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Hepatitis C: Protecting Your Liver

Taking good care of yourself is the best way to prevent health problems related to hepatitis C. Give your liver a fighting chance by avoiding things that can make liver damage worse. And help your body defend against HCV infection by staying healthy.

Pharmacist consulting with customer.

Watch medicines and supplements

Some medicines and herbal supplements can harm your liver. To protect yourself:

  • Check with your doctor or pharmacist before taking anything that you buy over the counter.

  • Learn the generic and brand names for over-the-counter products that may affect your liver.

  • Make sure to tell any doctor who prescribes medicine for you that you have hepatitis C.

  • Avoid herbs that are bad for the liver or that interact with your medicines.

  • If you have cirrhosis, get specific instructions from your provider.

  • If you are overweight, lose weight. Fatty liver can cause the same damage as alcohol.

Do not drink alcohol

Your liver works hard to process alcohol. If you have HCV infection, drinking alcohol may make you more likely to develop cirrhosis, and you will get cirrhosis faster. Your best defense against hepatitis C is to not drink any alcohol.

Get tested

It is important to get tested for hepatitis A and hepatitis B. If you are not immune to these, ask your doctor about getting vaccinated against them.

Stay healthy

Your body’s immune system fights against infections. It’s more able to do this when your body is healthy. Eating healthy foods and getting plenty of sleep will help keep your body strong. And staying upbeat can help you keep hepatitis C in perspective.

Online Medical Reviewer: MMI board-certified, academically affiliated clinician
Online Medical Reviewer: Taylor, Wanda, RN, PhD
Last Review Date: 3/30/2014
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