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Home > Education Resources > Liver Lowdown > Liver Lowdown Aug 2013 > Life After Diagnosis


Life After Diagnosis

If you learn that you have liver disease, you may feel overwhelmed and have a lot of questions. Remember, you are not alone. The American Liver Foundation is here to assist you.

To help you focus, we’d like to offer 5 things you should know about life after diagnosis.

But here’s an important note of caution: As there are more than 100 types of liver disease, these tips are, by necessity, of a general nature. For specific medical advice relating to you, be sure to consult with your healthcare practitioner and other healthcare professionals.

1. STAY CALM. Once you know that you have a liver disease, carefully consider all your treatment options. Depending on the nature of the disease, maybe you can lead an active life, or perhaps bed rest is required. Other options could include prescribed medications, a lifestyle change, and maybe the need for chemotherapy or a liver transplant. Whatever the diagnosis, be kind to yourself, family members and your caregivers. Try practicing deep-breathing exercises, and do your best to maintain a positive attitude.

2. GET REGULAR CHECKUPS AND TAKE YOUR PRESCRIBED MEDICATIONS. Be monitored regularly by your doctor, nurse practitioner or nurse. Follow all instructions related to your prescribed medications, and don’t skip taking them. Check with your healthcare provider before taking over-the-counter medications, vitamins or supplements. Don’t assume anything is safe or appropriate for you.

3. LEAD A HEALTHY LIFESTYLE. Eat a healthy and balanced diet with lots of fruits and vegetables. Avoid alcohol. Mixing alcohol and medicines can harm your liver, even if they are not taken at the same time. Don’t smoke. Exercise regularly, and get plenty of sleep.

4. TAKE CERTAIN PRECAUTIONS. Based on your specific liver disease, certain precautions are important for your level of wellness. These may include limiting direct contact with toxins that can further injure liver cells. Toxins can be present in cleaning and aerosol products, insecticides, chemicals and additives in cigarettes. If you have hepatitis C, you may be advised to get vaccinated for hepatitis A and hepatitis B.

5. JOIN A SUPPORT GROUP. There’s so much to be gained by sharing your journey with others who have also been diagnosed with a liver disease. Support groups offer emotional support to you, your family members and your caregivers. They are also well-placed to provide education and information on resources in your area.

Page updated: August 5th, 2013


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