Doctors said that fatty liver was the third leading cause of chronic liver disease and liver cancer after Hepatitis B and alcoholism

A fatty liver clinic will soon be set up at the Rajiv Gandhi Government General Hospital (GH). It will function as a special clinic of the Department of Hepatology.

Doctors said that fatty liver was the third leading cause of chronic liver disease and liver cancer after Hepatitis B and alcoholism. Obesity, diabetes, hyper cholesterol and hypertension are the main causes of fatty liver.

“It is basically the deposition of abnormal fat in the liver. If left untreated, it could damage the liver, leading to chronic liver disease and liver cancer,” a senior doctor said. With changes in lifestyle, especially dietary habits, there has been an increase in the diabetic population and also, liver diseases.

At least 25 per cent of the population in Tamil Nadu has fatty liver, while nearly 40 per cent of those who come for screening for liver diseases are affected, he added. “The clinic will help in early diagnosis and prevent complications of chronic liver disease and liver cancer. This will be a one-of-a kind facility in the public health sector in the country,” he said.

A government order for setting up the clinic with the existing infrastructure and manpower has been issued.

Fibroscan, a piece of equipment used in assessing liver damage and detecting cancer, is available at GH. “Through this clinic, we will convey the importance of the equipment to people. Screening costs at least Rs. 10,000 in private centres; here, we do it free of cost,” he said.

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