Cirrhosis can be prevented, in most cases, by avoiding risk factors for cirrhosis (such as excessive alcohol intake) and taking precautions to prevent infection with hepatitis B and C virus. Chronic infection with hepatitis B virus can be prevente
Cirrhosis is a serious and fatal disorder. There is no cure for cirrhosis as the liver damage-that has occurred already-cannot be reversed. Fortunately, cirrhosis can be prevented in most cases by avoiding risk factors for cirrhosis (such as excessive alcohol intake) and taking precautions (such as getting vaccinated.
Limit alcohol intake: Excess alcohol intake is a major cause of cirrhosis. Therefore, the best way to prevent cirrhosis because of alcohol is to keep alcohol intake within the recommended limits of consumption. The recommended limit of alcohol consumption for men and women are as follows:
- Men: less than 3-4 units a day or 21 units in a week
- Women: less than 2-3 units a day or 14 units in a week
If you have been diagnosed with cirrhosis, stop alcohol intake immediately. Research has shown that alcohol consumption speeds up the rate of liver damage regardless of the cause of cirrhosis.
Protect yourself from hepatitis
Infection with hepatitis B and C virus can cause chronic liver disease and cirrhosis.
Hepatitis B vaccine: Chronic infection of the liver with hepatitis B virus is a common cause of liver damage, cirrhosis and other complications, such as liver cancer, liver failure and death. Infection with hepatitis B virus can be prevented by getting vaccinated with hepatitis B vaccine. Vaccines are drugs that help to prevent one from getting sick. All adults and children should be vaccinated with hepatitis B vaccine. Three shots of the vaccine are needed for complete protection. The shots are given over a period of several months. The first dose can be given to a newborn as well (as there is no minimum age for vaccination). The second shot is given 1-2 months after the first and the third shot is given at least 2 months after the second shot, but no sooner than 4 months after the first. Hepatitis B vaccine can be given even to pregnant women. Homosexual men (i.e. men who have sex with men) should get vaccinated for both hepatitis A and hepatitis B.
Other ways to protect viral hepatitis B and C infection include:
- use condom during sex as both hepatitis B and C are transmitted sexually. Condoms are considered one of the best ways of preventing any STD or getting diseases that may be transmitted sexually. Using a condom for every sexual contact can significantly reduce the risk of getting infected with hepatitis B and C virus, however, condoms are not 100% effective at preventing transmission
- avoid sharing drug needles or other equipments (such as razor, toothbrush, fingernail clippers) that are contaminated with blood or any body fluids
- if you are a health care worker, follow standard precautions (such as wearing gloves) and handle needles and sharp objects safely
- if you opt for tattoos or body piercings, ensure that they are done with sterile tools.
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