You may reduce your risk of alcoholic hepatitis if you:
Nov. 03, 2012
- Drink alcohol in moderation, if at all. If you choose to drink alcohol, do so in moderation. For healthy adults, that means up to one drink a day for women of all ages and men older than age 65, and up to two drinks a day for men age 65 and younger. The only certain way to prevent alcoholic hepatitis is to avoid all alcohol. If you've ever been diagnosed with alcoholic hepatitis, don't drink alcohol.
- Check the label before mixing medications with alcohol. Check the label of over-the-counter medications for warnings about drinking alcohol. Ask your doctor if it's safe to drink alcohol when taking your prescription medications. Don't drink alcohol when taking medications that warn of complications when combined with alcohol. This is especially true for over-the-counter pain relievers such as acetaminophen (Tylenol, others).
Protect yourself from hepatitis C. Hepatitis C is a highly infectious liver disease caused by a virus. Untreated, it can lead to cirrhosis. If you have hepatitis C and drink alcohol, you're far more likely to develop cirrhosis than is someone who doesn't drink. Because there's no vaccine to prevent hepatitis C, the only way to protect yourself is to avoid exposure to the virus.
Contaminated drug paraphernalia is responsible for the majority of new cases of hepatitis C. Don't share needles or other drug paraphernalia. Hepatitis C can sometimes be transmitted sexually. If you aren't absolutely certain of the health status of a sexual partner, use a new condom every time you have sex. See your doctor if you have or have had hepatitis C or think you may have been exposed to the virus.
- Alcohol-induced liver disease. American Liver Foundation. http://www.liverfoundation.org/abouttheliver/info/alcohol/. Accessed Sept. 25, 2012.
- AskMayoExpert. Alcoholic liver disease. Rochester, Minn.: Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research; 2012.
- Goldman L, et al. Cecil Medicine. 24th ed. Philadelphia, Pa.: Saunders Elsevier; 2012. http://www.mdconsult.com/das/book/body/191371208-2/0/1492/0.html#. Accessed Sept. 25, 2012.
- Choi G, et al. Alcoholic hepatitis: A clinician's guide. Clinical Liver Disease. 2012;16:371.
- Singal AK, et al. Alcoholic hepatitis: Prognostic models and treatment. Gastroenterology Clinics of North America. 2011;40:611.
- O'Shea RS, et al. Alcoholic liver disease. American Journal of Gastroenterology. 2010;105:14.
- Cirrhosis. National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases. http://digestive.niddk.nih.gov/ddiseases/pubs/cirrhosis/index.htm. Accessed Sept. 26, 2012.
- Singal AK, et al. Outcomes after liver transplantation for alcoholic hepatitis are similar to alcoholic cirrhosis: Exploratory analysis from the UNOS database. Hepatology. 2012;55:1398.
- Milk thistle. Natural Medicines Comprehensive Database. http://www.naturaldatabase.com. Accessed Sept. 27, 2012.
- SAMe. Natural Medicines Comprehensive Database. http://www.naturaldatabase.com. Accessed Sept. 27, 2012.