Close to 40% of Indians suffer from non-alcoholic fatty liver

Close to 40% of Indians suffer from non-alcoholic fatty liver

It may be affecting 25-30% of the world population, but non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) has a greater bearing on India with close to 40% of its population suffering from the disease. It is caused by the storage of extra fat in the liver.

In up to 30% of cases, fatty liver can damage liver over time and the disease advances through three stages - first liver becomes swollen damaging its tissues, secondly, it leads to scar tissues or fibrosis and thirdly cirrhosis occurs.

On the occasion of the International NASH (nonalcoholic steatohepatitis) Day on June 9, experts said that altering lifestyle can dramatically prevent and control the disease.

“Intake of high-calorie food and sedentary lifestyle are contributory factors for the disease. So dealing with metabolic factors is indeed important in the fight against the disease,” said an expert adding it should not be ignored considering a benign condition. A healthy diet, organized lifestyle and regular exercise can combat it effectively.

Some people are predisposed to this condition genetically but lifestyle issues like overweight, diabetes, hypertension and dyslipidemia (deranged blood lipids) are the main risk factors for fatty liver.

Though symptoms may be slow to be evident, blood tests, ultrasound scanning can reveal its presence. Fatty liver can also lead to cardiovascular disease, chronic kidney disease, bone loss, obstructed sleep apnoea and cancers of various organs.

 

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