Caring for Your Liver if You Have HIV/AIDS
Some liver problems occur during pregnancy or affect women more often than men. These include:
Women tend to develop alcohol-related liver disease, particularly cirrhosis (scarring of the liver) and hepatitis, more quickly than men.
Oral contraceptives (birth control pills) can cause an increase in hepatic adenomas (fatty liver tumors) and should not be used in women who have had these benign (non-cancerous) tumors.
The liver has a special ability to repair itself under most circumstances. Unfortunately, permanent damage can also occur.
If your HIV drugs are causing damage to your liver, it may be possible to switch to other drugs. This may not be an option for everyone. It is important to balance the need for HIV drugs with their potential to cause liver damage and to talk with your provider so that you can make the best decision for youliver .
There are many things you can do to protect your liver from damage, help it heal, and support its function.
Avoid Alcohol and Street Drugs
Get Tested for Hepatitis
Eat Healthy Food and Be Physically Active
Be Cautious With Vitamins and Supplements
When your liver is damaged it cannot perform all of its important functions properly. Since there may not be any obvious symptoms of liver damage, it is important to check your liver health with regular medical visits and lab tests. Talk with your health care provider to find what HIV drugs are best for you and your liver. In addition, good nutrition and a healthy lifestyle will go a long way toward supporting this hardworking organ.
This article was provided by The Well Project. Visit The Well Project's Web site to learn more about their resources and initiatives for women living with HIV. The Well Project shares its content with TheBody.com to ensure all people have access to the highest quality treatment information available. The Well Project receives no advertising revenue from TheBody.com or the advertisers on this site. No advertiser on this site has any editorial input into The Well Project's content.
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