Lifestyle Changes to Manage Viral Hepatitis

Changing some habits can help prevent further liver damage, more health problems, and spreading hepatitis to others.

Prevent Further Damage to Your Liver

Do not use anything that will worsen liver damage such as:

  • Alcohol
  • Medicine—Acetaminophen and other medicines can affect your liver. Talk to your doctor about medicines, herbs, and supplements you take.

Prevent the Spread of Hepatitis to Others

Hepatitis can spread to other people. Take these steps to keep the infection from spreading:

  • Wash your hands with soap and water after using the bathroom, or before and after changing a diaper.
  • Wash your hands with soap and water before eating or making food.
  • Do not make food for others. Some types of hepatitis may be spread by food handling.
  • Carefully clean all kitchen tools after use.
  • Do not use IV drugs. Do not share needles.
  • Tell others you have hepatitis. This includes healthcare workers, sexual partners, or other close contacts.
  • Do not donate blood, tissue, or organs.
  • Talk to your doctor before or during pregnancy to get proper treatment and protect your baby.
  • Limit the number of people you have sex with. Use condoms every time you have sex.
  • Do not share personal items such as:
    • Razors
    • Toothbrushes
    • Manicuring tools
    • Pierced earrings

References:

Acute hepatitis B virus (HBV) infection. EBSCO DynaMed Plus website. Available at: http://www.dynamed.... Updated May 14, 2018. Accessed April 18, 2019.
Acute hepatitis C infection. EBSCO DynaMed Plus website. Available at: http://www.dynamed.... Updated November 15, 2018. Accessed April 18, 2019.
Chronic hepatitis B virus (HBV) infection. EBSCO DynaMed Plus website. Available at: http://www.dynamed.... Updated May 14, 2018. Accessed April 18, 2019.
Chronic hepatitis C infection. EBSCO DynaMed Plus website. Available at: http://www.dynamed.... Updated January 31, 2019. Accessed April 18, 2019.
Hepatitis C—treatment of genotype 1. EBSCO DynaMed Plus website. Available at: http://www.dynamed.... Updated December 2, 2018. Accessed April 18, 2019.
Hepatitis C—treatment of genotypes 2-6. EBSCO DynaMed Plus website. Available at: http://www.dynamed.... Updated December 2, 2018. Accessed April 18, 2019.
Hepatitis D virus (HDV) infection. EBSCO DynaMed Plus website. Available at: http://www.dynamed.... Updated May 14, 2018. Accessed April 18, 2019.
Hepatitis E virus (HEV) infection. EBSCO DynaMed Plus website. Available at: http://www.dynamed.... Updated February 28, 2018. Accessed April 18, 2019.
Overview of acute viral hepatitis. Merck Manual Professional Version website. Available at: https://www.merckmanuals.com/professional/hepatic-and-biliary-disorders/hepatitis/overview-of-acute-viral-hepatitis. Updated January 2019. Accessed April 18, 2019.
Overview of chronic hepatitis. Merck Manual Professional Version website. Available at: https://www.merckmanuals.com/professional/hepatic-and-biliary-disorders/hepatitis/overview-of-chronic-hepatitis. Updated January 2019. Accessed April 18, 2019.
Last reviewed February 2019 by David L. Horn, MD, FACP
Last Updated: 4/18/2019

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