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World Liver Day: High-fat diet and lack of exercise main causes of liver disease, say doctors
- April 18, 2018
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Increasing alcohol abuse, a lifestyle lacking in exercise and consumption of unhealthy high-fat food are the main causes for the increasing incidence of liver diseases among young people and the urban poor. However, liver diseases are still largely restricted to men, said doctors on the eve of World Liver Day, which is observed on April 19.
Addressing mediapersons on Tuesday, C. Vikram Belliappa, Consultant Surgical Gastroenterologist at Vikram Hospital, said liver diseases are currently among the top 10 causes of death in India.
“According to the World Health Organisation (WHO), about 10 lakh people are diagnosed with liver cirrhosis every year in India. The average age of liver disease patients is 40, but now much younger patients are also getting affected due to alcoholism, high-fat diet and a lifestyle lacking in exercise. The urban poor are the worst hit, though males have a much higher incidence of liver diseases than females,” Dr. Belliappa said.
Asserting on prevention, Medical Gastroenterologist Dheeraj Karanth C. said fatigue, jaundice, itching and loss of appetite are some early symptoms of liver diseases. “However, symptoms usually do not appear till the disease is well advanced. So, early diagnosis is crucial,” he said.
The cure for severe liver diseases is a liver transplant. New approaches, such as stem cell therapy, are also being researched. People should maintain a healthy lifestyle with regular exercise and a low-fat diet. It is also important to take alcohol only in moderation, get Hepatitis B vaccination, and follow safe sex practices, the doctor said.
To mark the occasion, as many as 32 doctors from Vikram hospital pledged to donate their organs, including the liver, to help save lives.
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