Hit the gym to Keep Liver Fit
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12 September 2011
Sedentary Lifestyle Adds To Fat Deposits In Body Which May Harm Liver
Symposium on Liver Disorders
Dr S K Acharya of the All India Institute of Medical Sciences, Delhi, on Sunday said that fatty liver can be a benign condition that does not affect liver functions. “But, when the fat stores in the body reach optimal level and the body continues to receive excess fat, then the stores start
throwing out fatty acids into the liver. This could lead to serious liver disorders including cirrhosis of the liver and liver cancer,” Dr Acharya said.
He was addressing a liver symposium – organised by UP state chapter of Indian Association of Gastroenterology.
“One needs to be aware about nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) because of its silent nature. Consequences of a fatty liver are not immediately visible. But, when it does, it can be really serious. The problem occurs mostly in middle–ages, but a poor lifestyle can set it off much earlier,” the doctor said.
Experts say that metabolic disorders like diabetes, hypertension and obesity increases the risk of NAFLD. “Weight gain, especially around the waist, is one of the main causes of fatty liver. Over–dependence on junk food and sedentary lifestyle make matters worse,” said Prof G Chowdhury of Sanjay Gandhi Post Graduate Institute of Medical Sciences (SGPGIMS).
While there is no medication to effectively cure fatty liver, the only panacea is a healthy lifestyle, as NAFLD is a reversible problem. “Skipping meals is a crime against the liver. In this way, humans simply abuse their body. The reason: when eating time is pushed, people just gobble what comes their way. Fast foods come as a handy option. And erratic eating time also means an intake that could be higher than usual. Together these factors lead to fat accumulation on the liver,” said Dr Chowdhury.
Doctors say most cases of fatty liver are diagnosed accidentally, but insist that people with poor lipid profile, diabetes, hypertension and obesity should opt for regular check–ups.
“A poor lipid profile result is indication enough to get a liver function test done, especially for those who are middle–aged. Diabetes also slows down liver functioning as it is not able to burn sugar,” said Dr Deepak Agarwal, city–based hepatologist. In another dangerous trend, NAFLD is now being found in children as well. Obesity in growing children is to be blamed for this, doctors said.