Reduce your risk of acute liver failure by taking care of your liver.
Jul. 10, 2014
- Follow instructions on medications. If you take acetaminophen or other medications, check the package insert for the recommended dosage, and don't take more than that.
- Tell your doctor about all your medicines. Even over-the-counter and herbal medicines can interfere with prescription drugs you're taking.
- Drink alcohol in moderation, if at all. Limit the amount of alcohol you drink to no more than one drink a day for women of all ages and men older than 65 and no more than two drinks a day for younger men.
- Avoid risky behavior. Get help if you use illicit intravenous drugs. Don't share needles. Use condoms during sex. If you get tattoos or body piercings, make sure the shop you choose is clean and safe. Don't smoke.
- Get vaccinated. If you're at increased risk of contracting hepatitis, if you've been infected with any form of the hepatitis virus or if you have chronic liver disease, talk to your doctor about getting the hepatitis B vaccine. A vaccine is also available for hepatitis A.
- Avoid contact with other people's blood and body fluids. Accidental needle sticks or improper cleanup of blood or body fluids can spread hepatitis viruses. Sharing razor blades or toothbrushes can also spread infection.
- Don't eat wild mushrooms. It can be difficult to distinguish an edible mushroom from a poisonous one.
- 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. Follow manufacturers' 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.
- Maintain a healthy weight. Obesity can cause a condition called nonalcoholic fatty liver disease, which may include fatty liver, hepatitis and cirrhosis.
- Goldberg E, et al. Acute liver failure in adults: Etiology, clinical manifestations and diagnosis. http://www.uptodate.com/home. Accessed March 31, 2014.
- Goldberg E, et al. Acute liver failure in adults: Management and prognosis. http://www.uptodate.com/home. Accessed March 31, 2014.
- An introduction to liver care. American Liver Foundation. http://www.liverfoundation.org/education/downloads/. Accessed March 31, 2014.
- Acute liver failure. National Institutes of Health. http://livertox.nih.gov/Phenotypes_fail.html. Accessed March 31, 2014.
- Bernal W, et al. Acute liver failure. New England Journal of Medicine. 2013;369:2525.
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