Health tips: How to prevent liver diseases

Liver diseases can kill

You can prevent liver diseases by following these few simple tips. Better safe than sorry!

Express

With changing lifestyle, there’s been a sharp rise in liver diseases. Alcohol and obesity are the most common causes of chronic liver disease in India closely followed by Hepatitis B & C. In addition, water borne hepatitis viruses A & E contribute to acute liver failure. You can prevent liver disease by following a few simple tips. Dr Manav Wadhawan, senior consultant, Fortis Escorts Liver and Digestive Diseases Institute tells us how.

Safe water and food: Hepatitis A and E is transmitted by contaminated food and water. It is every individual’s duty to ensure that the water you drink is clean and should either be boiled or RO. Swimming pools can be contaminated and pathogens can be ingested accidentally. Ensure that the swimming pool you frequent is clean and well maintained.

Safe blood: Contaminated blood can transmit hepatitis B and C which goes undiagnosed for many years and this can lead to cirrhosis and liver cancer. Individuals must practice their right to know about their physiological safety when blood transfusion is required under any medical condition. There are compulsory screening processes involved during blood purification and transfusion; check that your blood bank follows protocol to avoid contamination.

Safe sharps: Hepatitis B and C is also transmitted by contaminated sharp instruments. Proper sterilisation of syringes, needles and surgical cutting instruments must be ensured before use. Ideally, only disposable syringes and needles should be used. Another common cause of these infections is unsafe practices by local barbers. Specifically ask your barber to change blade each time you get a shave or haircut.

Miles away from alcohol: Alcohol abuse has adverse effects on the entire GI tract but more so on liver. Fatty liver, alcoholic hepatitis, alcoholic cirrhosis and liver cancer are very common with those who consume alcohol in excess. The only solution to keep your liver healthy is to keep away from alcohol or limit yourself to moderate consumption.

Safe sex: Condoms is a must in case of unsolicited sex, multiple sexual partners or homosexuals. Both B and C hepatitis viruses can be transmitted through sexual contact; one is advised to follow all methods of precautions to avoid incurring it.

Vaccination: Vaccines are available to protect individuals from Hepatitis B and A. Keep yourself vaccinated.

Exercise: Obesity has been identified as yet another significant cause of chronic liver disease in India. Patients with obesity should consult a gastroenterologist to avoid any damage. Also, exercising is a must for all who have a tendency to put on weight relatively fast.


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