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Posted at: Jun 12, 2019, 7:09 AM; last updated: Jun 12, 2019, 7:09 AM (IST)WORLD NASH DAY

Healthy liver, healthy you!

Tribune News Service
Ludhiana, June 11

Non-alcoholic fatty liver and steatohepatitis (NAFLD) will be the leading cause of liver cirrhosis and liver cancer. June 12 is observed every year as NASH day to create awareness about liver diseases. The theme of the day this year is “Let us not be silent anymore about this silent disease”.

“Often it is thought, alcohol is the only factor associated with liver damage, however, though it is so, there are multiple other factors such as diabetes, obesity, hypertension, dyslipidemia, which can make a person vulnerable to the silent disease of non-alcoholic fatty liver disease.

NAFLD, as it is commonly known, is a disorder of fat metabolism wherein the fat can accumulate in the liver in excessive amount. When the percentage of fatty liver cells exceeds five per cent, it is called “steatosis”. At this stage, the liver is usually bigger than normal and appears white and shiny on ultrasound,” said Dr Dinesh Gupta, senior consultant, gastroenterologist and hepatologist, Deepak Hospital.

Majority of people affected by fatty liver are not even aware of it. Most of the affected people do not experience any symptoms. The disease is detected during sonography of abdomen for other reason or by deranged liver function tests. Initially person may experience pain on right side of stomach and weakness but problems increase as the disease progresses to Cirrhosis, he said.

“It is a reversible condition and can be easily managed by controlling associated diseases like diabetes, hypertension, and obesity and by maintaining a healthy lifestyle. Non-alcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH) is severe form of non-alcoholic fatty liver disease which occurs in 15 to 20 per cent of patients who have NAFLD. If left untreated, NASH can later lead to cirrhosis and eventually liver cancer. Early stage NAFLD normally does not have specific symptoms, but, some people may have poor appetite, fatigue and vague pain in abdomen.”

He also added that, “NAFLD normally remains silent, however, may lead to liver fibrosis and liver failure and even liver cancer in patients who are not following the physicians advice. Regular visit to doctor is recommended with specific work up on liver enzymes and test helps in early detection and management,” he added.

Factors causing nafld

  • The main reason behind the high prevalence of NAFLD is the sedentary lifestyle and preference of junk food which causes obesity and diabetes 
  • In order to have a healthy liver we should avoid late night eating and junk food. Exercise and following healthy diet rich in green leafy vegetables, fruits and avoiding fatty food
  • Those suffering from Fatty Liver should get themselves examined by a specialist, control their blood sugar, keep a check on their weight, should cut down alcohol consumption and must follow regular exercise program to reverse their liver to normal and prevent progression to cirrhosis.


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