Cases of alcoholic fatty liver disease on the rise, say doctors

Kathmandu, April 22

Cases of alcoholic fatty liver disease are increasing in the country.

As per the data with Bir Hospital, among a hundred patients visiting the hospital’s out-patient department each day, almost 50 per cent of them are found to be suffering from alcoholic fatty liver disease. Most of the patients suffering from AFLD are the people between 25 and 50 years of age. From among the patients suffering from alcoholic fatty liver disease, 60 per cent are male and 40 per cent are female.

“The number of people suffering from non-alcoholic fatty lever disease is also on the rise,” said Dr Bikash Jaishi,consultant hepatologist at Bir Hospital and Star Hospital. “People living in the cities are found to be suffering from fatty liver disease as they follow unhealthy lifestyle. Intake of oily and spicy food items, lack of exercise and intake of alcohol are some of the reasons for increasing number of patients with fatty lever disease,” he added. He further said that people lacked awareness of fatty liver diseases. “People come to the hospital only when the liver is damaged. There is a misconception among people that herbal medicines should be consumed when one suffers from liver disease,” said Dr Jaishi.

To take care of the liver, one must adopt a healthy lifestyle and have a balanced diet that includes grains, dairy products, fruits and vegetables.

One needs to avoid alcohol, tobacco to keep the liver healthy. Physical exercise is equally important to keep liver healthy, according to the doctor. Intake of painkillers and paracetamol tablets, drugs with steroids should be avoided to keep the liver healthy, added the doctor. “Antibiotics and medicines of tuberculosis and HIV shouldn’t be taken without doctor’s prescription. One can save the liver if timely treatment is done,” added Dr Jaishi. The liver is the second largest organ in the body, after the brain. The liver performs functions related to digestion, immunity, metabolism, and the storage of nutrients within the body. Without it, the tissues of the body would quickly die.

Like every year, the country celebrated World Liver Day yesterday. The theme for this year’s World Lever Day was ‘Riding New Waves in Liver Diagnosis, Staging and Treatment’’.