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Followed by the brain, the liver is the second largest solid organ in the human body and performs a long list of complex functions to keep the body hale and hearty. The liver performs many tasks which are important for optimum functioning of other important organs in the body. It plays a key role in digestion. Besides preparing and releasing bile required for breaking down fat present in the food the liver also regulates blood sugar, removes toxins from the body and manages the cholesterol level. The liver generates clotting factors, albumin and several other important products. (Read: World Liver Day 2018: Liver transplant myths and facts- hear it from an expert)
The liver is an uncomplaining worker and often does not show any significant signs of damage. But at the same time, more than a 100 disorders can affect the liver. The symptoms of damage vary from yellowing of the white of the eyes, yellow urine, loss of appetite, nausea and vomiting. It is important to understand the complications, such as bleeding, swelling of the abdomen, swelling of the feet weight loss, and the clouding of thinking that develops with profession.
Here are a few tips to prevent and manage liver disorders:
Treatment for Hepatitis B, C, and several inherited disorders has evolved in recent times and all treatment options are available in India. Liver transplantation is well established in India. Sanjay, the first child in India to have received a liver transplant in India at Apollo hospital Delhi in 1998 at the age of 18 months, is now a medical student leading a normal life 19 years later. The success of liver transplantation is at par with centres in the West with excellent quality of life.
By Dr Anupam Sibal, Group Medical Director, Apollo Hospitals Group Senior consultant - Paediatric Gastroenterologist and Hepatologist, Apollo Hospital, Delhi
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