Never miss a story

Get subscribed to our newsletter


×
It is important to detect and prevent liver disease early in order to avoid the need for long-term treatment. Pixabay

Liver disease is a serious concern in India with more than 10 lakh cases being reported every year. Late diagnosis often leads to detection of the condition when it is at the end-stage of liver cirrhosis has occurred, during which time it is difficult to treat and it could lead to death, says Rajiv Lochan, Lead Consultant — HPB and Transplant Surgery, Aster RV Hospital.

The World Health Organisation has reported that liver disease is the tenth most common cause of death in India with liver cancer being the fourth common cause of cancer-related deaths.


Follow NewsGram on Facebook to stay updated.

“A pandemic-like situation can be dangerous for people suffering from liver disease as they are at a higher risk of suffering from severe complications from a virus such as Covid-19. A case in point is the earlier SARS epidemic, during which liver damage was observed in more than half of the afflicted patients. During the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic, it has been observed that a significant percentage of patients develop liver dysfunction, particularly those suffering from severe Covid-19,” says Lochan.


During the current Covid-19 pandemic, a large number of patients have developed liver disease. Pixabay

He adds, “While more research and observation is required to fully understand the link, possible reasons for this could be the impact of the virus on the liver, an undesirable immune response from the body which impacts the liver, sepsis, or medication-related liver injury. During the second wave of the pandemic, more people are reporting GI symptoms which indicate the potential of the virus to infiltrate and attack organs in the body apart from the lungs. Needless to say, patients with liver conditions need to take extra care of their body and health during this time. People who indulge in certain lifestyle habits that contribute to liver damage but who haven’t seen any outward symptoms of liver disease may also find that contracting the coronavirus results in more liver-related symptoms.”

Individuals with pre-existing liver disease appear to be at significant risk of complications from the Covid-19 infection. Various studies are underway to ascertain the exact impact of this virus infection on such patients.

According to Lochan, these are some simple ways to care for your liver, with particular relevance to the current pandemic:


The consumption of alcoholic beverages is a leading cause of liver damage. Pixabay

* Avoid binge-drinking alcohol at all costs

With more time on hand, people are turning to unhealthy habits such as regular drinking/binge drinking which is a major cause of liver damage. Excessive alcohol puts the system on overdrive to process the toxins in the system, the brunt of which is taken up by the liver. Smoking is equally bad for the liver and heavy drinkers often tend to smoke. Use this time to ease off of these addictions.

* Eat a liver-friendly diet

The liver’s function is to detoxify. Consuming fruits and vegetables which help keep the liver healthy and functioning effectively is important to prevent liver damage. Some examples are antioxidant-rich fruits such as berries, green tea, healthy fats such as olive oil, fatty fish, avocado, bananas, nuts, and green leafy vegetables like spinach, fibrous foods such as whole grains, garlic, etc are beneficial to the liver. Highly refined, processed, high sodium, loaded with artificial sugars such as most ready-to-eat food items, fried food, and excessive maida prepared items are unsuitable for liver health.


Fruits and vegetables aid the liver to stay stable and work properly. Pixabay

* Do not forget to exercise

Please devote extra time to exercise. Medical studies increasingly show that exercise is most essential for liver health. Regular exercise which increases the heart rate to 80 percent of the target heart rate, at least 4 times a week helps in keeping the liver healthy. If you have any specific illnesses, do discuss this exercise regime with your doctor before taking it on.

Obesity is a prime cause of non-alcoholic fatty liver disease. If you are overweight, use this time to reduce and maintain a healthy weight for your body type. If you are at a healthy weight, avoid turning to healthy foods to deal with boredom, stress, etc, and continue practicing a healthy diet and lifestyle. Genetics can also play a role if the liver disease runs in the family; use this time to get liver function tests.


