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Why should I avoid alcohol, illegal drugs, and cigarettes if I have hepatitis C?

ANSWER

Don't drink any alcohol unless your doctor says it's OK. It can speed up damage to your liver cells.

Recreational drugs in general are no good for your liver. For example, marijuana leads to faster liver scarring. And using a needle to inject substances can raise your odds of getting reinfected with hep C.

If you're a smoker, you need to quit. It can make you more likely to get liver cancer. Talk to your doctor about ways to break the habit.

SOURCES:

Project Inform: "Towards a healthy liver."

CDC: "Hepatitis C: Living with Chronic Hepatitis C."

American College of Gastroenterology: "Medications and the Liver."

HCRC VA Hepatitis C Resource Centers: "Cirrhosis: A Patient's Guide."

Hepatitis Foundation International: "Caution! Herbs and Nutritional Supplements."

National Digestive Diseases Information Clearinghouse: "What I need to know about cirrhosis."

Reviewed by Arefa Cassoobhoy on May 1, 2019

SOURCES:

Project Inform: "Towards a healthy liver."

CDC: "Hepatitis C: Living with Chronic Hepatitis C."

American College of Gastroenterology: "Medications and the Liver."

HCRC VA Hepatitis C Resource Centers: "Cirrhosis: A Patient's Guide."

Hepatitis Foundation International: "Caution! Herbs and Nutritional Supplements."

National Digestive Diseases Information Clearinghouse: "What I need to know about cirrhosis."

Reviewed by Arefa Cassoobhoy on May 1, 2019

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What medications should I avoid if I have hepatitis C?

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THIS TOOL DOES NOT PROVIDE MEDICAL ADVICE. It is intended for general informational purposes only and does not address individual circumstances. It is not a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment and should not be relied on to make decisions about your health. Never ignore professional medical advice in seeking treatment because of something you have read on the WebMD Site. If you think you may have a medical emergency, immediately call your doctor or dial 911.

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