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Can I Reverse Hepatitis C-Related Cirrhosis?

If I have cirrhosis caused by hepatitis C, is there anything I can do to reverse it?

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Cirrhosis is the medical term describing scarring of the liver, which can be caused by many different conditions. Hepatitis C is one of the more common causes of cirrhosis. As cirrhosis progresses, it can lead to a number of potentially serious problems (see Cirrhosis Complications).

Unfortunately, once cirrhosis occurs, it cannot be cured, and it is generally considered irreversible. However, there are certain things you can do to protect your liver, slow down the progression of cirrhosis, and help prevent related complications.
One of the most important things you can do to protect your liver if you have cirrhosis is to abstain from drinking alcohol. Even small amounts can worsen your hepatitis C and lead to more liver damage. You'll want to avoid using medicines that might be toxic to the liver as well. Therefore, it's best to ask your healthcare provider before starting any new medication, even nonprescription products, to make sure it's safe to take.

Hepatitis C treatment may also help prevent worsening of cirrhosis. In one study, people who were successfully treated for hepatitis C (as measured by no detectable virus in their bloodstream) had a decrease in liver stiffness six months after treatment ended. Liver stiffness is a sign of fibrosis, the first stage of liver scarring.

Finally, be sure to keep all your healthcare appointments. Your healthcare provider will want to closely monitor your condition and treat any potential cirrhosis-related complications before they become too severe.
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