Lifestyle and home remedies

By Mayo Clinic Staff

If you have cirrhosis, take precautions to limit additional liver damage:

  • Don't drink alcohol. Whether your cirrhosis was caused by chronic alcohol use or another disease, avoid alcohol. Drinking alcohol may cause further liver damage.
  • Eat a low-sodium diet. Excess salt can cause your body to retain fluids, worsening swelling in your abdomen and legs. Use herbs for seasoning your food, rather than salt. Choose prepared foods that are low in sodium.
  • Eat a healthy diet. People with cirrhosis can experience malnutrition. Combat this with a healthy plant-based diet that includes a variety of fruits and vegetables. Choose lean protein, such as legumes, poultry or fish. Avoid raw seafood.
  • Avoid infections. Cirrhosis makes it more difficult for you to fight off infections. Protect yourself by avoiding people who are sick and washing your hands frequently. Get vaccinated for hepatitis A and B, influenza, and pneumonia.
  • Use over-the-counter medications carefully. Cirrhosis makes it more difficult for your liver to process drugs. For this reason, ask your doctor before taking any medications, including nonprescription drugs. Avoid drugs such as aspirin and ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin IB). If you have liver damage, your doctor may recommend acetaminophen (Tylenol, others) in low doses for pain relief.
Jan. 30, 2013