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The liver is the second largest organ in the human body and is responsible for breaking down the nutrients from food and using them for the rest of the body. Moreover, it performs the major functions of producing glucose, removing toxic waste materials from the body, and preventing infection. However, there has been a drastic rise in the cases of liver diseases in recent years among people of different age groups. In India, the mortality rate from liver diseases is steadily increasing, accounting for over one lakh deaths each year. One of the most common causes of liver disease is alcohol consumption, which acts as a silent killer and slowly affects liver function. TheHealthSite.com spoke to Dr Manish Kak, Consultant- Gastroenterology, Manipal Hospitals, Ghaziabad to understand more about liver diseases and fatty liver problems.
Although the liver has a tremendous capacity to repair itself from toxic waste materials and break down most of the alcohol inside the body, a lot of harmful substances are generated inside the liver during this process that damage the liver cells. With time, the damaged cells weaken the liver's natural defence system, making it vulnerable to further damage. The harmful substances that pass through the intestines during this process enter the body through the blood and can even affect other major organs. The problem of fatty liver is a growing concern that is further triggered by alcohol consumption. It also causes hepatitis, which causes inflammation or swelling inside the liver and can become chronic in nature. Fatty liver disease and hepatitis B and C are the primary conditions caused by alcohol abuse in chronic cases that last for years. In some cases, this problem also escalates and causes liver cirrhosis, where the liver becomes hard and loses its functions.
With the change in lifestyle, many youngsters are inclined towards consuming alcohol, which has increased the risk of liver diseases. According to some studies, men are more inclined toward this deadly habit that silently affects the liver. In most cases, it is difficult to identify the symptoms in the initial stage and it is only diagnosed when the condition is advanced. The condition can be triggered by the sudden onset of jaundice and result in liver failure. The presence of symptoms such as:
All the above-mentioned symptoms indicate advanced liver disease. Even after quitting alcohol, the liver of chronic disease patients frequently does not recover.
Our way of life and eating habits have a significant impact on fat formation in the liver. In the majority of cases, obesity and alcohol consumption are the root causes. As a result, it is important to make some changes. Check the list below:
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