New Delhi : On World Liver day on Friday, let us pledge to give our liver the care it needs through a healthy lifestyle. It is a chance for the medical and non-medical communities to congregate and build awareness around how liver disease can manifest and cause problems. According to WHO, liver diseases are the 10th most common cause of death in India. Since the liver is a multi-functionary organ, it is susceptible to viruses, toxic substances, contaminants present in food and water.
However, even when it is under siege, the liver is slow to complain as it is a tough, hardy part of ‘our body’. People with liver problems often experience few or no symptoms. While there have been major advances in treating liver diseases, there is no complete cure. The only way to manage a failed liver is to get a liver transplant. Liver transplants in India can be divided into two time periods i.e. from 1995 to 2004 and 2005 to 2015. The first time period saw 131 successful liver transplants.
‘The liver is one of the key organs in our body. This World Liver Day, let us pledge to give our liver the care it needs and lead a healthy life,’ Union Health Ministry said in its tweet on Friday. It said, ‘liver is the largest detoxifying agent in the human body. Certain Do’s and Don’ts can ensure proper functioning of the liver and keep them healthy.’ To keep one’s liver healthy, the Ministry also listed the Do’s and Don’ts.
The Do’s included maintaining a healthy body weight, regularly exercise and having an active lifestyle, having a balanced and healthy diet with less sugars and more of protein and fibres, have safe food and drinking water and getting vaccinated against Hepatitis B.
The Ministry, in a picture message said, for maintaining one’s liver’s health is important because it fights infections and illness, it regulates blood sugar, it removes toxic substances from the body. The liver is the second largest organ in the body. It has a complex structure and function, playing a key role in the digestive system of the human body. The liver processes all the food and liquid intake, including medication. Therefore it is impossible to survive without the functioning of the liver.
Liver diseases can be caused by Hepatitis A, B, C, alcohol and drugs. Viral Hepatitis occurs due to consumption of contaminated food and water, unsafe sexual practices and drug abuse. If not treated timely, these can lead to Liver Cirrhosis and Liver Cancer.
This World Liver Day, Dr Arvind Khurana, Director and Head, Department of Gastroenterology, Fortis Hospital, Shalimar Bagh encourages you to understand your liver better.
There has been a revival of interest in liver cancer, medically referred to as Hepatocellular cancer. This is because it is now the fifth most common cancer claiming millions of lives annually. Recently the methods of its detection and specific treatment modalities have led to the cure of many.
He said in a statement that the importance of checking and screening for Hepatitis B and C therefore cannot be over emphasised. Superior technology, such as triple-phase contrast enhanced CT scanning and MRI lead to higher pick-up rates of even smaller tumours.
Dr Khurana said, ‘One can detox the body for liver cleansing by eating garlic, grapefruit, carrot, green leafy vegetables, apple and walnuts, use olive oil, take lemon and lime juice and green tea, prefer alternative grains (Quinoa, Millet and Buckwheat), add cruciferous vegetables (Cabbage, Broccoli and Cauliflower) and use turmeric in food.’
Prevention of liver disease include adopting healthy lifestyle habits, maintaining a healthy diet, eating foods from all the food groups: grains, protein, dairy products, fruits, vegetables and fats, eating foods that have lot of fibres such as fresh fruits and vegetables, whole grain breads, rice and cereals, ensuring safe blood transfusions to avoid contracting Hepatitis A, B, C, washing hands after going to the bathroom, avoiding tap water when traveling and regular exercise to keep your liver healthy.