Healthy diet, physical activity promote liver health, says specialist

‘Vaccination against hepatitis B and C viruses helps in combating this problem’

Liver, the largest organ in the body, performs diverse functions like digestion, glucose and fat metabolism, detoxification and protein synthesis. Liver is affected by various diseases like fatty liver, hepatitis, cirrhosis and cancer. The prime causes for liver damage being excessive consumption of alcohol, hepatitis virus infections, fatty liver, diabetes mellitus, obesity and drugs.

After years of continuous alcohol consumption, liver disease passes through phases of fatty liver, hepatitis and ultimately into irreversible cirrhosis. People suffer from jaundice, abdominal swelling and other distressing symptoms.

Diabetes mellitus, obesity, physical inactivity and unhealthy eating habits change the internal metabolism thereby promoting insulin resistance and thus cause fatty liver. Strict sugar control, weight reduction, healthy eating habits, avoiding simple carbohydrates and junk food and regular physical activity helps in combating fatty liver, says Chalapathi Rao Achanta, consultant medical gastroenterologist, KIMS ICON Hospital, in a statement on the eve of World Liver Day.

Infections due to hepatitis virus cause problems like jaundice, fatigue, fever, malaise and weight loss. Except those due to type B and C virus, rest of the infections (i.e., hepatitis A and E) are self-limiting. Hepatitis B and C viruses affect approximately 325 million people globally. They frequently cause chronic liver injury and if unrecognised and untreated, they can lead to cirrhosis and liver cancer in certain cases. Vaccination against hepatitis B and C viruses help in combating this global problem. Cancers, either primary or secondary, are recognised as deadly diseases with poor outcomes. Getting a tissue sample by biopsy test would confirm the diagnosis and appropriate treatment should be followed as guided by the specialist, Dr. Chalapathi Rao added.

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