Jul 26, 2014, 10:55 AM
News Code: 2732417
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Fatty liver a major threat : Iran Daily

Tehran, July 26, IRNA - The head of Iranian Hepatitis Network has warned about the growing prevalence of fatty liver among Iranians, particularly children.

Dr. Seyyed Mo’yyad Alavian said poor physical activity, unhealthy diet and obesity are the main causes of the disease.

“Fatty liver can increase the risk of diabetes, heart attack and stroke,” Saturday's edition of the English-language paper 'Iran Daily' quoted Alavian as saying.

Early diagnosis is essential in the treatment of fatty liver, Alavian said, adding non-alcoholic fatty liver is a silent disease without distinct symptoms.

“Regular screening and blood test is required to diagnose the disease,” he said.

Alavian, however, warned obese people to be more careful about their health since the results of several studies have proved the link between obesity and fatty liver.

“Between 60 and 100 percent of those diagnosed with fatty liver were obese, according to several studies conducted so far to find main factors for the ailment,” he said.

Alavian said one of the major functions of the liver is to metabolize fat.

“When the amount of fat in the liver exceeds five percent of its weight, the fatty liver is diagnosed,” he said.

Alavian added crash diets are as dangerous as high intake of calorie in causing fatty liver.

“Intensive diets and sudden weight loss can also lead to fatty liver, since, on the contrary, such acts to raise the amount of fat in the liver,” he noted.

He also warned about fatty liver affecting children and said some wrongly think that fatty liver, high blood pressure and diabetes cannot afflict children.

“Children are not immune to non-communicable disease if they do not keep to a healthy diet,” he said, adding studies have shown that abdominal fat in childhood is just as likely to increase the risk of non-communicable diseases as in adults.”

Alavian said investment in the health of children is as important as investment in their education.

He warned parents about long hours their children play computer games and urged them to take their children out to play.

Ways to have a healthy liver

Eat a healthy diet and get regular exercise. Having high levels of fat in your blood can cause fatty liver. It can be avoided through weight loss if you’re overweight, getting regular exercise, and eating a balanced diet.

Stay away from medicines (or combinations of medicines) that harm the liver. Cholesterol drugs and the painkiller acetaminophen (Tylenol) can be toxic to the liver if too much is taken over time or at once. You may be taking more Tylenol than you realize; it’s found in hundreds of drugs like cold medicines and prescription pain medicines. Certain combinations of drugs can be toxic to the liver. Talk to your doctor about what medicines shouldn’t be combined with each other. And always follow dosage information.

Be aware of hepatitis and how it is transmitted. Hepatitis is a virus that causes the liver to become inflamed. There are several different types. Hepatitis A is transmitted by water or food that’s been contaminated with bacteria found in feces. It usually gets better on its own. Hepatitis B and C are transmitted through blood and body fluids. If untreated, it can lead to cirrhosis, liver cancer, and liver failure.