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World Liver Day:Amid rising diseases, doctors stress on adapting healthy lifestyle

By Syed Nashir Ali Gillani

Srinagar: Concerned over the rise in liver diseases, the doctors on World Liver Day stressed on the need for the people to adopt a healthy lifestyle.
Head of the Department (HoD) Gastroenterology at SK Institute Medical Sciences (SKIMS), Dr Altaf Shah, said liver diseases have been increasing in the valley.
“Both malignant as well benign diseases are prevalent. The reasons are mainly hepatitis A and C,” he said.
He said in the long run, Hepatitis A and C lead to liver cancer.
“The lifestyle has changed a lot, contributing to the liver diseases. Obesity and fatty liver conditions also result in liver diseases,” he said.
Shah said, “Diabetes and other major ailments adversely affecting the liver shall be taken care of in the first instance.”
He said SKIMS receives at least two patients with liver cancer in a month and 1-2 with hepatitis and liver cirrhosis in a week.
He said liver transplants were a complex procedure needing improved infrastructure.
“At present, we don’t have any facility. It needs specialists and huge infrastructure. In liver transplants, besides the recipient, there is also a risk to the donor,” Shah added.
He said the people should refrain from self-medication.
Dr Zakir Hussain, a general physician working with the Health Department said liver plays a “vital role in digestion”.
“Everything human beings consume pass through liver. It fights infections, removes toxins, controls cholesterol and releases bile to help digestion,” he said.
Referring to the symptoms, he said the people with liver diseases can feel “abdominal pain, abnormal stools and loss of appetite”.
World Liver Day (WLD) is celebrated every year on April 19. The theme for this year was ‘Riding New Waves in Liver Diagnosis, Staging & Treatment’.
The aim is to build awareness and understanding how important the liver was for a human body and how liver diseases can be managed effectively.
According to World Health Organization (WHO), liver diseases are the 10th most common cause of deaths in India.