18 April 2021
Prevention is always better than cure for everything including the liver. Hence lead a healthy lifestyle and avoid excessive use of alcohol, said Dr. Arvind Sahni, Director Gastroenterology and Hepatology, Fortis Hospital Mohali.
On the occasion of World Liver Day which is observed on April 19 every year, Dr. Sahni said, “Recently COVID 19 pandemic has added another dimension to liver disease. Covid 19 infection can cause liver damage and in cases of pre-existing liver damage the disease may become life threatening hence patients with pre-existing liver disease must be vaccinated against COVID 19 on a priority basis.”
He said, “Screening and early detection are the only ways to tackle hepatitis the silent killer, since liver damage in chronic viral hepatitis progresses without symptoms till it reaches the terminal illness stage, as either liver cancer or liver cirrhosis. Vaccination is, however, available for Hepatitis A and B viruses.
He said Liver is the largest organ in our body and performs hundreds of metabolic functions which are essential to life. “Our liver is affected by our lifestyle. Consuming excess amount of alcohol can cause alcohol related liver cirrhosis and consuming food rich in fat and having high calories can cause non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD)”, said Dr. Sahni.
Jaundice is one of the commonest symptom of liver disease but in certain cases it may appear later leading to a delay in diagnosis, informed the doctor.
Viral infections are a common cause of liver disease. Viruses like hepatitis A and E are water borne and cause acute liver damage. Viruses like hepatitis B and C are blood borne and can cause permanent liner damage like cirrhosis and liver cancer. Hence these viral infections (B and C) must be diagnosed early and treated appropriately.