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World Liver Day: Lifestyle changes can prevent liver diseases
Despite various vaccines and medications available for liver inflammation and viral liver infections, the number of liver diseases has increased due to lifestyle-related issues. Increased consumption of alcohol, high carbohydrate intake and lack of exercise are the main factors that lead to fatty liver diseases, liver cirrhosis and liver cancer in Tamil Nadu.
Most of the liver diseases are caused by a high carbohydrate diet and fast food consumption. While genetic factors are also responsible for the development of liver diseases, obesity also has a role to play in the increase of fatty liver diseases. Hepatologists said that there has been an increase in liver diseases in youngsters over the decade.
“The largest contributor of liver diseases in Tamil Nadu is high carbohydrate diet. Regular intake of rice is a usual practice in Tamil Nadu. In a recent study, it was found that 25 per cent of south Indian population is obese. While genetic factors lead to early development of liver diseases, restricted physical activity has also increased the risk of liver diseases,” said Dr P Basumani, consultant medical gastroenterologist, Fortis Malar Hospital.
Non-alcoholic liver diseases are being reported even in adolescents due to non-genetic factors. “While a decade back, liver diseases were reported in youngsters due to malnutrition, it is now common due to obesity. Children do not spend time outdoors these days as they spend more time using digital devices and social media. Engaging in regular exercise would reduce the risk of non-alcoholic liver diseases in youngsters,” said Dr Malathi Sathiyasekaran, consultant paediatric gastroenterologist, Rainbow’s Children’s Hospital.
Medicos said that fatty liver also increases the risk of hypertension, cholesterol, cardiac issues, diabetes, liver cirrhosis and liver cancer. “Around 90 per cent of the liver-related ailments can be prevented, and only 10 per cent of these require treatment. Liver failure is mainly due to increased alcohol intake. Thus, lifestyle modifications such as regular exercise, avoiding alcohol consumption and a healthy diet intake can help prevent liver diseases and liver failure,” said Dr Chandan Kumar, senior consultant hepatologist and transplant physician, Kauvery Hospital.