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Alcohol not the only culprit in Cirrhosis of the liver

Who knew shellfish caused Cirrhosis?
Who knew shellfish caused Cirrhosis?
Wikimedia Commons Public Domain

Alcohol is not the only substance whose abuse can cause cirrhosis of the liver. Prevention of cirrhosis does necessitates abstinence or moderation of alcohol use. Cirrhosis often proves fatal. Knowing and avoiding the substances and lifestyle choices that are likely to cause cirrhosis is the first step toward prevention of this life threatening disease.


Cirrhosis of the liver can occur through overindulgence of alcohol. The liver is the filter for the body. Overuse of any filter can cause it to become clogged and back up. The liver of an alcoholic slowly loses function due to overuse. Portions of the liver form scar tissue. Prevention of this disease in relation to alcohol depends largely on self control.


Drugs effect the liver in much the same way as alcohol. Prevention of cirrhosis means abstaining from illegal drug use. Unfortunately, illegal drugs are not the only ones that have a negative effect on the liver. There are prescription and over the counter drugs that abuse the liver in high doses as well. Take medicines according to labeled instruction. Be familiar with side effects related to liver damage.

Alcohol in combination with other drugs

Alcohol can accelerate liver damage from other drugs when they're taken together. Some combinations of alcohol and drugs can prove harmful or fatal. Prevention of cirrhosis caused by this type of damage requires that the patient be aware. Talk to your doctor about your medication. Read labels. Even acetaminophen (Tylenol) can cause cirrhosis when taken in combination with alcohol or alone.

Uncooked shellfish

People who drink heavily or already have cirrhosis should avoid raw shellfish as prevention of further damage. Oysters and other kinds of shellfish, when eaten raw, contain bacteria which can harm the liver. This bacteria, known as vibrio vulnificus has been known to cause infections in people with liver disease.

Dry cleaning and other industrial chemicals

If you're working in a dry cleaners which uses toxic chemicals to clean clothes, prevention of cirrhosis may mean quitting your job. Chlorinated solvents such as perchlorethylene and trichlorethylene have been shown to cause liver damage in workers. Dry cleaning chemicals are not the only industrial chemicals to use caution with. Be aware of chemicals in your workplace and their potential side effects.


Use techniques designed for prevention of hepatitis. Hepatitis can lead to cirrhosis of the liver. Practice safe sex. Keep vaccinations up to date. Use extra precautions when traveling to other countries. Using intravenous drugs is a danger in itself but if you do, be sure to use a sterilized needle every time. Dirty needles can transmit hepatitis.


A balanced diet is key in prevention of most diseases and cirrhosis is no exception. If you already have cirrhosis, talk to your doctor about getting the right amount of protein. Too much or too little causes the disease to worsen. A healthy prevention diet includes plenty of cleansing fruits and vegetables and balanced amounts of other nutrients.

Please note: The author is not a licensed medical professional. This article is not intended to replace professional medical advice.




Hepatitis Central

Portions of this article were previously published by this author on a closed Yahoo! property.

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