Healthy lifestyle choices like regular exercise, balanced diet key to prevention from liver ailments: Experts

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New Delhi, 19th February 2021: The Associated Chambers of Commerce and Industry of India (ASSOCHAM), one of the apex trade associations of the country successfully organized another edition of the webinar series on ‘Illness to Wellness’ campaign, themed around “Preventions and Treatment of Liver Ailments”.
ASSOCHAM organized this webinar with an objective to cascade mass awareness and disseminate knowledge & wisdom for liver disease prevention and treatment.
The online event was graced by a team of eminent Gastroenterologists, hepatologist who shared their valuable inputs on risk for liver disease, preventive care and services to protect one from infection and irreversible damage, which included – Prof. (Dr) Gourdas Choudhuri, chairman, Department of Gastroenterology and Hepatobiliary Sciences, Fortis Memorial Research Institute, Gurugram; Dr Ashish Kumar, senior consultant, Institute of Liver, Gastroenterology & Pancreatic Biliary Sciences, Sir Ganga Ram Hospital, New Delhi; Dr S.K. Sarin, director, Institute of Liver and Biliary Sciences; Mr Anil Rajput, chairperson, ASSOCHAM CSR Council and Dr Rajesh Kesari, founder and director, Total Care Control who served as a moderator for the panel.
The ASSOCHAM’s campaign running under a CSR initiative supported by SAVLON, aims at promoting healthy living with a keen focus on wellness and preventive health through healthy habits, diet, exercise, and holistic health.
Sharing his perspective, Dr Choudhuri said that liver has a large reserve and does not fail easily, besides it also has a good capacity to regenerate if partly damaged, despite such qualities liver ailments are becoming common and affect around a third of India’s population, and account for one of the top 10 causes of death.
“Non-alcoholic fatty liver, alcoholic liver disease, infections, drug induced injuries, genetic and autoimmune disorders are certain common liver ailments that can be averted or treated with proper awareness, periodic check-ups, preventive steps, timely diagnosis and effective treatment,” he said.
Dr Choudhuri added, “Besides, food and life-style choices are crucial pillars in prevention and management to keep the liver healthy and functioning well in most people.”
Echoing his views, Dr Kumar said, “In recent years there is an increase in prevalence of liver diseases in India, which are mostly attributed to two main factors i.e. faulty diet and lifestyle, which leads to non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) and an increase in alcohol abuse, which leads to alcoholic liver disease.”
Stressing on his point, Dr Kumar added, “Weight reduction using diet and exercise is the most important treatment of NAFLD as for Indian population a BMI between 18.5 and 23 is considered normal and should be the target to achieve. People with BMI ≥23 are considered ‘overweight’ and those with BMI ≥25 are considered ‘obese,’ even if the target BMI of <23 is difficult to achieve for many obese people, at least few kg of weight loss will still be beneficial.”
He further said that reduction in calories by 500 to 1000 kcal per day is required for weight reduction and 150 min of moderate exercise per week is recommended.
On alcoholic liver disease, he said that alcoholic hepatitis is life threatening disease because it can progress to liver failure and abstinence is the most important treatment for the same.
Talking about key to a healthy liver, Dr Sarin said, “Energy intake and expenditure should always be balanced to prevent chronic lifestyle diseases like diabetes, high Blood pressure, and heart attack.”
Thus, he added keeping a check on one’s diet, physical exercise and other healthy habits can help prevent liver ailments.
Saluting the indomitable spirit of Indian scientists and doctors, Mr Rajput said, “While the entire world has been terrorised by Covid-19 virus, we have multiple vaccines to halt the hell march of this deadly adversary which has impacted just about all organs including liver as high prevalence of altered liver enzymes have been reported in covid patients.”
He said that following a regular exercise regime, maintaining healthy weight together with low fat, low sugar, low rice and high fibre diet can go a long way for everyone to keep liver ailments at bay and avoid unnecessary complications.
The session was moderated by Dr Rajesh Kesari, founder and director, Total Care Control who also shed some light on the gravitas of the topic and highlighted the need of acknowledging the existence of liver ailments, as he successfully summarized the discussion with expert inputs of the esteemed panel.

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