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
avoiding toxic substances and excess
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
illnesses in other parts of the body, such as kidney damage or low blood
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
peptic ulcers, which erode the
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