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You are here : 3-RX.com > Medical Encyclopedia > Diseases and Conditions > Liver Disease: Prevention & Expectations
      Category : Health Centers > Digestive System

Liver Disease

Liver Disease | Symptoms & Signs | Diagnosis & Tests | Prevention & Expectations | Treatment & Monitoring

What can be done to prevent the disease?

Some liver diseases can be prevented, while others cannot. For example, hepatitis A and hepatitis B can be prevented with vaccines. Other ways to decrease the risk of infectious liver disease include:

  • practicing good hygiene, such as washing hands well after using the restroom or changing diapers
  • avoiding drinking or using tap water when traveling internationally
  • avoiding behaviors like sharing drug needles
  • practicing safer sex
  • avoiding the sharing of personal hygiene items, such as razors or nail clippers
  • avoiding toxic substances and excess alcohol consumption
  • avoiding improper combinations or use of medications
  • using caution around industrial chemicals
  • eating a well balanced diet following the food guide pyramid
  • getting an injection of immune globulin after exposure to hepatitis A or hepatitis B. This may prevent the hepatitis A or B infection from developing.
  • the use of safety precautions by healthcare and day care workers
  • Some forms of liver disease, such as liver disease a person is born with, cannot be prevented.

    What are the long-term effects of the disease?

    Long- term effects depend on the type of liver disease present. For example, chronic hepatitis can lead to:

  • cirrhosis of the liver
  • liver failure
  • illnesses in other parts of the body, such as kidney damage or low blood counts
  • Other long-term effects of liver disease may include:

  • gastrointestinal bleeding. This includes bleeding esophageal varices, the life-threatening bleeding in the esophagus and/or the stomach.
  • encephalopathy, which is deteriorating brain function that may progress to a coma
  • peptic ulcers, which erode the stomach lining
  • liver cancer
  • What are the risks to others?

    Some liver diseases are highly contagious and pose a risk to others. For example, different forms of hepatitis are highly contagious through sexual contact or contamination of food and water. Other liver diseases are not contagious, such as biliary atresia.

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    Liver Disease: Diagnosis & Tests


    Liver Disease: Treatment & Monitoring

    Author: Eileen McLaughlin, RN, BSN
    Reviewer: Barbara Mallari, RN, BSN, PHN
    Date Reviewed: 07/13/01

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