Liver Disease

Can liver disease be prevented?

  • Alcohol abuse is the most common cause of liver disease in North America. Consuming alcohol in moderation may help minimize the risk of alcohol-related liver disease.
  • The risk of contracting Hepatitis B and C can be decreased by minimizing the risk of exposure to other person's bodily fluids.
  • Vaccination is available for Hepatitis A and B.
  • Screening for Hepatitis C is recommended in some populations.
  • Fatty liver disease is a preventable illness with the promotion of a healthy lifestyle including a well-balanced diet, weight control, avoiding excess alcohol consumption and routine exercise program. These lifestyle modifications do not guarantee success in disease prevention as some people will develop fatty liver disease anyway.

What is the outlook for a patient with liver disease?

The outlook and outcome for a patient depends upon the underlying diagnosis.

Interestingly, in patients with cirrhosis, there may be little correlation between the amount of damage found on liver biopsy and the ultimate outcome. A patient may never develop symptoms and have a normal life-span or may develop significant symptoms with seemingly minimal disease.

Reviewed on 7/10/2014