Spike in liver diseases among youth; less alcohol, more exercise, advice docs

A lack of exercise and consumption of unhealthy high-fat food are the other reasons behind the problem say doctors from a city hospital.

Liver diseases are now among the top 10 causes of death in India, say city doctors. 

Unhealthy lifestyle and a rise in alcohol abuse have spiked the cases of liver diseases among the urban youth as well as the poor.

A lack of exercise and consumption of unhealthy high-fat food are the other reasons behind the problem say doctors from a city hospital.

Addressing presspersons here on Tuesday, Dr C Vikram Belliappa, consultant surgical gastroenterologist at the Vikram Hospital said, the situation that is going to get worse in the coming years.

"According to WHO, about 10 lakh people are diagnosed with liver cirrhosis every year in India. The average age of liver disease patients used to be 40-45 years. Now, much younger patients are affected due to alcoholism, high-fat diet and a lifestyle without exercise. Urban poor are the most hit and males have a much higher incidence of liver diseases compared to females," he added.

Medical Gastroenterologist Dr Dheeraj Karanth C said that the cure for a severe liver disease is either a liver transplant or new approach like the stem cell therapy. "Fatigue, jaundice, itching and loss of appetite are some early symptoms of liver diseases. The symptoms usually don’t appear till the disease is well advanced, so early diagnosis is crucial," he added.

Dr Karanth advised a healthy lifestyle with regular exercise and low-fat diet as prevention. "Alcohol only in moderation, Hepatitis B vaccination, and safe sex practices should also be followed,” added Dr Karanth.

Thirty doctors from the hospital pledged to donate their organs on the occasion.

 

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