Liver disease is considered as one of the top 10 killers in India and it is on the rise.
A sedentary lifestyle, obesity and high alcohol intake are believed to be the major factors contributing to the higher incidence of liver disease in the country.
Dr Suresh Singhvi, MBBS, MS, DNB, FRCS (Glasgow), FRCS (Intercollegiate, UK), CCST (UK), fellowship in liver unit (UKE, Hamburg, Germany), liver transplantation (Asan Medical Center, Seoul, South Korea), spoke to Salome Phelamei of Zee Media, about some simple yet effective tips to prevent liver disease -
The more you drink, the more likely you are to damage your liver. Alcohol directly affects the liver cells, causes swelling and can eventually lead to scarring of tissue or cirrhosis, which can be deadly.
Eat properly cooked food:
Increased levels of fat and cholesterol in the blood are a common cause of fatty liver disease. Maintain healthy weight by avoiding fatty foods. Replace junk food with healthy alternatives from all food groups such as grains, fruits, dairy products and vegetables.
Drinking clean water:
Increased fat stored around the belly can lead to insulin resistance and eventually cause fatty liver disease. Exercise regularly to burn excess fat.
Take vaccinations to prevent hepatitis A and B:
Good hygiene plays an important role in preventing viral infections. Hepatitis infection can be contracted through contaminated food, water, blood and other body fluids, especially when you are travelling abroad. Check for outbreaks before travelling. Do not share razors or needles with anyone. Be cautious about conditions while body piercing or tattooing. You could consider vaccination against hepatitis.
Use medicines judiciously:
Follow medical dosages recommended by your doctor. Consult your doctor if you are taking any medicine, look for warnings of liver toxicity on multiple medications for different conditions to ensure they are not damaging your liver. Do not use Anabolic steroids for developing strong muscles, as these medicines can cause serious damage to the liver.
Keep cholesterol under check:
If you have diabetes or hypertension, get a medical check-up done regularly. Keep a check on your glucose, fat and cholesterol levels which might cause fatty liver disease.
Any diet that promises unrealistic weight loss in a stipulated amount of time are not good for your overall health. Such fad diet not only lacks nutrients that your body requires but also increases the load on your liver. If you really want to lose weight, do it in the right way without compromising on nutrition
Smoking not only damages the liver by itself but also increases the toxic effect of medicines you might be taking on the liver.
Besides, one should exercise to maintain healthy weight as well as keep blood glucose levels under control.
(Dr Suresh Singhvi is a Senior Consultant Liver transplant Surgeon with Sir Ganga Ram Hospital, New Delhi. Website: www.liverdiseaseindia.com)