Can liver failure be prevented?

You can reduce your chances of developing liver failure by:

  • Being vaccinated for hepatitis B
  • Cutting down on alcohol
  • Maintaining a healthy weight and active lifestyle
  • Following directions when using medications like acetaminophen (Tylenol®)
  • Having a physical examination every year (at least) with a primary care provider, with screening for obesity, high cholesterol, high blood pressure and diabetes

Who is at the greatest risk for liver failure?

People most at risk for liver failure include those who:

  • Have the chronic (long-term) liver infections Hepatitis B or C;
  • Drink or have drunk alcohol excessively;
  • Have preexisting or acquired medical conditions that make liver failure more likely, such as hemochromatosis (the body absorbs too much iron from food), non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (a large amount of fat in the liver; related to the metabolic syndrome), autoimmune disease (the body's own immune system attacks the liver) and Wilson disease (the body cannot remove extra copper).

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