7 Ways To Pre­vent Liver Dis­eases

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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 and 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 & 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 & 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 & 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 & 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.

Liver disease can kill. Photo: In­dian Ex­press

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