18 April 2024


Liver is the second largest and most complex organ in the human body. It aids digestion, immunity and several other metabolic functions. To spread awareness about liver and its associated disorders, World Liver Day is observed on 19th April every year. The theme for World Liver Day 2024 is “Keep your liver healthy and disease-free”.

To spread awareness on liver and its associated disorders, Dr Arvind Sahni, Director, Gastroenterology and Hepatology, Fortis Hospital Mohali, through an advisory explains the common symptoms, management and prevention of liver disease.

“Approximately 120 million people in India have a fatty liver. Awareness regarding healthy liver is important in order to prevent or delay the onset of serious liver disease,” said Dr Sahni.

Discussing the causes of liver disease, Dr Sahni, added, “The common causes of liver disease include alcohol, non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) and viral hepatitis. Higher incidence of fatty liver is seen in people suffering from diabetes, obesity and high cholesterol.”

Common symptoms of liver disease include:

·       Loss of appetite

·       Nausea and vomiting

·       Fever and lethargy

·       Dark urine

·       Jaundice

·       Abdominal pain & swelling of feet

Stressing on early diagnosis, Dr Sahni, added, “Liver disease can be diagnosed through a routine ultrasound examination. Fatty liver disease may progress to become liver cirrhosis (condition when liver is permanently damaged), hence it is important to seek timely and expert advice.”

Stating that liver disease could be avoided through introducing certain lifestyle changes, Dr Sahni, added, “One should abstain from heavy alcohol consumptionsmoking, and avoid excessive fast food intake due to high calories and saturated fat. A single slice of large pizza contains 300 kcal and 20-32 grams of fat, a burger has approximately 400 kcal and 12-18 grams of fat, while 100 grams of French fries contains 270 kcal and 14 grams of fat.”

Dr Sahni also said one should avoid carbonated drinks and full fat products such as butter, cream, red meat and processed meats“Baked products like cakes, pastries and cookies are also high in fat content and should be moderately consumed. Further, the practice of pill popping, particularly antibiotics, may cause serious liver injury. Certain herbal products used for weight reduction can also affect the liver,” added Dr Sahni.

Emphasising on the adoption of a healthy lifestyle to prevent liver disease, Dr Sahni, added, “Physical activity is important, one should try to exercise for about 2.5 hours per week, which can include aerobics and resistance exercise. Consumption of a balanced diet comprising green leafy vegetables, fruits, soy/tofu, legumes, fish, whole grain, avocado, nuts, berries, turmeric and garlic is important. Drinking 2-4 cups of coffee daily without added cream or sugar helps improve liver inflammation and decreases fibrosis. Vitamin E and Vitamin D supplements also improve liver health. One should also treat all co-morbid conditions like diabetes, obesity and high cholesterol. Ensure to get 3 doses of hepatitis B vaccine, which gives protection against the infection.”


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