Chronic Liver Disease

Written by Amy Hall
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Chronic liver disease is the 10th leading cause of death among Americans. The most common causes are Hepatitis C and alcoholism, though there are also other factors that can contribute. Patients with Hepatitis C should avoid alcohol, as the two together can lead to the development of cirrhosis. Certain over the counter medications should also be avoided in patients with chronic liver disease, such as acetaminophen and ibuprofen. Milk thistle is a natural herb that has been deemed safe for use in people with chronic liver disease.

Each year, 25,000 Americans die from this disease, and it is the main reason for liver transplantation. Unfortunately, many people die while waiting for a liver donor. Therefore, prevention is the best route to take in regards to liver disease. Alcohol abuse, toxins, certain medications, and drug use via needles are all risk factors that can lead to chronic liver disease.

Furthermore, Hepatitis C can be spread through unprotected sexual contact, as well as through saliva. It is important that people receive vaccinations for Hepatitis A and B as well, as doing so can decrease the chances of contracting these illnesses in the future. Hepatitis A, B, and C can all eventually lead to chronic liver disease in patients. Finally, if you have been diagnosed with liver disease, your doctor may recommend that you omit iron supplements from your diet altogether, as iron can contribute to the progression of liver disease.

Living with Chronic Liver Disease

If you have liver disease, it is more important than ever that you eat a healthy, low fat diet and that you exercise regularly. Furthermore, it is essential that you eliminate alcohol and certain over the counter medications that can exacerbate liver disease. Always check with your doctor before taking any herbal supplements, as some may actually cause problems in patients.

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