Not all types of liver disease can be prevented, such as those due to genetic causes or immune system abnormalities. But some types of liver disease, especially those related to lifestyle choices, can be prevented.
Avoiding excessive consumption of alcohol is an important first step in looking after your liver. Both men and women can get liver damage from excessive alcohol. Current recommendations are for no more than 2 standard drinks/day for women and 3 for men, with at least 2 alcohol-free days each week.
Watch this video about liver disease & alcohol
(NHS, UK, 2018)
Approximately 75% of obese people have a fatty liver. If you are overweight or obese, gradual weight loss and increasing exercise can reduce your risk of developing a fatty liver. Avoid rapid weight loss of more than 1 kilogram per week, as this can make liver disease worse.
Cigarette smoking may worsen some liver diseases and may increase your risk of developing liver cancer. Smoking impairs the liver’s ability to process medications, alcohol and other toxins and remove them from the body.
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 A and hepatitis B vaccines.
Practice safe sex
It’s not just HIV and other sexually transmitted infections you need to worry about with unsafe sex. Hepatitis B and C can both be contracted through unprotected vaginal or anal sex. The risk is increased during menstruation and with multiple sex partners.
Avoid risky behaviour
Intravenous drug use is a common way of contracting Hepatitis B and C, especially if needle sharing in involved. Sharing personal items like a toothbrush or razor blade with others can also transmit Hepatitis B and C.
Use medications wisely
Talk to your GP before mixing prescription medicines and herbal or dietary supplements. Only take prescribed or recommended doses and avoid alcohol while taking medications.