World Liver Day

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All About Liver Diseases

What are liver diseases and what is the status of such diseases in India? Learn more…

Tuesday, 20th April 2021

In India, millions are affected by liver diseases and they make the 10th most common reason for deaths as per World Health Organization (WHO). About 10 lakhs of patients are freshly diagnosed each year with chronic liver diseases in our country India. Furthermore, liver cancer among the other liver diseases accounts for the 5th most common cancer type and the 3rd most common cancer-triggered deaths. Unfortunately, in spite of such stark significance, people are not much aware of liver diseases and preventative measures. On the 19th of April each year, World Liver Day is observed and an attempt is made on this day to spread awareness regarding liver diseases and ensure sound liver health.

Our liver is the largest of the internal organs within the human body responsible for several vital functions such as processing of nutrients, bile production, filtering of the blood, regulating the hormones; blood clotting, battling against infections, and regulating the blood sugar levels. Therefore, damage to the liver may prove to be life-threatening. The leading cause of liver damage is the consumption of Alcohol that leads to alcoholic liver disease (ALD). The proportion of the disease has increased significantly over the years with several studies showing the prevalence of the disease ranging from about 43.5%-72%.

 However, a huge proportion of the non-alcoholic patients too show a similar kind of liver damage as the ALD, wherein excessive fat storage takes place within the cells of the liver and the condition is referred to as 'non-alcoholic fatty liver disease' (NAFLD).

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Nearly 1/3rd of the Indians suffer from the disease and those who are obese, are with high lipids and diabetes; are more prone to getting the disease. The NAFLD is looked upon as a multi-system disease currently and is believed to have a close connection with osteoporosis, chronic kidney disease, cardiovascular disease, and the condition of extra-hepatic malignancy. India happens to be the first country in the whole of the world to realize the need to take an action for the increasing incidence of NAFLD and has also advocated the need for an integration of the NAFLD with the NPCDCS. Nearly 325 people across the globe are affected by Viral Hepatitis and nearly 1.4 million people die each year due to Viral Hepatitis. India ranks 2nd in the world with regard to cases of Hepatitis-B Viral infection of the liver

Other leading liver disease causes include auto-immune liver disease, drug-induced liver damage, and genetic causes.

Management of the condition of liver cirrhosis is actually the treatment of the cause that has triggered the cirrhosis and the complications arising out of it. Despite the major progress in the treatment of liver diseases, a patient when gets liver failure, the only way out is Liver Transplant (LT).

Due to the stigma as well as the beliefs associated with organ donation in the country just 1% of the affected population can take the decision to undergo LT. Thus, making the general population aware is highly crucial so that the disease may be identified as well as checked at its very initial stage.

Alcohol abstinence and maintaining a healthy body weight are two first and foremost steps to be taken towards maintaining a healthy liver. Getting vaccinated against Hepatitis A and Hepatitis B is important for preventing the risks of viral liver damage.

The News Talkie Bureau


TimesofIndia Indiatimes

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