World Liver Day: Liver diseases turning epidemic; 1 out of 5 people suffer from it

World Liver Day: Liver diseases turning epidemic; 1 out of 5 people suffer from it

Overall prevalence of non-alcoholic fatty liver disease in India is close to 40%

Staff ReporterUpdated: Wednesday, April 19, 2023, 11:17 AM IST
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Indore (Madhya Pradesh): Liver diseases are turning into an epidemic in our county and numbers bear it out i.e. one out of every five adults is suffering from some kind of liver disorder, mainly fatty liver.

On the eve of World Liver Day, Dr Amit Agrawal, consultant gastroenterologist in Super Speciality Hospital, expressed concerns over increasing cases of liver diseases and said that the overall prevalence of non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) in India is close to 40 per cent and may be still higher in many cities.

“Liver-related deaths in India have reached a staggering figure of 268,580 i.e. over 3.17 per cent of all deaths per year contributing to 18.3 per cent of global 2 million liver-related deaths,” he said.

The gastroenterologist also added that recent studies have shown about 75 per cent of non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (liver disease caused in patients who drink little or no alcohol) is observed in patients with low body mass index (<25 kg/m2).

“If any man has a waist size of more than 90 cm and woman has a waist size of more than 80 cm then they might be suffering from liver diseases. Unlike European countries, people in our country get obese from the centre, i.e. from the stomach, which increases the chances of suffering from liver disease,” the expert said.

World Liver Day is observed every year on April 19 to spread awareness about liver-related diseases. Liver is the second largest and one of the most complex organs in the body and a key player in our body's digestive system.

Regular check-ups can prevent fatty liver 

This year’s theme of World Liver Day is ‘Be Vigilant, Do Regular Liver Check-Up, Fatty Liver Can Affect Anyone.’ Senior consultant gastroenterologist Dr HP Yadav told media that this year’s theme focuses on the practice of regular liver check-ups, as fatty liver can affect anyone, irrespective of the risk factors such as obesity (overweight), insulin resistance (diabetes), and excess consumption of alcohol.

Tips to keep your liver healthy

According to Dr Agrawal, “Liver disease does not show very obvious symptoms until the damage is serious. Common symptoms like loss of appetite and weight loss can be seen if the disease has spread to a large part of the organ. It is therefore important to take care of the liver.”

Some tips to keep your liver healthy and happy.

· Eating a balanced diet is the first and foremost way of taking care of your liver and your body. Your diet must include cereal, fresh fruits, fibre-rich vegetables, bread and rice

· Make sure that you drink plenty of water as keeping your body hydrated can help with your liver too

· It is important that you maintain a healthy weight as an increase in weight can lead to non-alcoholic fatty liver disease

· Drinking too much alcohol can damage and ultimately destroy liver cells. It is therefore advisable to drink alcohol only in moderation and if possible, quit it completely.

· Smoking can also affect your liver adversely by enhancing toxic effects that some medications have on the liver. Try to steer clear of cigarettes.

· Similarly, one should avoid taking drugs like pain relievers, stimulants, sedatives, etc without taking prescription from a doctor.

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