World Liver Day 2018: Emerging liver health crisis in Kerala, an interplay of aberrant lifestyle and 'bad' genetics

April 19:World Liver Day is observed on April 19 to spread awareness regarding liver health and emerging liver diseases. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), liver diseases are 10th most common causes of death in India. The liver is the second largest organ in the body, which takes part in a multitude of functions. Most people think of it as a digestive organ, but in reality, liver engages itself in immune mechanisms to thwart infections, filters and removes toxins in food and water we drink, while playing an active role in the handling of sugar, protein and cholesterol in the body. All the medicines we take for various illnesses after its function is done is removed by the liver without causing accumulation of the same in the body.
Two decades ago, Kerala's health status was almost on a par with that of developed economies. The state has succeeded in increasing life expectancy as well as reducing health indices like an infant and maternal mortalities. Historically, public distribution of food, Kerala's publicly funded healthcare system, high literacy rate, especially among the females, played a major role in improving the health scenario. The Kerala 'model of health' used to be referred to as "good health based on social justice and equity". Although, Kerala has long been known for spectacular feats in the field of health and boasts of social development indicators comparable to developed countries, an alarming increase in lifestyle disorders is pushing the state into a health crisis. Rising affluence, changes in lifestyle, junk food habits, obesity and rising incidence of diabetes have all contributed in varying degrees to the health crisis. Non-resident Keralites, who played a pivotal role in economic development of the state, indirectly contributed to the lifestyle changes mentioned above. Sedentary lifestyles, overeating habits not commensurate with one's level of physical exercise, clubbed with high liquor consumption is the "trio problem" in the state resulted in a metabolic imbalance of calorific intake through food and its burn out through exercise, diabetes and, ultimately, various organ damage. The brunt of attack due to these aberrant lifestyles is borne by the liver. Agencies
Source: Agencies



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