To reduce your risk of liver disease, you can:
April 14, 2012
- Choose a healthy diet. Choose a diet full of fruits, vegetables and whole grains.
- Drink alcohol in moderation, if at all. Check with your doctor to find out what's the right amount of alcohol for you, if any.
- Follow directions when taking medications, vitamins or supplements. Limit yourself to the recommended doses when taking vitamins, supplements, and over-the-counter or prescription medications.
- Limit contact with chemicals. Use aerosol cleaners, insecticides and other toxic chemicals only in well-ventilated areas. In addition, wear gloves, long sleeves and a mask.
- Maintain a healthy weight. If your weight is healthy, work to maintain it. If you need to lose weight, cut back on the number of calories you eat each day and increase the amount of daily exercise. Ask your doctor about healthy ways to lose weight.
- Quit smoking. If you smoke, quit. Ask your doctor about strategies to help you quit. If you don't smoke, don't start.
- Use supplements with caution. Talk with your doctor about the risks and benefits of herbal supplements before you take them. Some alternative medicine treatments can be harmful to your liver, including black cohosh, certain Chinese herbs including ma huang, chaparral, comfrey, germander, greater celandine, kava, mistletoe, pennyroyal, skullcap and valerian.
- Ferri FF. Ferri's Clinical Advisor 2012: 5 Books in 1. Philadelphia, Pa.: Mosby Elsevier; 2012. http://www.mdconsult.com/books/page.do?eid=4-u1.0-B978-0-323-05611-3..00043-4--s0450&isbn=978-0-323-05611-3&sid=1264123271&uniqId=316059410-4#4-u1.0-B978-0-323-05611-3..00043-4--s0450. Accessed Feb. 8, 2012.
- Goldman L, et al. Cecil Medicine. 24th ed. Philadelphia, Pa.: Saunders Elsevier; 2011. http://www.mdconsult.com/books/page.do?eid=4-u1.0-B978-1-4377-1604-7.00148-2&isbn=978-1-4377-1604-7&sid=1264125672&uniqId=316059410-4#4-u1.0-B978-1-4377-1604-7..00148-2. Accessed Feb. 8, 2012.
- Wolf AD, et al. Hepatomegaly in neonates and children. Pediatrics in Review. 2000;21:303.
- Managing your medications. American Liver Foundation. http://www.liverfoundation.org/mym. Accessed Feb. 8, 2012.
- Seeff LB. Herbal hepatoxicity. Clinics in Liver Disease. 2007;11:577.
- Talwani R, et al. Infectious diseases and the liver. Clinics in Liver Disease. 2011;15:111.
- Liver health and wellness. American Liver Foundation. http://www.liverfoundation.org/abouttheliver/liverhealth. Accessed Feb. 8, 2012.
- Nguyen D, et al. Noninvasive assessment of liver fibrosis. Hepatology. 2011;53:2107.
- Ehman RL (expert opinion). Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minn. March 1, 2012.