The importance of exercise for liver function cannot be overstated. Pixabay

Even seemingly skinny people can accumulate fat around the liver, leading to fatty liver disease as demonstrated by various studies in India. We are on the verge of a fatty liver disease epidemic and this can be easily accentuated by the current pandemic.

* Practice safe behaviors and be responsible

Unsanitary needles and unprotected sex can lead to Hepatitis B and C, which is part of a group of viruses that can attack the liver. Unhygienic tattoo parlors, injecting drugs, basically any needles that have come in contact with an infected individual’s blood and reintroduced into a healthy person can lead to liver disease. Taking vaccination can help reduce the risk of contracting the disease. Wearing a mask and maintaining social distancing is still the most effective way to not contract the disease. Given the long drawn out nature of this pandemic, its economic consequences, and the social isolation it demands, a nihilistic attitude has set in with society (including administrators and regulators) as a whole has developed fatigue and has thrown these simple measures out of the window. This attitude is partly responsible for the current surge in infections. Being responsible to oneself and to one another is key.


If you have a chronic liver problem, you should take the COVID vaccine. Pixabay

ALSO READ: Covid-19 Self-Prescription May Impact Liver, Urge Doctors

* If eligible, take the Covid vaccine

It is strongly recommended that you take these vaccines if suffering from any chronic liver ailment or are otherwise eligible. Please discuss this with your treating doctor.

Identifying and arresting liver disease early is important to prevent the need for long-term management of the disease. In the middle of the ongoing pandemic, if you experience any of the following symptoms — jaundice, water retention and swelling in the legs and feet, unexplainable fatigue, strong odor from urine and dark yellow color, severe and unbearable abdominal pain, vomiting, itchy skin, please visit a doctor for consultation. (IANS/KB)


Popular

wikimedia commons

Children playing ringa ringa roses in an open backyard in England

Great historic events that have shaped the world and changed the outlines of countries are often not recorded in memory, or so we think. Wars made sure to destroy evidence and heritage, and the ones who survived told the tale of what really happened. Folklore, albeit through oral tradition kept alive many such stories, hidden in verse, limericks, and rhymes.

Ringa-ringa-roses, a common playtime rhyme among children across the world, is an example of folklore that has survived for many centuries. It tells the story of the The Great Plague of London which ravaged the city between 1665-1666.

Keep Reading Show less
wikimedia commons

Certain tribes have remained matrilineal, where the decision-making power rests with the eldest female of the family.

In modern times, many social movements aim to bring reform to the society we live in, on the basis of certain existing patterns. Patriarchy is something that many aim to cleanse our cultures of, to usher in the era of social and gender equality. Despite all these so-called movements, in southern India, certain societies that patronise matriarchy have existed since before India's independence. The Nairs and Ezhavas of Kerala, and Bunts and Billavas of Karnataka are matrilineal societies that continue to thrive in a patriarchal country.

Kerala remains separate from the rest of India in many ways. Be it literacy policy, form of government, or cultural practices, this state does not always conform to the ideal that India is known for. Even so with their social structure. Certain tribes have remained matrilineal, where the decision-making power rests with the eldest female of the family.

Keep Reading Show less
Photo by Medhat Dawoud on Unsplash

It is the world's top tech company in turnover (totaling $274.5 billion in 2020) and its most valuable corporation.

Apple inc. Is an American multinational tech firm specialized in consumer electronics, computer programs, and internet services founded by Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, and Ronald Wayne in 1976 to manufacture Wozniak's Apple iComputer. It is the world's top tech company in turnover (totaling $274.5 billion in 2020) and its most valuable corporation. Apple is the fourth-largest PC seller by unit sales and the fourth-largest smartphone manufacturer in the world.

Apple has revealed a slew of new products at a special launch event that has been long-awaited. On the day of the live event, Apple announced the iPad mini, Apple Watch Series 7, iPhone 13 mini, and iPhone 13, as well as the iPhone 13 Pro and iPhone 13 Pro Max.

Keep reading... Show less