As part of the Illness to Wellness campaign, ASSOCHAM, an apex industry body, conducted a webinar on “Managing Liver Care,” with the paramount objectives to cascade awareness and disseminate wisdom about managing liver care, reducing liver infections, and eventually enhancing liver health to lead a healthier, happier, and prosperous life.
Prof. (Dr.) Shiv Kumar Sarin, Padma Bhushan awardee, Head, Department of Hepatology & Director, Institute of Liver and Biliary Sciences, New Delhi, shared his knowledge by informing the audience about the increasing number of fatty liver cases in the country and how they are linked to diabetes, kidney stones, and rising heart disease rates. “35% of the population in India suffers from the fatty liver”, he added.
He explained that when lipids accumulate in the liver, it limits its insulin capability, and to compensate, the pancreas organ produces insulin, which is insufficient to cope with regular biological processes. As a result, the body undergoes insulin resistance, and a person develops pre-diabetic symptoms. He further continued those fats start to go into the bloodstream and get deposited in the arteries directing to the risks of heart stroke or heart attack. Ample evidence suggests that elevated Gamma-GT enzyme activity is associated with a higher risk of cardiovascular disease.
Dr Rajesh Kesari, Founder, and Director Total Care Control, Delhi–NCR, said “Liver is termed as the chemical factory of our body hence our liver must bear the brunt of our modern-day lifestyle. The role of the liver in maintaining health was known for ages- but has once again caught attention as the liver is unable to handle the excess fat which is there in our diet and is becoming the reason for many diseases like Diabetes, Hypertension, Atherosclerosis, etc.
“Human liver is one of the most important organs in our body performing more than 500 vital functions,” said Dr Sakshi Karkra, Head–Pediatric, Gastroenterology & Hepatology, Artemis Hospitals, Gurugram. It performs many functions like detoxification of drugs, resisting infections by making immune factors, converting poisonous ammonia to urea, processing haemoglobin, protein, cholesterol, and glycogen synthesis, regulating blood clotting, production of biochemicals necessary for digestion and excretion of bile which helps carry away waste products from the liver.
She further continued that Liver disease refers to any damage or disorder that limits the function of the liver. It can be genetic (inherited) or acquired. The symptoms range from fatigue, irritability, headaches, difficulty concentrating, vomiting, anxiety, and in advanced stages yellowing of the skin and eyes (jaundice), itchy skin, swelling of the lower abdomen, and dark urine. “The liver can repair itself up to a certain point so damage can be reduced if liver disease is discovered at an early stage,” she said
Sharing his viewpoint Dr Bhavin Bhupendra Vasavada, Surgical Gastroenterologist, Hepato Biliary and Liver Transplant Surgeon, Shalby Multi-Specialty Hospitals, said “Liver has great regenerative power and can fight with the diseases process until it is damaged beyond repair. It is both the blessing and the disguise, as due to some great regeneration capacity, symptoms are not seen unless damage is severe and generally when alarming symptoms are seen, liver transplant remains only curative treatment. As a result, liver disease treatment should include screening, early identification, and prevention. If hepatitis is identified early, there are numerous effective oral therapies available, and a transplant can be avoided.
The major preventive approaches are an emphasis on reducing alcohol addiction, a healthy lifestyle, exercise, and obesity prevention. “When a liver transplant is required,” he continued, “as an educated society, we should focus on expanding organ donor awareness and lowering the cost of treatment for liver transplants.”