seeing a doctor for treatment of your liver disease; avoiding alcohol, which can harm liver cells; and following a healthy lifestyle, eating a healthy diet, and staying active.

Preventing Cirrhosis -- An Overview

For people diagnosed with liver disease, a natural concern is how to prevent the condition from progressing to cirrhosis. Unfortunately, for several conditions, there is no guaranteed way of preventing cirrhosis. However, there are some things that you can do to decrease your chances of developing the disease. Below are some cirrhosis prevention suggestions:
  • See your doctor for treatment of your liver disease. Many of the causes of cirrhosis are treatable, and early treatment may prevent cirrhosis.
  • Follow a healthy lifestyle, eat a healthy diet, and stay active.
  • Try to keep your weight in the normal range. Being overweight can make several liver diseases worse (see BMI Calculator to see if your weight is within a healthy range).
  • Do not drink alcohol. Alcohol can harm liver cells, and chronic alcohol use is one of the major causes of cirrhosis.
  • Stay away from illegal (street) drugs, which can increase your chances of getting hepatitis B or hepatitis C.
  • See your doctor if you have chronic viral hepatitis. Effective treatments for both hepatitis B and hepatitis C are available. If you are on treatment, follow your treatment directions exactly (see Hepatitis B Treatment or Hepatitis C Treatment).
  • If you have autoimmune hepatitis, take medications and have regular check-ups as recommended by your doctor or a liver specialist (hepatologist).
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Last reviewed by: Arthur Schoenstadt, MD
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