According to the World Health Organization, liver disease is the tenth leading cause of death in India. It is the next big lifestyle condition that could affect one out of every five Indians. Did you know? Even a single episode of binge drinking can have serious consequences and may damage your liver cells. Alcohol is responsible for four out of every five deaths due to liver disease. Increases awareness, early detection and treatment helps stop the progression of a liver disease.
Functions of the Liver
The liver controls the majority of chemical levels in the blood and excretes bile. This aids in the removal of waste products from the liver. The liver filters all of the blood that leaves the stomach and intestines. The liver processes this blood and breaks down, balances, and creates the nutrients and also metabolizes drugs into forms that are easier to use for the rest of the body. The liver performs above 500 vital functions of the body, some include:
- Regulates your supply of body fuel
- Regulates the balance of hormones
- Regulates your supply of essential vitamins and minerals
- Production of cholesterol and special proteins
- Processing of haemoglobin
- Clearing the blood of drugs and other poisonous substances
- Regulating blood clotting
- Resisting infections by strengthening your immune system
Common Liver Diseases
Different things lead to serious liver conditions. Here are some of the most common liver infections that need awareness:
1. Hepatitis – This is an infectious disease that inflames your liver. Viral hepatitis is the most common cause, including:
- Hepatitis A
- Hepatitis B
- Hepatitis C
2. Alcoholic liver disease – This disease is a result of overconsumption of alcohol that damages the liver, leading to a build-up of fats, inflammation, and scarring. It can be fatal.
3. Non-alcoholic fatty liver disease – This occurs when too much fat has built up inside your liver. The extra fat can inflame your liver, causing swelling and may damage your liver cells. Over time it may scar your liver and lead to cirrhosis.
4. Cirrhosis of the Liver – It is a late stage of scarring (fibrosis) of the liver caused by many forms of liver diseases and conditions, such as hepatitis and chronic alcoholism. Over time, this disorder inhibits the liver from working properly.
5. Liver Cancer – If cancer shows up in your liver, that’s most likely because it has spread from another part of your body, like your lungs, colon, or breasts or may have started in the liver.
6. Acute liver failure – This happens when you don’t have long-term liver disease but your liver quits working within a very short time – days or weeks. It may happen because of an overdose of certain medications, or drugs, or any other toxic infection.
Essential tips for a Healthy liver
Your liver can come under attack by viruses, toxic substances, contaminants, and diseases. Here are some healthcare tips to maintain a healthy liver:
1. Eat healthy – Eat a healthy diet that is low in refined sugars, processed foods, sweets, sodas, and refined carbohydrates. Choose fruits, vegetables, and high-fiber foods instead.
2. Exercise regularly – Exercise at least five times a week for at least 30 minutes each time as it helps to clear toxins from your system.
3. Say “No” to alcohol: Regular or heavy alcohol use can lead to permanent liver damage, as well as other health problems.
4. Practice safe sex – Unprotected sex or sex with multiple partners increases your risk of hepatitis B and hepatitis C. Practice safer sex by using a condom.
5. Avoid supplements – A well-balanced diet is much safer than adding additional nutrients into your system. Some dietary supplements and herbal medicines are linked to liver damage.
6. Avoid toxins – Toxins can injure liver cells by inhalation, ingestion, or physical contact. Use cleaning agents and aerosol products, insecticides, and other chemicals with caution. Quit smoking.
7. Get vaccinated – There are vaccines available for hepatitis A and hepatitis B.
8. Painkiller use: Overuse of over-the-counter pain relievers have potentially harmful side effects on your liver health. Always follow dosage instructions, never mix your medication with alcohol, and take medications under a doctor’s supervision.
Management of Liver diseases at Kokilaben Dhirubhai Ambani Hospital
The Department of Hepato-Pancreato-Biliary specialises in the diagnosis and treatment of liver diseases with cutting-edge technology. Our various divisions provide prompt treatment and medical intervention as and when appropriate, from infectious hepatitis to fatty liver disease, liver cirrhosis, and liver cancer. Our highly skilled surgeons are experienced in both open and minimally invasive procedures for complex liver disorders. For further information please visit: