High-fat diet and lack of exercise leading to rising incidence of liver diseases among people

Bengaluru April 17, 2018 –The incidence of liver diseases is rising in India, especially among the younger age group and the urban poor, due to increasing alcohol abuse, a lifestyle lacking in exercise, and consumption of unhealthy high-fat food. However, liver diseases are still largely restricted to men, said doctors of Vikram Hospital, Bengaluru, on the eve of the World Liver Day.

“Liver diseases are currently among the top 10 causes of death in India,a situation that is going to get worse in the coming years,” said Dr. CVikram Belliappa, Consultant Surgical Gastroenterologist, Vikram HospitalBengaluru. “According to the WHO, about 10 lakh people are diagnosedwith liver cirrhosis every year in India. The average age of liver diseasepatients is 40-45 years, but now much younger patients are also gettingaffected due to alcoholism, high fat diet and a lifestyle lacking in exercise.Urban poor are the most hit, though males have a much higher incidence of liverdiseases than females.” 

Added Dr. Dheeraj Karanth C, Medical Gastroenterologist, VikramHospital, Bengaluru: “The cure for severe liver diseases is a livertransplant. New approaches such as stem cell therapy is also being researched.Fatigue, jaundice, itching and loss of appetite are some early symptoms ofliver diseases, though symptoms usually don’t appear till the disease is welladvanced, so early diagnosis is crucial.  Prevention is much better thancure. People should maintain a healthy lifestyle with regular exercise andlow-fat diet. It is also important to take alcohol only in moderation, getHepatitis B vaccination, and follow safe sex practices.” 

In a significant initiative, as many as 32 doctors out of the total 70working at the Vikram Hospital Bengaluru pledged to donate their organs,including the liver, to help save lives. They also vowed to create awarenessabout the increasing incidence of liver diseases in the society.

Said Dr. Somesh Mittal, CEO, Vikram Hospital,Bengaluru: “It is heartening to see over 30 doctors at our hospital pledgeto donate their organs, including their liver, to help give a new lease of lifeto desperate patients waiting for years for an organ transplant. By practicingwhat they preach, they have set an example to the rest of the society.”

Dr. C Vikram Belliappa, Consultant SurgicalGastroenterologist, Vikram Hospital, Bengaluru, offersthe following tips to prevent liver diseases: 

Ø  Adopt healthy lifestyle and have a balanced diet

Ø  Eat a diet which is low in fat, derived from all foodgroups: grains, proteins, dairy products, fruits, vegetables and fats. Includegreen leafy vegetables, broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, carrot, apple andwalnut in your diet

Ø  Ensure safe blood transfusions to avoid contractingHepatitis A, B and C. Regular immunisation of Hepatitis B is important

Ø  Say no to alcohol, tobacco and drugs

Ø  Follow safe sexual habits

Ø  Exercise regularly

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