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GENERAL HEALTH

World Liver Day 2022: 4 Common Liver Diseases & Tips to Keep Your Liver Healthy

World Liver Day aims to spread awareness about liver-related diseases

There are an estimated 1.5 billion cases of liver diseases globally

This World Liver Day 2022, quit or limit alcohol for a healthy liver

B
Bajaj Finserv Health
April 14th, 2022
9 mins read

World Liver Day is celebrated every year on April 19 [1]. It is observed to raise awareness of liver-related diseases and to ensure good liver health. Did you know the liver is the second largest organ in the human body? This hard-working organ plays a major role in your digestive system. It stores, produces, and processes food, medicines, vitamins, minerals, and hormones. The liver can hold about 2 years of Vitamin A that aids your immune system [2].

Your liver performs complex functions including: 

  • production and excretion of bile 
  • metabolism of proteins, fats, and carbohydrates 
  • regulation of blood sugars 
  • controlling cholesterol levels

Keep in mind though that fatty foods, hepatitis virus, alcohol, and obesity can cause liver damage. In fact, there are approximately 1.5 billion cases of chronic liver disease worldwide [3]. In 2018, India was ranked 62 for liver disease mortality [4].

On the occasion of World Liver Day 2022, learn about different liver diseases and the steps to keep your liver healthy.

Types of liver diseases 

Here are some common liver diseases you should learn about this World Liver Day. 

Hepatitis 

It is the inflammation of the liver wherein ‘hepato’ stands for liver and ‘itis’ means inflammation. There are five types of hepatitis based on the sources from where you get infected. For instance, hepatitis A and E are caused due to contaminated food or water ingestion. On the other hand, hepatitis B, C, and D are results of exposure to infective blood, semen, or fluids.

Alcoholic liver disease 

It is the most common form of liver disease. As the name suggests, it is caused by drinking too much alcohol, which makes it overflow from the liver and circulate in your blood. This further poses a risk to other organs including the brain and heart. Constant intoxication can lead to the destruction of liver cells, inflammation, fatty liver, cirrhosis, and even liver cancer.

Liver cirrhosis 

It is the scarring or fibrosis of the liver, a result of long-term liver damage where the scars affect your liver’s functioning. This is an end-stage liver disease as it happens after all other conditions like hepatitis. The disease can lead to liver failure and other life-threatening complications. Many people with liver cirrhosis do not experience any symptoms. This common liver disease develops when the healthy liver cells are replaced by damaged tissues.

symptoms of liver diseases 

Liver cancer 

Cancer that takes place in the liver is known as liver cancer. It is the sixth most common cancer and the third leading cause of death due to cancer [5]. However, metastatic liver cancer is more hazardous than the one originating in the liver. Metastatic liver cancer is the cancer that begins in other organs and then spreads to the liver.

Additional Read: Stomach Infection in Kids

How to keep your liver healthy? 

This World Liver Day 2022, learn about the various ways in which you can protect your liver. 

Avoid alcohol 

Some of your liver cells die every time your liver filters the alcohol you consume [6]. Heavy consumption of alcohol can damage your liver function permanently. If you are a daily drinker, limit your consumption to a maximum of two drinks per day or avoid it for at least 2 days a week. Gradually, you should cut down more or completely avoid it to prevent your liver from further damage.

Eat a healthy balanced diet 

To create a healthy diet, add food from all categories including fruits, vegetables, grains, proteins, and fats. Eat green leafy vegetables, grain bread, and cereals that are rich in fiber. Add garlic, carrot, apple, walnuts, and grapefruit to your diet. Ensure you avoid processed foods, and sugary foods and drinks like soft drinks and pastries as sugar can be as damaging as alcohol.

Stay away from risk factors 

One of the best ways to keep your liver and yourself healthy is to avoid things that may cause you liver problems. Practicing safe sex using protection, quitting drugs and smoking are some measures you can take. Similarly, ensure safety and hygiene if you are opting for body piercings and tattoos.

Do not consume over-the-counter medications 

Make sure you consult your doctor if you experience any symptoms of liver disease. Only take medications or supplements prescribed by a registered medical practitioner. Taking OTC drugs can interfere with your existing medication and harm your liver.

Maintain a healthy body weight 

Being obese or overweight can cause liver problems including hepatitis, cirrhosis, and fatty liver. So, take steps to maintain a healthy weight. Exercise daily and have a balanced diet.

Avoid contact with infected body fluids 

Make sure you don’t come in contact with infected blood or any other body fluid. Do not share toothbrushes, razors, blades, etc., as this can spread the hepatitis viruses.

Get vaccinated 

Vaccines for hepatitis A and B are available in the medical stores. Consult with your doctor before getting vaccinated against hepatitis viruses. This way, you can prevent certain liver diseases.

Get regular health check-ups done 

Taking preventive care measures such as a regular health check-up can keep you away from many diseases including liver diseases. This can also help you address or treat any diseases at an early stage if diagnosed.

Additional Read: Fatty Liver

Conclusion

Now that you know how to boost your liver health this World Liver Day, put them into action! Another preventive step to maintain your liver and overall health is to get timely medical support. Book an online consultation with general physicians and specialists including gastroenterologists and hepatologists on Bajaj Finserv Health. This platform also allows you to book a lab test from home and maintain easy digital health records. Avail Bajaj Finserv Health card and Get Rs. 2,500 Lab & OPD benefit which can be used across pan India

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