Healthy diet, physical activity promote liver health, says specialist

“Getting vaccinated against hepatitis B and C viruses helps fight this problem.”

The liver, the largest organ in the body, fulfills various functions such as digestion, glucose and fat metabolism, detoxification and protein synthesis. The liver is affected by various diseases such as fatty liver, hepatitis, cirrhosis, and cancer. The main causes of liver damage are excessive alcohol consumption, hepatitis virus infections, fatty liver, diabetes mellitus, obesity and drugs.

After years of continuous alcohol consumption, liver disease progresses through phases of fatty liver, hepatitis and finally 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 and thus promote insulin resistance and thus cause fatty liver. Strict sugar control, weight loss, healthy eating habits, avoiding simple carbohydrates and junk foods, and regular physical activity help fight fatty liver, said Chalapathi Rao Achanta, consulting medical gastroenterologist at KIMS ICON Hospital, in a statement on the eve of World Liver Day.

Infections due to the hepatitis virus cause problems such as jaundice, fatigue, fever, malaise, and weight loss. With the exception of those attributable to type B and C viruses, the remaining infections (i.e., hepatitis A and E) are self-limiting. Hepatitis B and C viruses affect around 325 million people worldwide. They often cause chronic liver damage and, if not recognized and left untreated, can in certain cases lead to cirrhosis and cancer of the liver. Getting vaccinated against hepatitis B and C viruses helps fight this global problem. Cancer, either primary or secondary, is recognized as a deadly disease with poor outcomes. Taking a tissue sample through a biopsy test would confirm the diagnosis, and appropriate treatment should be given as directed by the specialist, added Dr. Chalapathi Rao added.

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