Prevent liver problems by protecting your liver. For example:

  • Drink alcohol in moderation, if at all. Limit the amount of alcohol you drink to no more than one drink a day for women and no more than two drinks a day for men.
  • Avoid risky behavior. Get help if you use illicit intravenous drugs. Don't share needles used to inject drugs. If you choose to have sex, use condoms. If you choose to have tattoos or body piercings, be picky about cleanliness and safety when it comes to selecting a shop.
  • Get vaccinated. If you're at increased risk of contracting hepatitis or if you've already been infected with any form of the hepatitis virus, talk to your doctor about getting the hepatitis B vaccine. A vaccine is also available for hepatitis A.
  • Use medications wisely. Only use prescription and nonprescription drugs when you need them and take only the recommended doses. Don't mix medications and alcohol. Talk to your doctor before mixing herbal supplements or prescription or nonprescription drugs.
  • Avoid contact with other people's blood and body fluids. Hepatitis viruses can be spread by accidental needle sticks or improper cleanup of blood or body fluids. It's also possible to become infected by sharing razor blades or toothbrushes.
  • Take care with aerosol sprays. When you use an aerosol cleaner, make sure the room is ventilated, or wear a mask. Take similar protective measures when spraying insecticides, fungicides, paint and other toxic chemicals. Always follow the manufacturer's instructions.
  • Watch what gets on your skin. When using insecticides and other toxic chemicals, cover your skin with gloves, long sleeves, a hat and a mask.
  • Choose a healthy diet. Choose a plant-based diet with a variety of fruits and vegetables. Limit high-fat foods.
  • Maintain a healthy weight. Obesity can cause a condition called nonalcoholic fatty liver disease, which may include fatty liver, hepatitis and cirrhosis.
Apr. 16, 2011