How to manage my chronic liver disease
*A note from Babylon healthcare providers: patients with these medical conditions are referred to outside specialists to manage their care. However, you are still welcome to discuss your concerns with your Babylon provider.
Managing the symptoms of liver disease can be difficult. There is a lot to balance between appointments, diet, medications, and lifestyle changes. Breaking these actions into categories can help make each step more attainable.
Things to avoid
Taking over-the-counter medications and herbal supplements
The liver is responsible for filtering and absorbing different medications. In many cases, it’s not safe to take regular doses of ibuprofen, acetaminophen, or other over-the-counter pain relievers. This includes vitamins, supplements, and any other medication. Before taking medication, make sure that your doctor has approved it.
Eating too much sodium
People with liver disease are often told to avoid eating too much sodium. This can be hard since food labels are often hard to understand. For example, if a label says “No sodium/salt added” there is still sodium in the product, the manufacturer simply hasn’t added any more. Make sure to read the back of the label to see how much sodium is actually present in the foods and drinks you buy. Don’t forget to check the condiments as well! You are encouraged to discuss your dietary plan with your provider.
Alcohol is very harmful to someone with liver disease. It can cause further damage to the liver and surrounding organs. This is because the liver is usually responsible for filtering and metabolizing alcohol. Without a healthy liver, no amount of alcohol is safe to consume.
Take care in the use of over-the-counter medications such as sleep aids, and cold and flu medications that may contain alcohol. It is important to read the labels on all food, medication, and beverages, and if you are not sure discuss it with your doctor.
Living with a chronic health condition can take a toll on your mental health. It’s not uncommon for people to start feeling withdrawn or depressed while dealing with health problems. Try to avoid self-isolation. Make more time to be with your friends and loved ones, even if it’s a calm movie night. Being with the people who care about you is important to keep yourself well. Babylon is a great mental health resource, and we encourage you to reach out.
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