Doctors call for increased liver care, warn against obesity, diabetes
Deccan Chronicle.| Aarti Kashyap
Doctors also cautioned people about a rising condition, non-alcoholic steatohepatitis (Nash), a serious illness that affects both alcoholics and non-alcoholics. (DC)
HYDERABAD: City-based gastroenterologists and hepatologists on Tuesday warned the public to go for regular liver check-ups due to a rise in the number of liver-related ailments, on the occasion of World Liver Day on April 19.
Stressing the theme of ‘Be Vigilant, Do Regular Liver Check-Up, Fatty Liver Can Affect Anyone’, Dr Anitha Reddy, a consultant gastroenterologist, said: "Alcohol, Hepatitis C and B are leading causes of liver disease and liver cancer. Obesity and metabolic disorders like diabetes, high cholesterol, related NAFLD (non-alcoholic fatty liver disease) are overtaking traditional causes and may become the leading cause for liver disease by 2030. Liver-related deaths in India are at 2,68,580 per year, contributing to 3.17 per cent of all deaths."
Doctors also cautioned people about a rising condition, non-alcoholic steatohepatitis (Nash), a serious illness that affects both alcoholics and non-alcoholics.
Dr Santhosh Enaganti, a senior consultant gastroenterologist who works as an advanced interventional endoscopist, said, "Fatty liver is when excess fat gets deposited on the liver due to excess calorie intake, affecting its functioning. Excess consumption of alcohol, overweight, obesity and uncontrolled diabetes are the major causes of fatty liver, which is the beginning stage of many diseases, such as liver disease and metabolic syndrome. The latter is a combination of obesity with hypertension and diabetes, posing cardiovascular risk. Fatty liver in initial stage does not show any symptom. It is a progressive disease which can lead to cirrhosis of liver."
Dr B. Sujeeth Kumar, a senior consultant surgeon, spoke about liver cancer. "People who are chain-smokers, those who have developed cirrhosis or those who have cancer in the family are more prone to develop liver cancer. Usually, the symptoms are pain in the abdomen with vomiting and nausea, sudden weight loss, yellow skin and itching all over the body. Medical and surgical jaundice is also common in these patients," Sharma said.
He said that liver cancer is most prevalent among people in their 60s and has a high mortality rate.
Dr K.S. Somasekhar Rao, a consultant gastroenterologist and hepatologist, said, "Alcoholic liver disease (ALD) is a serious and potentially life-threatening condition that affects millions of people worldwide. It is caused by excessive consumption of alcohol, which can damage the liver and lead to inflammation, scarring, and even liver failure. Despite being a preventable disease, ALD remains a growing concern, with rates on the rise in many parts of the world."
Doctors advised people to control diabetes as well as practice alcohol abstinence, weight loss, control high cholesterol levels, regular exercise, avoid self-medication, take the Hepatitis B vaccine, and concentrate on a healthy and balanced diet, rich in nuts, fruits, legumes, vegetables, heart-healthy fats and to avoid processed food, added sugar and refined grains.