Prevention of Liver Disease

In many cases, liver disease can be prevented. The following recommendations can be helpful to maintain good liver health:

  • Maintain a healthy weight through diet and exercise. Talk with a physician about:
    • Adopting an exercise routine
    • Having cholesterol levels tested
    • Meeting with a dietitian or nutritionist
  • Talk to a physician about being vaccinated for hepatitis A and B.
  • Avoid skin contact and inhalation of chemicals in:
    • Cleaning products
    • Paints
    • Pesticides, herbicides
    • Other chemicals
  • Reduce exposure to toxins and chemicals by taking safety precautions:
    • Wear protective gloves to reduce skin absorption.
    • Use safety glasses or goggles to protect eyes.
    • Wear long sleeves and long pants to protect skin.
    • Use a mask or respirator around fumes.
    • Ensure there is proper ventilation.
  • Understand the risks associated with prescription or over-the-counter (OTC) medications. Avoid alcohol use when taking any prescription medications.
  • Avoid excessive use of over-the-counter medications such as:
    • Pain relievers
    • Flu or cold remedies
    • Megavitamins
    • Herbal supplements
  • Do not smoke. Take steps to quit if you do smoke.
  • Avoid excessive alcohol and all illegal drugs.
  • Use condoms and practice safer sex.

Untreated, chronic hepatitis B and C infections are the most common causes for liver disease. The following recommendations can help reduce the risk for hepatitis:

  • Hepatitis A
    • Wash your hands after using the restroom or changing a diaper.
    • Talk with a physician about getting vaccinated.
    • Avoid potentially contaminated food and water.
    • Avoid sexual behaviors that carry a risk of exposure to fecal matter (stool).
  • Hepatitis B
    • Talk with a physician about getting vaccinated.
    • Do not share razors, toothbrushes, nail clippers, earrings, or body rings.
    • If you are pregnant, get tested for hepatitis B.
    • Avoid sex without a condom.
    • Make sure all inks and instruments are sterile when getting a tattoo or piercing.
    • Do not inject illegal drugs or share needles.
  • Hepatitis C
    • Avoid sex without a condom.
    • Make sure all inks and instruments are sterile when getting a tattoo or piercing.
    • Do not inject illegal drugs or share needles.

Publication Review By: Stanley J. Swierzewski, III, M.D.

Published: 16 Mar 2008

Last Modified: 24 Sep 2015