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7 Things You Can Do to Prevent Cirrhosis 1

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Cirrhosis is the final stage of chronic (ongoing) liver diseases. It takes years or decades for chronic liver disease to become cirrhosis. There’s no cure for cirrhosis. The best way to prevent it is to diagnose and treat your chronic liver disease.

There are some lifestyle choices you can make to help prevent this potentially fatal condition.

1. Go Easy on Alcohol

Consuming too much alcohol causes your liver to swell. Over time, this leads to cirrhosis. But this doesn’t happen overnight.

Alcohol-related cirrhosis is often the result of 10 or more years of heavy drinking, but some people are more prone to the disease than others. Women who drink heavily are more likely to get cirrhosis than men. To lower your chances of getting the disease, limit your drinking to no more than 14 units of alcohol a week. Here are how many units you consume, roughly, when you drink common alcoholic beverages:

A small shot (25 milliliters, or 0.85 ounces) of hard alcohol is 1 unit.
A small glass (125 milliliters, or 4.2 ounces) of wine is 1.5 units.
20 ounces of normal-strength lager is 2 units.

2.  Protect Yourself Against Hepatitis

This is an inflammation of the liver. Most often, a virus causes it. The most common types of viral hepatitis are hepatitis A, hepatitis B, and hepatitis C. Chronic hepatitis B and C can cause cirrhosis.

Hepatitis B is passed from one person to another through blood, semen or other body fluids. Hepatitis C is caused by blood-to-blood contact. If you have chronic hepatitis C, there’s a higher chance you'll develop cirrhosis.

To lower your chances of becoming infected with hepatitis, you should avoid unprotected sex and don’t share needles to inject drugs.

Stay away from getting tattoos or body piercings in unclean environments. If you do get a tattoo, make sure the instruments are properly sterilized and needles are not shared.


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