World Liver Day: Lack of awareness raises burden of diseases.
World Liver Day is observed on April 19th every year. World Liver Day, spreads awareness about how important the liver is for our body and how liver diseases can be effectively managed. The liver is the second-largest organ in the human body. The liver’s main job is to filter the blood coming from the digestive tract, before passing it to the rest of the body. The liver also detoxifies chemicals and metabolizes drugs. As it does so, the liver secretes bile that ends up back in the intestines. According to WHO, liver diseases are the 10th most common cause of death in India.
Liver works hard, performing hundreds of complex functions, including:
- Fighting infections and illness
- Regulating blood sugar
- Removing toxic substances from the body
- Controlling cholesterol levels
- Helping blood to clot (thicken)Releasing bile (A liquid that breaks down fats and aids in digestion)
Many conditions can affect your liver. Here’s a look at some of the main ones.
- Hepatitis -A, B, C, D and E.
- Fatty liver disease
- Autoimmune conditions
- Genetic conditions
- Liver failure
Though liver diseases can be completely cured at an early stage and their progression can be stopped, lack of awareness on early initiation of treatment raises the burden of liver diseases. Liver has the capacity to regenerate (up to certain extent). Liver disease doesn’t usually cause any obvious signs or symptoms until it is fairly advanced and the liver is damaged. At this stage, possible symptoms are loss of appetite, weight loss and jaundice. If the liver loses its ability to function, leading to liver failure. A liver transplant is currently the only way to cure irreversible liver failure. One can get vaccinated against hepatitis. There are vaccines for hepatitis A and hepatitis B.
Tips for liver care:
- Eat garlic, grapefruit, carrot, green leafy vegetables, apple and walnuts
- Use olive oil
- Drink coffee
- Exercise and maintain a healthy diet
- Eliminate drinking and smoking