Fatty liver emerging as a significant health burden

Fatty liver is increasingly becoming more prevalent and people must adhere to proper diet and periodic health checks to prevent it, said T.S. Chandrasekar, chairman and chief gastroenterologist, MedIndia Hospitals, Chennai, on Saturday.

Delivering a talk as part of The Hindu Wellness Series webinar, presented by Kauvery Hospital, on the topic ‘Love your Liver’, ahead of ‘Liver Day’ that fell on Monday, he stressed on the importance of liver as one of the most important organs of the body that was responsible for carrying out more than 500 functions.

He said proper balanced intake of food with low carbohydrates and staying away from alcohol, which could severely damage the organ, were crucial for a healthy liver. He said obesity was also increasingly emerging as a major cause for liver getting affected even at an young age. K. Elan Kumaran, senior consultant, liver transplantation and hepatobiliary Surgery, and head, Liver Diseases and Transplantation Centre, Kauvery Hospital, Chennai, highlighted the importance of periodic health checks as liver was remarkably self-renewable and symptoms of damage may not be clearly visible in many cases until two-thirds of the organ’s functionalities were affected.

Pointing out that fatty liver need not occur only to those who were obese, he said regular health checks could help diagnose it at an early stage. “If detected early, it is possible in many cases to reverse the condition,” he said.

Murali Jayaraman, consultant surgical gastroenterologist and advanced laparoscopic surgeon, Kauvery Hospital, Hosur, said medical interventions, including advanced surgeries, were becoming more available in tier-2 and tier-3 cities as well. “At my practice in Hosur, I see alcohol being a major reason for liver damage,” he said.

Dr. Elan Kumaran highlighted the need for increased awareness on liver transplantation as only a fraction of the people who are in need were getting transplants.

The panelists also spoke on the impact of hepatitis viruses on the liver and importance of getting vaccinated against Hepatitis B virus.

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Printable version | May 18, 2021 8:20:00 AM |

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