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Viral Hepatitis and Liver Disease

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What can you do about your cirrhosis?

for Veterans and the Public

What can you do about your cirrhosis? - Cirrhosis for Patients

The most important thing you can do is to protect your liver from further damage and follow the treatment prescribed by your provider. The following checklist will help you take care of your liver and keep you well.

Put a check in the boxes next to the statements that show what you have done or are going to do to take care of your liver:

  • I am not drinking alcohol or using drugs.
  • I always take the medications that my provider has ordered for me. I know their names and purpose. SEE MEDICATION SAFETY GUIDE
  • I tell my provider if I am taking over-the-counter or herbal medications.
  • I don’t take pain pills like ibuprofen (Motrin®, Advil®) or Naprosyn (Aleve®), especially if I have ascites.
  • I don’t take too many Tylenol® (acetaminophen) pills, and I never take Tylenol with alcohol.
  • I avoid sleeping pills or tranquilizers.
  • If my provider tells me to take lactulose, I take enough to move my bowels two or three times a day and the stool is a soft consistency.
  • I keep all my medical appointments or call if I need to reschedule.
  • I have been tested to see whether I need to get the hepatitis A and B vaccines (hepatitis A and B are viruses that attack the liver).
  • I have received the pneumonia vaccine and I get my annual flu shot (people with cirrhosis are more likely to get infections).
  • I have received or inquired about the COVID vaccination.
  • I eat a well-balanced diet that is low in fat and includes enough protein. I cut down on salt (sodium), read food labels, and avoid canned or prepared foods, especially if I have ascites.
  • I never let myself get constipated. If it happens, I tell my health care provider.
  • I keep a healthy weight and weigh myself regularly if my provider recommends it.
  • I make sure to have a balance of work, rest, and exercise in my life.
  • I cope well with stress (or I ask for guidance when I can’t cope).
  • I tell my health care provider if I am depressed.
  • I have never smoked cigarettes, I have quit smoking, or I have discussed quitting with my health care provider.
  • I have asked my health care provider whether I need a liver transplant.