The Liver is the second largest and the most complex organ in the body, with the exception of the brain is a key player in our body's digestive system. It is an organ that can be easily damaged if you don't take care of it. Over the past decade, there has been a steady rise in the number of cases of liver diseases, and it continues to be a significant health problem in India. On this World Liver day, we at Medicircle are presenting the World Liver Day Awareness Series, featuring eminent Gastroenterologists and Hepatologist to share their views on how we can keep our liver healthy.
Dr. Soham Doshi is a consultant gastroenterology, hepatology, and endoscopy specialist at Wockhardt Hospitals in Nashik. Dr. Doshi completed DNB Gastroenterology from Jagjivan Ram Railway Hospital in Mumbai from 2013 to 2016. Dr. Doshi has considerable experience and expertise in advanced diagnostic and therapeutic endoscopy in the field of gastroenterology. Dr. Soham Doshi is an elected member of the American Society of Gastrointestinal Endoscopy.
Symptoms of the liver should be evaluated at an early stage for better treatment
Dr. Soham Doshi says, “Liver is an important organ in the body. It is taking care of the entire body by synthesizing the various components which are important for the healthy functioning of the body. Any liver problem or damage will show up symptoms late. It is important to assess your symptoms periodically not only when you have no symptoms.
- Blood in stools
Many people tend to ignore these symptoms due to many reasons. It is a lifelong process of liver damage that involves 4 - 5 years. The damage to the liver would not show up any symptoms in a day’s time.
Regular screening of the liver is important
Dr.Doshi informs, “ It is important to maintain a healthy lifestyle as a responsible family member and member of society. Screening and liver tests must be very important. The liver shows symptoms after 90 % damage. One of the important tests for the liver is as follows :
Blood test: Liver Function Test consists of Bilirubin, albumin
Fibroscan of Liver just like ultrasound. It assesses the percentage of liver damage.
Blood tests are very important to check if you have liver damage. It is important to check the albumin and protein levels of the body in case of liver damage.
Risk factors of liver damage
Dr.Doshi informs, “Alcohol consumption is the biggest risk factor and accounts for 30 - 40 % prevalence in many patients. If you are a chronic alcoholic, then it is important to test your liver. Blood tests for the liver and fibroscan are very important in such cases. The main important risk factors are :
- Alcohol consumption is a leading cause of liver damage in India. The least amount of alcohol can also damage the liver.
- Metabolic disease like diabetes NAFLD Obesity Fatty liver Hepatitis B and C
- Early detection is helpful for good recovery of liver function. 90 % of liver damage will lead to liver transplantation which is very costly.
The fatty liver needs special attention
Dr.Doshi states, “Fatty liver is the main cause of liver damage and constitutes to about 40 % of liver diseases. Screening 100 normal people from the Indian population will definitely show 60 - 70 t people suffering from fatty liver not just only in obese but also in lean people. Lean people also suffer from fatty liver and screening is very important in such cases. The risk factors for fatty liver are:
- High blood pressure
HbA1c, fibroscan, and lipid profile are must in these cases of risk factors. Treatment is very important in such cases.
Diet and exercise is the only solution to fatty liver.
Dr.Doshi informs, “Lifestyle changes such as diet and exercise are very important like:
- Avoiding fatty food is very important.
- Walking for 40 - 50 mins is very important for 5 days/week.
- Universal protocol says 150 mins of exercise per week is a must for every individual. This will help you maintain a healthy liver.
- Medications can be prescribed by your doctor as well.
- A sedentary lifestyle should be avoided during this COVID.
- Maintaining correct food timings with a 4 - 6 hours gap is very essential.
- Do not eat heavy meals at one time
- Follow apps to start exercising.
- A healthy liver will help you have a long life.”
(Edited by Dr.Rati Parwani)