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Know your Liver- Care your Liver

Why we need to think and Care for liver ?

  1. Liver works in harmony with all other organs like heart, kidney, muscle, nerves , bone and others.
  2. Derangement in other had an impact on liver, similarly liver may affect others when its injured. So to be healthy we need to keep healthy.
  3. Liver has problems both acute i.e. sudden and chronic i.e. slow.
  4. Majority of liver problems were slow and often silent, when symptoms happening, its already late.
  5. Awareness, understanding and preventive approach is the key due to slow progression
  6. Fatty liver is the most common. Nearly 25-30% population of India i.e one in three have this problem. The increasing obesity, diabetes, childhood obesity and adoption of sedentary lifestyle is increasing the problem and its expected to be the major health issue by 2050.
  7. Hepatitis due A and E often occur as jaundice outbreak every year
  8. Hepatitis B affects 3% Indians i.e. 4 crore of Indian and hepatitis C in another 1 crore population.
  9. Hepatitis B often occur from mother to baby. Every year 10lakhs new born is getting this infection from mother, simply because of lack of awareness.
  10. Liver cancer is rising and is among major 5 common cancers of India as well as World.
  11. Every year 2 lakhs of Indian dying from liver cirrhosis- the end stage of liver problem.
  12. Liver transplant is grossly inadequate due to poor organ donation.
  13. Liver problem is there, large unknown or thought of. In coming days the problem is going to increase. So Know, confront and care before its late.

When we should do a liver health check ?

Liver problems are often silent and without symptoms.

The common reasons for liver problems are- fatty liver, alcohol, obesity, diabetes, hepatitis or in abackground familiy history of liver disease.

A liver health check up is needed when these are present

  1. Am I over weight or obese?
    • (a simple thumb rule- your weight in kg should be eqaul to height in centimeters minus hundred. E. g. if your height is 6ft i.e 180 cm, the desired weight should be below 180-100= 80 kg)
  2. Is my belly protruding much i.e. truncal obesity?
    • Sometimes we may not be heavy, but our tommy excessively out. Formula of waist and hip ratio is availble, however the simplest is to just check yourself in front of mirror and hope you can get the answer.
  3. Am I taking alcohol too often and too much?
    • Alcohol very often, large amount and bunge drink episodes are at risk
    • Alcohol with drugs or smoking is hazardous
    • Alcohol in presence of a known liver disease before
    • Alcohol intake more than 5 years
    • Any symptoms like- decreased interest for food, unexplained weight loss, jaundice or weakness
  4. Am I a diabetic?
    • India is going to be diabetes capital of India.  Among diabetic nearly half had fatty liver, one in two have fibrosis.
    • Diabetic who are obese or smoker or alcohol intake
    • All diabetic at diagnosis and yearly once need to check
  5. Hepatitis test is needed
    • All adults, pregnant mothers, before surgery or blood donation
    • Anyone if family had hepatitis, jaundice, liver disease or liver cancer
    • Anyone of your brother-sister, mother, maternal uncle & aunt, grand mothers have liver related elements.
    • Test for hepatitis before vaccination and even vaccinated.
    •  If you are having high risk behaviour i.e. tatto, unprotected sex,needle prick, shared needle/razor, intravenus drug abuser.
    •  Then you must get tested, to be sure of self as well vaccination to protect you.
  6. Do I have any alarming sign and symptoms?
    • Presence of gall bladder stone, cholesterol problem, frequent acidity bloating, history of jaundice of any cause, any genetic liver disease diagnosed in the family member.
    • Excessive itching, dark yellow urine, white or clay color stool, yellowing of eyes, swelling of legs, abdominal distention or water retention, passage of black color stool, excessive fatigability, decreased apettite, unexpected weight loss.

Diet for Healthy Liver

  • Liver Diet must be balanced one with carbohydrate, protein, fat, mineral and anti-oxidants.
  • Green leafy vegetables, Cabbage, Broccoli, Cauliflower, carrot, apple and walnut.
  • Fibers such as fresh green vegetable, leafy vegetable,  salad, sprouts, negative calories fruits like whole apple, whole guava, whole grain breads, rice and cereals needed.
  • Increase protein diet- particularly  pulses, milk based, curd/yogurt, soyabeen and non-veg food.
  • Non-veg not to be avoid strictly. Fish, egg white, chicken is good but avoid red meet. But mind your oil, spice and gravy.
  • Preferred cooking food in mustard or olive oil. Other oils like refined, sunflower or ricebran may be used, but need to rotate and change.
  • Garlic, Ginger and often use turmeric in food.
  • Take lemon, lime juice and green tea.
  • Black coffee (without sugar and milk) is good for liver and a treatment for fatty liver
  • 12-15 glass water intake/day.
  • Eat small frequent meals.
  • Never Skip a meal
  • Avoid or reduce carbohydrate rich foods like white bread, white rice, sugar, high calories fruits like banana, mango, grapes, chikoo, custard apple, vegetables like roots and tubers like yam, arbi, potato.
  • Minimize foods rich in fat: Like butter, ghee, margarine, groundnut, coconut and all fried foods etc. Foods high in cholesterol: Like egg yolks, red meat, shrimps, prawns, liver, cheese, and processed meats.
  • Say no to junk foods, carbonated drinks, fried food or fast food like burgers, pizzas.

Don’t hurt your liver- it cries silently 

  • Say NO to Alcohol, Smoking and Drugs. Even don’t be target of passive smoking.
  • Avoid Over the Counter Medicines. Only take medication that is prescribed by a physician. There could be a possibility that the over the counter medicines or an inappropriate dose can harm the liver.
  • Avoid pain killers, food supplements, herbal dietary supplements, hormonal medicine to improve muscle.
  • Get tested for hepatitis on prescriptions by a doctor  if not done yet and particularly so, if any one in your family had hepatitis.
  • Get vaccinated against hepatitis B (everyone irrespective of age) and hepatitis A (particularly children).
  • Hepatitis B vaccine- 3 dose complete is mandatory (start, after 1month and after 6 months)
  • Ensure safe injection practice-say no to second use of syringe.
  • Avoid Contact with the Infected Blood -as this can result in spreading the hepatitis virus. Avoid sharing razors, razor blades, toothbrushes etc.
  • If you want to get inked by some fancy tattoos or do body piercings, be sure that it is done with complete hygiene and safety.
  • Avoid unhealthy, roadside vendor food and prefer clean or boiled water as much possible (Clean Hand-Clean water-Clean Food).
  • Annual health check up particularly after age of 40 but can be early if you are diabetic, obese, heavy alcohol or any high risk category
  • Regular medication, timely follow up and be aware of early/warning signals as suggested by your doctor. Report if any.