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Prevention and Treatment

Steps can be taken to avoid and/or minimize the risk of certain forms of liver disease, thus preventing cirrhosis from developing. Some examples include preventing:

  • Alcoholic liver disease – through alcohol moderation
  • Hepatitis C infection through blood precautions, such as not sharing needles or personal items such as razors
  • Hepatitis B infection through vaccination and taking precautions to avoid exposure
  • Some cases of nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) by maintaining a "healthy weight"

In individuals diagnosed with cirrhosis, treatment involves:

  • Addressing and treating the underlying cause of the liver disease where possible
  • Maintaining remaining liver function
  • Treating complications

Those affected should not drink alcohol and should avoid substances that can harm the liver. They may need to modify or supplement their diet to ensure adequate nutrition and work with their doctor on medication doses as their liver may not be able to process drugs at a normal rate.

Endoscopy is sometimes needed to look for varices (dilated veins) and to address bleeding varices. In advanced cases of cirrhosis, a liver transplantation may be indicated.

For more on treatment, see the links on the Related Pages page of this article.

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