You can take several steps to reduce your risk of developing cirrhosis.

Abstain from Alcohol

Alcohol abuse is the most common cause of cirrhosis in the United States (and North America) and at least 75%-80% of cirrhosis cases in North America are related to it . Not all people who abuse alcohol develop cirrhosis.

However, your chances of developing alcohol-related cirrhosis increase:

  • the more you drink at each episode
  • if you drink a variety of alcoholic beverages
  • if you drink frequently
Having a poor-quality diet when you drink alcohol may also increase your susceptibility to alcohol-related cirrhosis. Eating a well-balanced diet and avoiding routine alcohol abuse or abstaining from alcohol entirely can reduce your risk of developing cirrhosis.

Reduce Your Risk of Contracting Hepatitis

Practice Safe Sex

Hepatitis B and possibly C can be transmitted sexually. To reduce your risk of infection, practice safe sex. This means that men should always use a condom during sexual activity and intercourse. If you are a woman, you should require your male partner(s) to use a condom even if you are using hormonal contraceptives, such as the “pill” or other forms of contraceptives.

Don’t Share Needles

Hepatitis B and C can be transmitted through blood products and through use of contaminated needles and syringes. Avoid using illegal intravenous drugs (IV). If you do use these drugs, don’t share needles or syringes with anyone.

Receive Hepatitis Vaccination

Vaccination against hepatitis B virus is safe and inexpensive. It should be taken especially by certain high-risk groups: all healthcare professionals, people traveling to Third World countries, people with multiple sexual partners, homosexuals, intravenous drug users, and prostitutes.

Ask About Medications

Certain prescription medications can have toxic effects on the liver that vary from person to person. If you are taking these medications, follow your doctor’s instructions carefully. Be sure to have any recommended tests prior to starting the medication and throughout the course of treatment. These tests can help determine whether the drug is damaging your liver.